Let’s say that your winter travel endeavors—whether far away or close to home—involve some serious snow fun. And perhaps that enjoyment is found not on ski resorts’ manicured trails, but out in the backcountry. You’ll need a pack that totes your tools for fun, as well as those that can keep you out of trouble. Osprey’s Kode series packs are worth a serious look.
The pack incorporates an EVA foam torso harness and hip belt for comfort while you’re carrying your gear. The full-featured pack employs burly, rubberized straps and reinforced carry wings to secure your snowboard or skis. For boards and snowshoes, the vertical carry mode is the most comfortable and secure. For skis, there’s a choice between a diagonal and A-frame carry mode. Got an ice tool? There’s also room for that, as well as a top panel, stretch mesh stowable helmet carry.
Osprey is a small company that’s very serious about the environment we all enjoy, whether hiking, climbing or, in our case, biking through it. They’re committed to treading lightly on the planet and are careful to follow environmentally sustainable and green business practices. That’s all well and good, but the wrecking crew judges products based on whether they actually work. Fortunately, Osprey is also serious about the performance and durability of their packs. In fact, the company claims they will repair or replace any damaged or defective product, whether you bought it in 1974, when Osprey was founded, or yesterday.
The Raptor line is Osprey’s premium collection of hydration packs. They’re available in three sizes, designed for everything from quick, 1 1⁄2-hour rides all the way up to all-day epics. Our Raptor 10 pack falls right in the middle, sporting 610 cubic inches of storage and a 3-liter reservoir. The pack also features Osprey’s ErgoPull hip belt, which is designed to take the load off your shoulders and spread it more effectively across your back. The pack features too many pockets to list one by one, yet there is still room for a removable, rollout tool pouch that zips at the bottom of the pack. For safety, the pack also features reflective graphics and a loop to attach a rear blinker light. Osprey packs can be purchased through any reputable bike shop or through their online store.
I’m always hunting for gear that will help me perform better during competition. A critical key to performance is proper hydration and nutrition and for me, that means the right hydration pack.
The Osprey Rev 1.5, which will be released in the spring of 2014, has proven to be that critical gear.
The Rev 1.5 is the smallest in a new line of Rev packs Osprey designed for runners that the company says “are designed to move with the wearer, providing a fit that is more like a shirt than a traditional backpack.”
The Rev 1.5 ($70) comes with a 1.5-liter Hydraulics LT Reservoir with built in baffles to reduce barreling and sloshing. It is also equipped with a quick connect for easy removal from the pack for filling or cleaning. The bladder is so easy to access while in the pack I only use this feature for cleaning the bladder after use.
It weighs in at a scant 10 to 11 ounces empty.
Expandable harness pockets offer easy access to fuel or other gear with additional storage in the body of the pack…
We’ve all seen those people struggling through the airport, you know, the ones with huge, heavy packs along with another backpack or carry-on that keeps falling off their shoulder—nobody wants to be “that guy.” Instead, check out Osprey’s stripped down Ozone Series that offers up a lightweight and durable convertible suitcase. The new line of luggage has you covered for everything from typical travel to multi-day backpack trips and sightseeing in the city. The Ozone Convertible Series is a wheeled suitcase, a backpack, and a daypack all in one.
The series comes in carry-on size 50L, or 70L for larger adventures, but both weigh less than seven pounds. The daypack is 15L, which is plenty of space for a decent hike. The pack also has all of the components to help you travel more simply. There is a large padded laptop pocket, as well as another pocket for a tablet, and a clip for your keys in the smaller, outer pocket…
It’s a mystery to me how Osprey has managed to stay under my radar for so long—while the company may be best known for making solid outdoor packs and luggage, its line of laptop bags are robustly constructed and have well-thought out features that are right up my alley.
Case in point, the Beta. A messenger bag made from a range of polyesters (150D, 300D, and 600D if you’re into that kind of thing) measuring roughly 12 inches by 17 inches by 7 inches and capable of carrying up to 20 liters, the Beta doesn’t disappoint.
Available in four colors (red, black, brown, and gray), the Beta fits laptops up to 15 inches in a dedicated and padded laptop sleeve. As an added bonus, the laptop sleeve also features a sizable zippered pocket inside, ideal for corralling chargers, cables, and other accessories. The bottom layer of the bag is also nicely padded, so you won’t have to worry about your laptop clunking against the ground when you set your bag down.