Osprey Raptor 10 Hydration Pack: First Impressions- by Guitar Ted
With several hydration pack choices out on the market, it gets kind of bewildering to figure out just which one will work for you. To that end, Twenty Nine Inches is looking at three new hydration packs that we feel fall into that “sweet spot” of 10 liters or so in capacity. Grannygear is looking at the Camelbak M.U.L.E, NV and the Dueter Compact Air EXP 10, which you can see the intro on here, and also I have the Osprey Raptor 10, which I introduced here. Now with several hours of riding with the new and improved Raptor 10 under my wheels, how has this pack been performing? Here are my thoughts so far….
Packing Up: The new version of the Raptor 10 packed up with my gear easily. I did really like the Tool Roll idea going in, and in practice it looks to be a winner of an idea. I was able to organize my stuff in there well, and I even put in a few emergency items like zip ties and some tape, along with my needle nose Vice Grip pliers. Up on top, the lined eyewear pouch is great for a set of shades with different lenses ready to go, and in the inner pocket up there I placed my compass. (You know- those things folks used before GPS? )
The main compartment is easier to load, since it flops open widely allowing you easier access. I got my two pumps- a shock pump and a mini-pump- in there, along with a spare tube, rag, some tire levers, and some lube. I also stuffed a wind breaker in there with room to spare. The bladder sleeve now opens much easier, and allows the bladder to come out much easier. I was able to stuff the full compliment of 3 liters of water into the bladder without any trouble.
The hip pockets, now useful since they have zippers for secure carrying of articles, got a couple gel packets on one side and my multi-tool and cell phone into the other side. (Note: Images and explanations of all these pockets can be seen here.)
Riding With The Raptor:
With days mixed between shirt-sleeve comfortable temperatures and cold, chilly, over-coat days, I have been able to get a feel for the Raptor 10 in varying states of dress. The harness adjusts easily and stays secure where you set it. This is great for the days you have to layer up and need to “let out” the mainstays a bit. The harness sits nicely on the body with no hot spots or uncomfortable pressure points, even with a full compliment of water and gear on-board. On days where it was warm, I felt the improved harness straps felt cooler. The AirScape back panel does ventilate better now, which helps keep me cooler. Only around the bottom of the pack did I ever get a tiny bit of discomfort from perspiration, but it was minimal. Really- I can’t ask for much better in this regard.
The thing that has really impressed me at this point has been those hip pockets. I can fetch things out on the fly, and zip the pocket back up one handed. Nice! This makes the Raptor 10 that much more likeable in my opinion. Being able to grab that thing- whatever it may be- a gel, the pocket camera, your multi-tool- without taking the pack off is brilliant.
The other thing is the hydration hose and new, more powerful magnet that secures the drink tube to the upper harness strap. It sits lower than the older version of this pack’s did, and I find that it is less obtrusive while riding due to this. The tube, by the way, flows fluid easily, and the valve lock works as well as the older version’s did- a good thing there.
The Raptor 10 is stable while riding, and I haven’t hardly noticed it while navigating the twisties out in the woods. It sits nicely on the back, and along with that improved harness, is actually quite comfortable to wear while riding so far into this test. I’ll be riding with this pack some more and will have a bit more to say in a few weeks.
Note: Osprey sent over the Raptor 10 pack to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge. We are not being paid, nor bribed for this review. We will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.