Seven Sure-Fire Picks for Father’s Day
If your father is like ours, the travel and outdoors gear in his arsenal has elevated to near-museum status. We have seven items that upgrade his old-school stuff into the modern world, as well as a handful of high-tech options to keep him on the cutting edge.
Osprey Poco Plus Kid Carrier
Inspire Dad to take the kids into the wilderness with this best-in-class kid-carrying backpack.
Repin It to Win It
Outdoor recreation requires stuff. This also means you need to carry your stuff, which means in bags.
We solicited outdoor gear bags from manufacturers in all aspects of the outdoor industry and selected these 10 as our top choices for toting your goods around. Read our reviews — then follow this link to our Pinterest contest page. Repin It to Win It — whichever bag is repinned the most will be given away to a lucky follower!
Osprey has taken everything they learned from the Raptor, Manta, and other packs they have produced and used those lessons to release two new ultra-refined pack series: the Syncro and Zealot. Having previously reviewed the Manta 20 and Viper 13, I am familiar with the high quality of Osprey packs, and not much has changed there!
When I first checked out the Zealot at Interbike I was thoroughly impressed with the direction this pack was going. So read on, and for all you riders who fancy the wilder side of riding, pay close attention. This just might be the pack for you!
The Zealot is a definite departure from Osprey’s other packs, specifically in the materials department, with heavier duty materials and thicker webbing (straps). The mix of 210D, 500D, and 1000D nylon make up this pack, along with sections of stretch material strategically placed for comfort, and the ability to stabilize gear stored in those pockets.
Well-known backpack maker Osprey has made a big splash in hydration systems with its expansive Raptor line. The Raptor 10 is the second smallest among the four Raptor packs. At 610 cubic inches, it straddles the line between short-haul racer and long-distance packer. The pack benefits from Osprey’s load-lightening suspension system and comfortable back panel. It also has a reinforced reservoir: The rigid design keeps the pack from rolling on your back and makes it easy to slip it inside the bladder sleeve.
In this world of gear specificity (this jacket is made for short women of Eastern Europe descent who trail run in moderate temps with four-knot winds and the threat of a light rain, primarily in deciduous forests), it’s refreshing to find a pack that performs in pretty much every condition we explored. Though the Osprey Escapist is billed as a bike-specific pack (for day rides and as a stash pack for hut-to-hut pedaling), we took this hauler hiking and zip-lining in Puerto Rico’s rain forests; daily bike commuting in the nation’s capital; mountain biking in Bend, OR; and rambling through La Paz, Mexico, and it never failed us. Much of its success comes from its lightweight construction. A the front panel makes it easy to stash a lot—lunch, layers, camera, and lenses—in the expansive main compartment. In front of this cavernous section, you find another, narrower section with three three mesh pockets help organize small items, like bike tools, sunglasses and headlamp. A sizable one-zipper top pouch keeps other items (cell phones, notebooks, sun block) within easy reach. The back sheet employs Osprey’s Airscape ventilation system—but in hot, humid conditions, you’re still gonna get a sweaty back. Thankfully, mesh shoulder and waist straps add a cooling measure of breathability. There are bike-specific features (reflective detailing, a clip for a light, and a great helmet attachment), but don’t pigeon-hole this day pack; 1,220 cubic inches of storage and other features like the attached rain fly stashed the base and an external hydration pocket keep the Escapist firmly rooted in a variety of travel and outdoor activities. The only potential Achilles’ heel: the zippers on the second panel occasionally snagged in the pack’s fabric when the pack was lightly loaded.
When the task of shopping for baby items falls to mom, dad is often left with gear that he’d rather not sport in public (flowery diaper bags being the primary offender). But Osprey’s Poco Child Carrier accommodates any wearer, both aesthetically and functionally. The pack’s torso length adjusts easily, with a handy embroidered size label to use as an approximate guide.
The series has three packs (Poco: $199, Poco Plus: $259, and Poco Premium: $299); we tested the Poco Plus and think this model gives you the most bang for your buck. All of the packs feature torso adjustment, but only the Plus and Premium offer a Fit-on-the-Fly Hipbelt that lets you tweak the length of the hipbelt pads while you’re wearing the pack. These two models also come with the must-have sunshade, which is ingeniously slipped into the back of the pack and springs out (with a near-audible boing) when you pull it out. The Premium features a removable daypack and a changing pad, so it’s up to you if that’s worth the extra $40. Regardless of the model, all the packs are for kids who can sit-up unassisted and weigh at least 16 pounds. The adjustable seat and shoulder straps also mean that the pack can grow with your kid. The stability proved to be reassuringly perfect after several outings. The maximum load is 48 pounds (carrier, child, and gear combined). The Poco Plus weighs 6 pounds, 15 ounces, so with a 25-pound kid in tow, you have 16 pounds to play around with. That’s a heavy load for a day-hike, but the pack has a hydration sleeve and a mesh back-panel to aid in staying hydrated and cool.