This smartly designed daypack carries well, protects itself from rainstorms, and makes sure you stay properly hydrated.
This daypack combines an ultracomfortable carry, a smart, hydration system that’s easy to fill and drink from, and a smattering of features that will set you up for a smooth dayhike, no matter what you carry or what weather you encounter.
The team at Osprey has always thought about pack design a little differently than most. And when they set about to create what they felt was the perfect hydration pack, the thought process was no different. To them, it was not about simply creating a better hydration pack, because a poor reservoir design would defeat the system. They also felt that simply designing a better reservoir wasn’t enough either, because if the pack wasn’t
ideally matched, it too would create an imperfect marriage. So, Osprey founder and chief mad scientist Mike Pfotenhauer worked with his design team to conjure up a new hydration pack system, with the pack and reservoir fully integrated. They call it the Hydraulics line of packs. Eager to test what Osprey claims to be “the most innovative and best-designed hydration packs,” we ordered a Mantra 30 hydration pack, and from February through May 2010 our tester wore it backcountry skiing, mountain biking, during a 24-hour adventure race, and day hiking.
I own a number of packs for a variety of pursuits and they all have hydration support. What this usually means is a compartment for a bladder and on the higher end packs, elastic bands for tube routing. That’s really the extent of the “advanced” features when it comes to hydration packs – until now. Osprey, a name synonymous with high-end technical packs, has recently introduced their Hydraulics line and their engineers have come up with some really unique features that make so much sense, it makes you wonder why nobody thought of them earlier. The Raptor is geared towards mountain bikers and comes in four sizes, all the way down to a minimalistic 6 liters. It touts a dedicated tool pocket, blinker light attachment, reflective graphics among its features. The Manta is their answer to a modern daypack and the one I am most excited about. Three sizes (20, 25, 30L) means anything from a full day outing to a light overnight. It boasts a built in raincover and trekking pole attachment among its lengthy feature list.
What really sets this series apart are the best-in-class innovations. First is the bladder, which was developed by Nalgene. The stiff back allows you to easily slide it into a pack even when loaded. It provides support that molds along your back and you can refill it even when the pack is full. It also is designed to prevent barreling while creating positive water pressure. Another feature I really like is the magnetic attachment for the bite-valve. Great innovations by Osprey, check it out.
Osprey has just introduced two new hydration packs, the Raptor (above) and the Manta. The Raptor is the smaller of the two and is available in four sizes. It was designed specifically with mountain biking in mind and features dedicated tool, pump and other pockets inside the main compartment.