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Gorp.com – Featuring Portal, Radial, Spin, Reverb and Kode Series – February 2013

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Gorp.com – Featuring Portal, Radial, Spin, Reverb and Kode Series – February 2013

February 15, 2013

“The Internet of Things” was a big, buzzy phrase at last year’s CES, as online accessibility continues to become part of our daily lives. And while the outdoor industry probably won’t ever go full-cyborg on us, we have seen some smart tech-centric products over the last few years, from avalanche airbag backpacks and outdoor-focused apps to smartphone cases with batteries and high-def videos of…everything. And in fall 2013, Osprey’s Portal line of packs (pictured) will continue this trend, targeting traveler and touch screen-dependent subway riders. The seven packs, like the Tech Commute, will have touch screen-friendly see-through windows and padded sleeves for tablets and smart phones, in both messenger bag and backpack styles, starting at $99.

They’re also making packs for the more active commuter (read: the cyclists, runners, and in-line skaters—hey, we see one in DC every once in a while!). Designs like the Radial ($159) and the Spin ($139) will have a nicely vented back panel, a padded laptop sleeve, an integrated rain fly, and bike-friendly features like a dedicated U-lock pocket.

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Gorp.com – Featuring Poco Plus – November 29, 2012

November 29, 2012

Gift Ideas to Make Your Loved One Share Your Love of the Outdoors

Talk about win-win gift-giving. You love playing in the great outdoors. Your significant other did, before (1) kids came along, (2) work got in the way, (3) the bloom left the vine. These present ideas will help reinvigorate your partner’s love of the outdoors, and reunite your love life and sporting life with the promise of adventure.

Osprey Child Carrier

Who says you have to give up the good life when your baby arrives? With the Osprey Child Carrier there’s no reason not to take a stroll in the park—whether it’s your local trail system or Yosemite.

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Gorp.com – Featuring Hornet 32 – November 2012

November 29, 2012

Gifts for the Hiker (…)

Osprey Hornet 32 Backpack

Serious day hikers want a pack that can do everything except walk them up the trail—and this pack hits that sweet spot: just enough space to carry all you need, the right level of comfort and venting, and an aesthetic that’ll see this pack in use beyond the backcountry.

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Gorp.com – Featuring Hornet 32 – October 2012

October 1, 2012

We love light comfortable packs in the 30-liter range, because the size is ideal for clothing- or gear-laden day trips, and just big enough for hut trips and ultralight overnights. Osprey’s Hornet 32 (the middle of three sizes in their Hornet series) fits those criteria perfectly, staying light and easy to load, yet not scrimping on the features that fastpackers and ultralighters appreciate. It has twin hipbelt pockets, energy gel/iPod/sunscreen pockets on both shoulder straps, and a mesh shove-it pocket on the front.

The single compartment top-loading backpack, and a two-compartment top pocket, maximize space while providing just enough organization to avoid chaos. A large hydration sleeve, located between the packbag and foam back panel, can be easily refilled with the pack loaded, or take a folded foam pad for bivvy use and increased load support.

The Hornet really shined during a three-day round trip to climb the northeast ridge of 14,130-foot Capitol Peak in Colorado. “It was light and flexible enough to fold into my 45-liter load-carrying pack for the approach,” that tester wrote. “Then it carried ropes, technical, clothes, and helmet comfortably for 2,000 feet to the technical section.” Once he collapsed it down using the narrow side compression straps, he “barely knew it was there, during all the knife-edge straddling and scrambling. It hugged my back like a scared koala.”

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Gorp.com – Featuring SS13 Hydraulics and SS13 Reservoir – September 2012

September 18, 2012

Just when we think that you can’t improve on something, Osprey announces a cache of significant enhancements to their existing hydration reservoir—already one of the best on the market. As with the current models, the new bladders will retain the rigid plastic strip that makes it easy to grasp and refill, and allows the bladder to keep its form when it’s empty. The new design will also have a BPA- and PVC-free film that’s resilient and tasteless, a three-quarter turn cap for faster and more secure access, and a direct-welded plate to provide a wide, low profile. The hose diameter has been expanded to a quarter-inch for faster water flow, a countered back plate will improve on-trail comfort, and all models will include a magnetic bite valve that attaches to the Osprey pack’s sternum strap.

This spring Osprey will also unveil two new women-specific packs and update the women’s Verve and the men’s Manta, Raptor, and Viper packs. We’re particularly intrigued by the new Raven pack, the femme equivalent to the mountain bike-specific Raptor. Tailored to a woman’s body it’ll have a breathable back panel, a flexible harness and hip belt, a three-liter reservoir, their signature helmet strap, and a massive kangaroo pouch for layers. It’ll come in three sizes, starting at $109.

The packs and new reservoir will be ready this spring.

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Gorp.com – Featuring Poco Plus – May 31, 2012

May 31, 2012

Seven Sure-Fire Picks for Father’s Day

If your father is like ours, the travel and outdoors gear in his arsenal has elevated to near-museum status. We have seven items that upgrade his old-school stuff into the modern world, as well as a handful of high-tech options to keep him on the cutting edge.

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Osprey Poco Plus Kid Carrier

Inspire Dad to take the kids into the wilderness with this best-in-class kid-carrying backpack.

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Gorp.com – Featuring Escapist 20 – May 2012

May 30, 2012

In this world of gear specificity (this jacket is made for short women of Eastern Europe descent who trail run in moderate temps with four-knot winds and the threat of a light rain, primarily in deciduous forests), it’s refreshing to find a pack that performs in pretty much every condition we explored. Though the Osprey Escapist is billed as a bike-specific pack (for day rides and as a stash pack for hut-to-hut pedaling), we took this hauler hiking and zip-lining in Puerto Rico’s rain forests; daily bike commuting in the nation’s capital; mountain biking in Bend, OR; and rambling through La Paz, Mexico, and it never failed us. Much of its success comes from its lightweight construction. A the front panel makes it easy to stash a lot—lunch, layers, camera, and lenses—in the expansive main compartment. In front of this cavernous section, you find another, narrower section with three three mesh pockets help organize small items, like bike tools, sunglasses and headlamp. A sizable one-zipper top pouch keeps other items (cell phones, notebooks, sun block) within easy reach. The back sheet employs Osprey’s Airscape ventilation system—but in hot, humid conditions, you’re still gonna get a sweaty back. Thankfully, mesh shoulder and waist straps add a cooling measure of breathability. There are bike-specific features (reflective detailing, a clip for a light, and a great helmet attachment), but don’t pigeon-hole this day pack; 1,220 cubic inches of storage and other features like the attached rain fly stashed the base and an external hydration pocket keep the Escapist firmly rooted in a variety of travel and outdoor activities. The only potential Achilles’ heel: the zippers on the second panel occasionally snagged in the pack’s fabric when the pack was lightly loaded.

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Gorp.com – Featuring Poco Plus – May 2012

May 30, 2012

When the task of shopping for baby items falls to mom, dad is often left with gear that he’d rather not sport in public (flowery diaper bags being the primary offender). But Osprey’s Poco Child Carrier accommodates any wearer, both aesthetically and functionally. The pack’s torso length adjusts easily, with a handy embroidered size label to use as an approximate guide.

The series has three packs (Poco: $199, Poco Plus: $259, and Poco Premium: $299); we tested the Poco Plus and think this model gives you the most bang for your buck. All of the packs feature torso adjustment, but only the Plus and Premium offer a Fit-on-the-Fly Hipbelt that lets you tweak the length of the hipbelt pads while you’re wearing the pack. These two models also come with the must-have sunshade, which is ingeniously slipped into the back of the pack and springs out (with a near-audible boing) when you pull it out. The Premium features a removable daypack and a changing pad, so it’s up to you if that’s worth the extra $40. Regardless of the model, all the packs are for kids who can sit-up unassisted and weigh at least 16 pounds. The adjustable seat and shoulder straps also mean that the pack can grow with your kid. The stability proved to be reassuringly perfect after several outings. The maximum load is 48 pounds (carrier, child, and gear combined). The Poco Plus weighs 6 pounds, 15 ounces, so with a 25-pound kid in tow, you have 16 pounds to play around with. That’s a heavy load for a day-hike, but the pack has a hydration sleeve and a mesh back-panel to aid in staying hydrated and cool.

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Gorp.com – Featuring Stratos 24 – April 2012

April 20, 2012

What is it that separates a great pack from a good one? Streamline design, versatility, the right measure of features and none of the unessential, complex add-ons that just add weight and increase the chance of mechanical failure while on the trail. Admittedly, what a thru-hiker needs to break the AT land speed record and what makes a weekend warrior happy varies considerably–no pack can do everything perfectly. But the Stratos 24 comes damn close, targeting that sweet spot for people who discover hiking—and know it’ll become a growing obsession throughout their lifetime. The bag features Osprey’s spectacular AirSpeed suspension; the pack rests against your back on a mesh trampoline, while the pack contents are elevated on a curved platform. The space between the main compartment and your back create a veritable tornado of cooling air, from your waist to your shoulders. It’s one of the most comfortably harness systems we’ve tested. The single-panel top-load main pocket boasts 24 liters of storage (size medium), and is secured with dual nylon buckles. Mesh pockets on either side of the pack, on both sides of the hip belt, and on the left shoulder strap (perfect for sunglasses) expand storage options. The hydration-compatible pack also has two smaller pockets, one on the top for quick-grab items like food or a camera, and another tucked in over the top of the harness, complete with a key clip. And remember what we said about versatility? The Stratos has it in spades, including a removable rain fly and secure ice axe and trekking pole loops–ideal for when the novice hiker suddenly graduates the next level of gear nirvana.

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