The recent trend of riding without a backpack is understandable given that many packs are uncomfortable, heavy and unstable. In response, some brands have introduced clothing and systems allowing tools and riding necessities to be carried without a pack. But there’s still a lot to be said for riding packs, and they remain the only option when it comes to being prepared on long rides.
When I first saw Osprey’s Syncro 15, I thought it looked like a child’s backpack. You know–those tiny little things that only fit a coloring book, one sock and maybe a stuffed animal or two. Despite my hesitations, I gutted my current pack and swapped everything over to the Syncro 15. It was like one of those magical bags from “Harry Potter” that’s bigger on the inside: I fit everything in it that I usually carry and still had room for three extra tubes, an extra jacket, food, my DSLR and lens, plus the full 2.5-liter reservoir that’s included with the Syncro 15.