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OutdoorGearLab.com – Featuring Talon 22 (Top Pick) and Raptor 14 – June 2013

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OutdoorGearLab.com – Featuring Talon 22 (Top Pick) and Raptor 14 – June 2013

June 1, 2013

We took 11 top packs and spent six months hiking, biking, and running to find which is the ultimate hydration system. Ever since the first CamelBak arrived over a decade ago, hydration options have changed a lot and there is now an overwhelming number of innovations and options. Which of these innovations is necessary and do you even need a dedicated hydration pack at all? Read on and be sure to check out the article How to Choose a Hydration Pack where we go more into the pros and cons of hydration packs and reservoirs.

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Top Pick – Most Versatile

Narrowly missing Editors’ Choice is our own creation: the Osprey Talon 22 with Platypus Big Zip SL. It is the most versatile system we tested and scores very high for storage and comfort. Best of all, when you don’t want a hydration bladder/hose you just remove it and you are left with the Editors’ Choice from our Day Pack Review. Carefully read our How to Choose a Hydration Pack article… you may find you want a setup like this and not a hydration pack after all.

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BlisterGearReview.com – Featuring Raptor 10 and Raptor 14 – July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012

I’m a bit of a pack nerd—a thirsty pack nerd. I think hydration packs are the greatest thing since beer and sliced bread. My first CamelBak Mule, purchased in 1997, was an absolute game changer for me. In the years since then, I’ve gone through a number of packs from CamelBak, Dakine, and Vaude. All were tolerable, with some targeted highlights like armor-carrying straps or great back ventilation, but I also always found something I didn’t like: weight, lack of small bits organization, saggy/sloshy bladders, or fit. With the Osprey Raptors, I’m about as close I’ve gotten to declaring a perfect bike pack.

The Osprey Raptor packs are what you get when people who know how to build incredible, technical backcountry backpacks decide to try their hand at hydration packs. They are jam packed with features like HydraForm Reservoirs, Hydralock, AirScape Suspension, LidLock, BioStretch….

I know, I know. My eyes usually start to glaze over beneath such onslaughts of marketing jargon, but I promise that all of these oddly capitalized words work together to create a supremely high-functioning hydration pack.

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Gadling.com – Featuring Osprey’s Raptor 14 – September 8th, 2011

September 13, 2011

I have a bit of a fetish for daypacks and, as such, I’ve become quite particular about what I like and what annoys the heck out of me. That’s why I was so excited to try out my new Osprey Raptor 14 on a recent trip to Zion National Park. With temperatures pushing 100°F, hikes lasting hours and the air as dry as a bone, it’s incredibly important that you have the right supplies and that you’re comfortable throughout your time on the trails.

Osprey packs always feature impeccable construction and the Raptor 14 is no different. It feels indestructible. The reservoir is held snug and I never felt any sloshing around when I was hiking. The Raptor series utilizes Osprey’s AirScape suspension system, which helps distribute weight evenly and allows for airflow so that your back doesn’t become a sweaty mess.

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Bike World News – Featuring Raptor 14 – August 1, 2011

August 12, 2011

Osprey’s Raptor 14 Hydraulic hydration pack is impressive because it has a collection of unique, well thought out features, notables being the wedge-shaped 100oz Nalgene Hydraform bladder and Airscape Suspension system.

Hydraulics refers to the bladders ability to remain flat against your body, even when filled thanks to a rigid rear panel that’s sculpted to conform to the shape of your back in the cycling position. The front side of the bladder has a plastic carrying handle that performs three functions: it protects the lower half of the drinking tube so it’s always in an optimized flow position free of pinching, it acts as a secondary support to retain the bladders shape and insure that perfect fit and also aid in filling by providing structure and a handhold. Add in Nalgene’s contamination resistance and you have one of the most effective, easy to use bladders available.

Airscape is a mesh outer covering on the back of the pack to keep direct contact to a minimum and provide a degree of cooling. By positioning the weight of the pack slightly off your back Osprey was able to add rigidity to the pack’s basic structure without affecting overall comfort and fit. This rigidity matched to the design of the bladder makes it exceptionally easy to pull out and put back the bladder in it’s compartment even if the pack itself is stuffed full of gear and food.

Just the features mentioned above make this one of the best designed and most comfortable hydration packs available but attention to detail in the pockets themselves make the Raptor 14 that much more impressive.

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EasternSlopes.com – Featuring Raptor 14 Hydration Pack – August 19, 2010

August 26, 2010

A quick switch of clothing and equipment, and the day turned from mountain biking to mountain hiking, with the bonus of a picnic at the summit becoming part of the new plan. We’d picked up some local cheese and paté and put them in our cooler for an evening appetizer; instead, they were pressed into service as a decadent lunch, along with some of our usual traveling bag of food. The Osprey Raptor 14 hydration pack that I’d been trying out is larger than the typical MTB pack, and was able to handle our lunch easily. That’s actually pretty impressive for an MTB pack; our lunches aren’t exactly starvation rations! So, in short order we were headed up the trail. And, I do mean up.

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