Neo-Bike Packs — Osprey’s Rev Series of lightweight hydration packs looks to be something different. The made-for-biking line uses a unique harness setup the brand touts “provides a fit that is more like a shirt than a traditional backpack.” Media pockets give access to a touchscreen device through a TPU shield. They come to market in January for $110.
Zenith 88 pack ($349) and Raven 10 pack ($119)
The Xenith 88 is designed for extended backpacking trips, with a supportive and highly customizable fit, beefed up frame and deluxe suspension. Custom hip-belt molding is also available at most REI locations.
The Raven series is the new sister to Osprey’s Raptor collection of premium, mountain biking, hydration packs. Sized and tailored for a woman’s body, the Raven is equipped with a 3-litre reservoir and a hydration sleeve with a direct access zip for fast loading.
GearJunkie.com – ‘Best in Show’ Awards: Greatest Gear for 2013 – Featuring Portal series – January 26, 2013
iPad in your Pack — Tap on a Google map without removing your iPad or tablet from your pack. That’s one scenario with the Portal Series from Osprey, a pack and bag line that allows tablet users to access their touchscreen without pulling the device out while on the move. A padded tablet sleeve and a touch-through TPU window allow instant connection to a screen. There are two packs and a messenger bag in the line. Prices start at $99 this summer when the Portal series ships to stores.
On a spring ascent of Mount Shasta last week, a crew of GearJunkie editors and product testers scaled the 14,179-foot stratovolcano on a Peaks for Peace charity climb. Some serious product testing took place along the way, including a look at new packs, skis, a split-board, and a few “technical” sombreros to block the sun. Oh, and don’t miss the acro-yoga session on the summit ridge, where our YogaSlackers friends boost into a few crazy poses with their crampons still on!
I’d come with a group of 13 outdoor enthusiasts on the invite of Osprey Packs to the remote reaches of Gravel Canyon. For the trip, we would wind through a dozen miles of twisting, boulder-strewn slickrock, slots, and washes — an excellent venue to test gear and experience wilds few people ever see.
The trip started when we dropped into a side slot near the main maw of Gravel Canyon. Immediately, with my body pushed between a constriction, I realized the trip would entail a lot of thrashing, grinding against rocks, and moving through terrain not always friendly to gear.
The initial tight entrance gave way to mile after mile of technical maneuvers as we got into the meat of the descent. Stemming, climbing, crawling, rappelling, scrambling up and down, spread-leg chimney moves — all were required to traverse down and through the inner reaches of the canyon. In between the technical canyon moves we followed scant trails, stretches of gravel, washes, slickrock, and sand.
Our route, a common descent through Gravel Canyon, is rated Canyon 3B III, meaning technical climbing skills are required. Fortunately, our visit in mid-April coincided with spectacular weather and little threat of rain, which can quickly add danger to a canyon descent, where flash floods can start, well, in a flash.
On my back, I carried a 60-liter pack, the Aether 60 from Osprey, loaded with camping and canyoneering gear plus some photo equipment. Our guide also had me haul food and four liters of red wine for the group — we were balancing adventure with a bit of luxury on this trip, no doubt!
2012: The Coming Gearpocalypse
The Mayans might have thought the world would end in 2012. We’ll wait and see on all that, I guess. Mean time, a closer onslaught is coming in the form of the season’s biggest outdoor-industry event, the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market trade show, this month, January 19 – 22, in Salt Lake City, Utah, where a literal tsunami of gear will hit. As always, a few “junkies” from our site — reporters, editors, Team GearJunkie athletes — will be on the scene, and we promise comprehensive coverage of the coming swag-storm in SLC. But first, here below we provide a sneak peek at the coming gearpocalypse to preview some of the neatest new gear that will be whirlwinding in to land in stores sometime in mid-2012. Enjoy the ride!
Bike commuters rejoice! The new Momentum backpack from Osprey was designed just for you. Available in 26- or 34-liter sizes, the bag sells for $130 to $150 online. For that price, you get a slim-profile pack with several slick cyclist-specific features. After more than a month of testing, I came away believing that the Momentum can stand out as a strong contender in the saturated field of made-for-commuting bike packs.
On rides as long as 20 miles this spring, I have employed the 26-liter version to haul not only my computer but a change of clothing, shoes, and more. Understandably, with the padding needed to protect the computer, the bag seemed stiff at first. But soon it blended into the periphery and allowed me to transport my gear safely and with no discomfort at all.