Finally, we found out that Osprey does not have enough packs yet! Introducing the Karve, a “sidecountry” pack, which will be available fall 2011. What’s a sidecountry pack you ask? Well, think of the sides of a ski run, where one can get into some powder. The Karve – which will come in 6L, 11L, and 16L sizes for US$79, US$89, and US$99 respectively – has an amazing design. It will carry skis diagonally or a snowboard vertically on the front, it has one zippered insulated shoulder strap (bottom left)for a drink tube, hydration sleeve inside, shovel blade sleeve, shovel handle sleeve, probe sleeve, fleece-lined goggle pocket, electronics pocket (bottom right), and of course a main compartment. The whole pack has a thin profile so it can be worn on a ski lift. And the graphics on the exterior are pretty cool; available in three colors.
Here at FitSugar we are all about staying well hydrated on the trail. Wearing a hydration pack is way more comfy than schlepping reusable water bottles in a regular backpack, and the BPA- and PVC-free water reservoir of Verve 7 ($74) holds 2 liters (that’s 70 ounces) of liquid. Better yet, it’s designed for women — the fit is sublime, especially through the shoulders. Plus this has pockets for stowing tools and tubes making this a great pack for attacking the mountains on your bike. Pick one up at REI.
PROS – This was my favorite episode to date. I got to test this pack in the Wasach Mountains of Utah. We hiked up Maybird Canyon to the base of Mt Pffierhorn. This pack performed great. It is very well made for back country day trips in the winter. I had my board strapped on the outside and it carried very good. Cool features include: Camel Back Insulation, Fleece Lined Goggle compartment, Helmet Net, Belt Pockets. The straps that carry your board are reinforced. All the zippers have bungee cord to be easily used with gloves.
Staying hydrated on the slopes is critical and having a place to stash a snack, tools and extra layers doesn’t hurt either. The Osprey Manta backpack ($140) comes with a custom-fitted Nalgene water holder. A mesh suspension back does its job to make you never feel like you’re carrying around a sack of water. Adding a magnet to the on-off pivoting bite valve lets it snap to the sternum strap, keeping the tube from flying around while you’re flying around.
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If you prefer a backpack to a messenger bag, or just need something a little more on the rugged side, then the Osprey Packs Flare is a solid contender. The Flare is lightweight, made of weather-resistant material, and has pockets and pouches for all of your essential tech gear.
The Osprey Flare ($79) looks like a hikers’ backpack shrunk down to be more compatible for everyday use. It has one zippered main compartment and three exterior elastic pockets with clip closures on the outside of the bag. The adjustable shoulder straps are heavily padded and have chest clips to keep the pack in place. The pack feels comfortable when worn due to the squishy built-in back pads. The outside of the Flare also has numerous loops, clips, and straps for adding on more items.
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