A backpack can make or break a long day on the trail.
The same can be said about plenty of gear — boots, outerwear, even something innocuous like the right socks — but even a nasty blister doesn’t compare to aching everything. In my years of hiking, biking and backpacking across the world, the heaviest and most noticeable piece of equipment is always the tangle of straps and pouches and nylon riding on my shoulders.
Osprey might as well win a Nobel Prize for backpack science. The Cortez-based manufacturer was born and bred in southern Colorado, where designers tested and retested their packs in the burly San Juan Mountains. Not only does that mean Osprey is a local company — nothing can beat the hometown selling point these days — it means the company’s gear is built for Colorado conditions.
The 2016 Skarab and Skimmer daypacks are part of Osprey’s new collaboration line with Hydraulics. Like all other bags in the line, including the minimalist multi-day Manta and Mira packs, the Skarab (men’s) and Skimmer (women’s) feature a built-in hydration system, complete with a 2.5-liter bladder and separate bladder pouch between the main compartment and backpanel.