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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring FlapJill Pack – May 6, 2014

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring FlapJill Pack – May 6, 2014

May 6, 2014

Would your mother or wife prefer to be climbing, boating, or running rather than brunching this Sunday? If the answer is yes, read on. Skip the flowers and honor what she loves to do by following these gear suggestions from six dedicated moms who also happen to be elite athletes…

Beth Rodden, one of the most celebrated crack climbers in the world, will only have been a mother for ten days this Mother’s Day. Needless to say, she hasn’t put much thought into what gifts she wants or what she’s going to do. “We’ll probably just hang out,” Rodden says.

She did suggest the Osprey FlapJill pack for other moms because of the bag’s versatility. “I’ve been using it for a crag or bouldering pack and now I’m using it as a diaper pack,” Rodden says. It’s easy to access the gear thanks to multiple zippered entry points—turns out this feature works equally well to reach shoes or a jacket as it does to grab diapers or wipes.

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring Variant 52 – January 9, 2014

January 9, 2014

Exercise caution when you look for an inexpensive mountaineering pack. Remember, a well-built pack is going to last a lot longer than a cheap one, and you want to make sure it won’t fail at a crucial moment.But that doesn’t mean there aren’t good options out there that cost less than $250. To help you choose the perfect pack, here are some tips from Outside Buyer’s Guide winter pack tester Ryan Stuart…

Osprey Variant 52

The Osprey Variant 52, like the Alpinisto, will be too small for weeklong alpine mountaineering trips, but if your main concern is versatility, this is the pack for you.

“It can do a lot of things well, if you’re good at packing it correctly,” says Stuart. “It can be a backpacking pack, a mountaineering pack, or a ski pack in the winter.” The Variant is built from super strong 210-denier Cordura and it will accommodate a large range of users since the hip belt comes in four sizes.

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring Xenith 88 – September 1, 2013

September 1, 2013

Desert Gear: Osprey Xenith 88

Everything you need to plan the perfect Grand Canyon summer escape

Carrying four nights’ food and lodging for myself and others means an inevitably heavy pack. The Gear of the Year–winning Xenith was spacious enough (5,400 cu. in.) and—most important—perfectly fitting, with heat-moldable hipbelts and easy on-the-fly load adjustment. Especially handy in the thirsty heat was the externally accessed hydration sleeve, for quick refills. $349.

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring Poco Premium – August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013

Best For: 6 months—40 pounds (child must be able to support his head)

This pack gets five stars on just about every feature, but what else would you expect out of an Osprey pack? Though a little late to the party in the child carrier game (first model was released in 2010), it is clear that Osprey has done their homework, as their line of carriers is top-notch.

This work horse boasts a whopping 2075 cubic inches of storage space, as well as a detachable daypack for shorter excursions, just like the Kelty. Of the frame backpacks, this is the most adjustable—26” to 52” in the hip belt, and 15.5” to 21.5” in the torso. Of course, this carrier also comes with all the bells and whistles of the other frame packs—changing pad, sun shade, hydration compatible, and plenty of pockets.

PROS: Adjustability. This is probably the best option for parents who are on opposite ends of the size spectrum. As with other Osprey products, the customer service team is top-notch—expect answers to your questions within 24 hours, and in the event that something breaks, rest assured Osprey will stand by their products. A perfect option for backpacking and climbing approaches.

CONS: It hardly seems like a fair review without listing at least one con, but, to be honest, I was hard-pressed to find any.

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring Cyber Port – August 2013

August 1, 2013

Best Tech Friendly Pack: Osprey Portal Series Cyber Pack

The Cyber Pack looks like the love child of a waterproof iPad case and commuter pack. Unzip the front panel of the Cyber Pack and tuck it away, and you can access your tablet through Osprey’s “portal” without taking the tablet out of the pack. The pack’s “powerhouse cord organizer” looks a lot like any dopp kit that you would bring traveling with you, but I appreciate Osprey pushing the point of placing all of your cords in one place. Available now.

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring Xenith 88 – May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

With bigger packs, it’s all about suspension and fit. Testers raved about how easy it was to tailor the Xenith to their bodies: the pack comes in three sizes, and you can choose between four shoulder-harness and heat-moldable-hipbelt options. The result is downright clingy—in a good way. “She held on to my hips and didn’t let go,” raved a lonely) tester. Little details like a removable top lid, to save weight on day jaunts out of camp, were smart and svelte additions, as were side zips for easy access, roomy hipbelt pockets, and an external hydration sleeve, so you don’t have to wrestle a bladder into a crammed pack. Add it all up and it somehow doesn’t balloon quite as much as you’d think: despite the huge capacity and full array of features, the Xenith still weighs a few pounds less than some of its competitors. 5.5 lbs.

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring Xena 85 – May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

The Best Women’s Packs of 2013

There’s a perfect bag for every adventure. These seven options are standouts. (…)

BEST FOR: Serious Backpacking

The Xena—the women’s equivalent of the Gear of the Year-winning Xenith pack—is nearly as big (with enough capacity for weeklong trips) and every bit as awesome (it’s especially good at stabilizing heavy loads). Best part: you can heat-mold the hipbelt to perfectly contour your body. 5 lbs.

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OutsideOnline.com – Featuring Beta Port and Powerhouse – May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013

Along with laptops and smartphones, tablets are tech that has become integral to daily life.

So Osprey designed its Portal series of packs to make access easier. Its new Beta Port courier bag has a padded pocket with a clear port window just under the flap that lets you use your tablet without removing it from your bag.

“The Portal Series is a great example of how technology and design can be married in a really innovative way,” said Cassie Tweed, product designer at Osprey. “With the new Portal series, we have broken new boundaries by designing packs that aren’t just for carrying, but for interacting with tech tools.”

The Beta has separate padded laptop and tablet sleeves, document sleeves, an organizer panel to keep small items secure and accessible, a scratch-free electronics/sunglass pocket and a padded top grab handle. Buy Osprey’s PowerHouse Add-On ($15) separately—it holds a laptop cord, tablet and cell phone cords, battery packs, USB drives and other accessories to keep them from getting lost or tangled.

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