Osprey Packs appointed Patrick Piller as bike sales manager, a new position. Previously, Piller has served in several leadership positions in the industry, including sales manager for Tifosi Optics, brand manager for Light & Motion Bike Lighting Systems, brand manager for Easton Bicycle Components & Vredestein Tyres, and customer service and inside sales manager at Veltec Sports.
He will responsible for increasing Osprey’s presence in the Independent Bicycle Dealer market, managing the company’s September Interbike debut, and leading the early 2011 U.S. bike channel business launch.
“As we look to expand into the bike category, we knew we needed someone with both in-depth IBD experience and a passion for bikes to lead us, and Patrick was the perfect choice,” said Gareth Martins, director of marketing for Osprey Packs.
He has also raced, served as a mountain bike world cup team mechanic, and endured three years (including winters!) as a bike messenger in Minnesota.
Piller will be based out of Osprey’s U.S. headquarters in Cortez, Colorado, beginning Monday, May 10.
“I am really excited to be joining a company with the history of innovation and quality that Osprey has,” said Piller. “I am honored that I have the opportunity to work with the super talented and hard working people at Osprey to grow both the brand and their new Hydraulics line in the bike channel.”
ow we picked them: First, with help from the Outdoor Industry Association, we got the word out to eligible applicants–nonprofit or for-profit companies with at least 15 employees working in the U.S. Our project partner, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based research firm Best Companies Group (bestcompaniesgroup.net), then sent registered companies a confidential employee-satisfaction survey and an extensive employer questionnaire to collect information about policies, practices, and benefits. The results were analyzed by the Best Companies Group, which ranked the 50 winners in order of who best enables employees to balance productivity with an active, eco-conscious lifestyle. Here’s our complete list
Osprey Packs, Inc., a leader in creating top-quality, high-performance, innovative packs to comfortably and efficiently carry gear, today was named to Outside magazine’s third annual “Best Places to Work” list. Osprey was ranked number 12 out of 50 selected companies, and is one of only five companies to be chosen every year of the award. The full list and related story will be published in the May issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands April 13, 2010.
Outside’s “Best Places to Work” list was compiled with the help of the Outdoor Industry Association (outdoorindustry.org) and Best Companies Group (bestcompaniesgroup.com). The year-long selection process began with an outreach effort that identified a wide range of non-profit and for-profit organizations with at least 15 employees working in the United States. Participating companies were then sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys and employer-questionnaires to collect information about benefits, compensation, policies, job satisfaction, environmental initiatives, and community outreach programs. All of the results were analyzed by Best Companies Group experts, who selected the 50 companies that strive to enhance their employees’ enjoyment of active endeavors, and environmental and social involvement.
“Having happy, fulfilled employees with company paid time to get outdoors and give back to the community is just as important to us as having stellar products,” said Gareth Martins, Marketing Director of Osprey. “We try very hard to bring work-life balance into the workplace, and we’re honored to get this recognition once again from Outside.”
“These 50 companies come from a vast array of industries but they’re all following the same enlightened path,” said Michael Roberts, Executive Editor of Outside. “They’re successful businesses in a challenging economy precisely because they support a proper work-life balance. They know that benefits like on-site gyms and fitness classes, reimbursements for ski passes and sports racing fees, and support for community service efforts during work hours make their employees happier and thus more productive.”
There were several aspects to Osprey’s positive workplace culture that stood out among all the other applicants. Generous vacation time (three weeks for starting employees), a fitness program that includes paying employees to walk or bike to work and a floating “powder day” in winter are just the tip of the iceberg.
The six-page quarterly report outlines the independent pack manufacturer’s continuous efforts to explore sustainable and socially responsible solutions in manufacturing. The document also describes the company’s initiatives to support volunteerism, encourage the use of alternative transportation and green building practices, reduce carbon emissions, and fundraise and forge partnerships with environmental and SW Colorado-based non-profits.
“For the past 36 years, sustainability has been built into our packs, which are designed, manufactured and guaranteed to last a lifetime,” said Sam Mix, outdoor marketing manager of Osprey. “Beyond our product, Osprey is always pursuing new ways to make a positive impact in our community and protect the wild places our customers love to explore. This report offers a bird’s-eye view of these efforts and provides examples that show our commitment to sustainability.”
Here’s an overview of the highlights of the report:
• The company continues to realistically explore solutions for incorporating reusable, recyclable and overall less impactful materials in its products, such as the ReSource series. These active everyday packs include the percentage of recycled materials in each style screened right on the pack.
• Osprey is constantly improving its supply chain to localize raw material sourcing, reduce waste and ship products in recyclable poly bags within recycled carton boxes.
• Being one of the few brands with a locally staffed office in Asia allows Osprey team members to inspect working conditions, advocate for fair wages, monitor fair labor practices, and understand and address any other concerns or issues.
• The Osprey Volunteer Incentive Program allows team members eight hours of paid volunteer service per year. This translated to more than 200 hours in 2009.
• Working with Conservation Next, a program of the Conservation Alliance, Osprey helped execute and participated in a successful Backyard Collective Volunteer Event performing critical trail work and invasive plant removal in Eldorado Canyon State Park near Boulder, Colorado.
• Osprey continually seeks out opportunities to decrease its carbon footprint, and has used the Sustainable Transportation Initiative to make significant reductions in emissions. This effort has produced over 4500 individual trips using carpooling, biking, and walking as alternatives to individual motorized trips.
• The company continued their tree planting project lining the south side of Osprey headquarters in Cortez, Colorado, with deciduous trees. The trees provide cooling shade in the summer while allowing the sun’s warmth to enter the building in the winter.
• The Osprey in-house recycling program is the most comprehensive business-recycling program of its kind in southwest Colorado. The 2009 calendar year saw the addition of electronic waste and household batteries into an already sizable list of accepted recyclables.
• Osprey helps support Telluride’s mission to green their lifts by sponsoring green power for the Prospect Express (Lift 12).
• The Osprey Pro Deal Donation Program, which requires a $2 per transaction donation, raised more than $5,300 in 2009 for diverse, environmental non-profits including the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Pacific Crest Trail Association and others.
• Osprey donates five percent of all proceeds from bi-annual community Local’s Sale events to select, local non-profit organizations. Osprey raised over $3,500 in 2009.
• 2009 marked Osprey’s debut as a national sponsor of The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival, the largest environmental film festival in the United States.
“Osprey is committed to not only maintaining our current efforts, but seeking out new opportunities for long-term sustainability and community outreach,” said Gareth Martins, marketing director of Osprey.
Here is some other coverage…
The hydration pack market is (forgive me) flooded. Sew an extra sleeve inside, buy an unbranded IV drip for a bladder, and you’ve got yourself a product line. Now along comes Osprey, a small company very much not into copying others, with an offering of seven “hydraulics” packs, and the obvious questions to ask are, are they different and are they better? Well, I gave the smallest pack, the Raptor 6, one of National Geographic Adventure’s gear of the year awards a couple months ago, so in my eyes the answers are yes and yes. Details to follow.
The Raptor 6, however, is a bit too small for my purposes–perfect for hour loops, training rides, a trail run, but lacking the capacity for three hour, four hour, all-day adventures. That’s where the Raptor 10 comes in. It’s still compact and trim enough to be an everyday sprint pack, but has the room for a few thousand calories, some extra layers, and an industrial-sized patch kit.
All seven of Osprey’s hydration packs are built around the idea that sucking hard to get your water sucks, so they’re designed with a simple system called HydraLock, which pressurizes the reservoir and increases water flow. HydraLock stabilizes and squeezes the bladder, which also cuts down on sloshing–not a huge issue for cycling but something that quickly becomes annoying on a trail run. The flow it creates isn’t exactly at the level of a fire hose, but it is improvement over traditional systems. Bite the valve and it’s like opening the faucet a trickle, give it a pull and it streams.
Okay, brownie points for a executing a good idea. Lack of water pressure isn’t the biggest issue in hydration packs, though. That would be poor design and inattention to how these suckers actually feel on your back. And that’s where the Raptor 10 really shines–this little pack carries great, whether you’re bombing down a rock garden on a rigid single speed or motoring like Legolas along a loamy old-growth trail.
The key, I think, actually comes from HydraLock. For this pressurizing system to work, it needs structure–a plastic spine on the reservoir, a semi-rigid frame that doesn’t collapse under its own weight, a back panel that’s more substantive than simple padding–and that provides the Raptor with corporeal stability that translates to carrying comfort. It’s found the perfect blend of conforming to your body yet having enough backbone to carry a full three-liter reservoir without tugging on the shoulder straps at every pedal stroke.
Other features worth noting include a helmet carrying system that secures your lid without letting it flop around like an empty turtle shell on a runaway poacher’s pack, stretchy pockets on the waist belt for energy packs, and a strong magnet on the sternum strap to hold the bite valve at the ready.
The Osprey Raptor 10 costs $89. It comes in gray, dark green, and gold, weighs 27 ounces, has a 10-liter capacity, and measures 18 x 8.25 x 7.50 inches.
For more on Osprey Packs, including warranty, factory locations, and where to buy, see The Adventure Life’s company profile page.
If you’re looking for a laptop backpack that’s more streamlined and less bulky than most on the market, the Osprey Flap Jill Pack ($89 list) may work for you. The bag’s design–complete with bird of prey logo, spray of flowers, and brightly colored, changeable webbing–is snazzy, too, though it’ll probably appeal more to students and creative types than to business people.
I carried this very comfortable bag around for several weeks. My favorite thing: The straps in back don’t slip off my shoulders! This is a problem I’ve experienced with many other backpacks–and it’s very annoying–but the slim Jill Pack stayed up for me. (Osprey also makes the Flap Jack Pack, sized larger and designed differently for guys.) The fact that it’s so slim means you won’t be able to pack as much into it as you can with other bags, but it’s just fine for a day pack, especially if you’re commuting on crowded trains. You’ll be able to slip laptops up to 15 inches into the inner padded sleeve.