Having previously tested several new model Osprey packs at around the 8-10 litre capacity Raptor packs, I was really keen to try a larger model from their range. So, with no further ado, here is my Osprey Raptor 14 rucksack review.
Osprey have both 10 and 14 litre models in the Raptor range. They describe them as a ‘premium bike hydration backpack that helps you ride further and faster for longer. Designed to carry your gear and water, these are packs for the dedicated mountain biker.’
So, let’s explore the features. Osprey make the Raptor series from 210D Nylon Diamond Ripstop fabric. This is a durable and yet lightweight material aiming to strike a balance for rough and tumble activities where you also want to keep weight down.
The Raptor has Osprey’s AirScape ventilated foam back panel and harness. This is designed to offer comfort, lightweight and rigidity. The ventilated foam also contains ribs to aid ventilation whilst still offering stability for unrestricted movement. This is combined with Osprey’s BioStretch harness and padded hip belt. The shoulder straps again offers the benefits of the AirScape system while also offering performance fit shaping. This is specifically designed to keep the pack from moving off the shoulders. Osprey also include a sternum strap with magnetic closure to allow single handed operation.
One other useful feature of the hip belt is that each side features a stretchy zipped pocket. You always seem to end up with lots of little items when biking and these pockets are ideal for things like lip salve or energy gel sachets.
The gear storage options on the Raptor 14 also need some explanation. As always for Osprey, it is carefully thought out and thorough. Let’s work from the outer panel inwards. Firstly, there is what Osprey call a shove it pocket. This is a stretchy pocket ideal for storing everything from a spare layer to a map. It isn’t particularly weather tight, but it makes a great place to store bulky item or things that need quick access. There is a simple strap closure for this pocket.
At the base of the Raptor is another zipped pocket. Inside this you’ll find a roll out tool wrap. I think this is a great addition. The tool wrap is clipped in place but can easily be unhooked. This gives great flexibility as you won’t lose it, but you can separate it from the pack if preferred. The tool wrap is well specced with a selection of compartments. This gives plenty of room for trail side tools and some spares. The pocket also has a little spare capacity to store spares or inner tubes.
Moving inward, the next pocket you come to is a zipped organiser pocket. In here there’s a key clip and a few pockets. It is perfect for your wallet and keys but is just as suitable for tools or spares.
Behind this is a large stretch panel flap pocket that will hold equipment while also having a role in stabilising the pack. To do this job Osprey have added compression straps at the top and sides. This is especially helpful if the pack isn’t full as it cinches the contents up and stops items shifting around.
Behind this there is a long clam shell zip which accesses the large main pocket. This gives lots of storage capacity and will be your go too place for storage. Inside there are some organiser sleeves and a mesh pocket. The sleeves make a good storage place for longer items like a pump. There is one more pocket at the top designed as for scratch free sunglasses or phone storage.
The Raptor 14 comes with an included Osprey 2.5 litre Hydraulics hydration bladder. This sits in a dedicated panel at the back of the pack with the drink tube feeding through a dedicated zipped channel on the right shoulder strap. A nice detail is that the tube clips out of the way via a magnet positioned on the sternum strap. If you’ve ever had problems with a floppy drink tube you’ll know how handy this is.
What else? Well on the front Osprey have added reflective graphics to aid safety. There is also a light attachment point. On the front of the pack Osprey have included their Lid Lock helmet attachment system. This is a neat and simple plate that feeds through a ventilation slot of your helmet to grip it securely.
So, the key consideration of any Osprey Raptor 14 rucksack review is how all those features perform on the trails? Well, in completing this Osprey Raptor 14 Rucksack review it is firstly essential to consider who and what a pack like this is for. I generally try to go on my mountain biking adventures with as small a pack as possible. Often for me this would mean taking either a waist pack or a smaller pack of around 8 litres. For many rides I would consider 14 litres to be quite a large pack. That said, a pack of this size is ideal for mountain bike guiding or trips where taking more clothing or equipment is needed.
Firstly, the organisation options on this pack are superb. Osprey always get this really well dialled. The main compartment opens easily via the clamshell zip and, once open, has plenty of storage space for clothing and equipment. Two long sleeves allow easy storage of a pump or similar tools and a mesh central pocket is ideal for stashing food or spares.
There is a sunglasses/electronics pocket at the top. This is designed to offer non scratch storage. It is ideally placed for easy access and I’ve had no problem with items getting damaged in here. I usually store my phone in here.
In front of this there is another panel that can be used for storage. This is a clever expanding panel that has a stretch panel on each side. This section isn’t completely enclosed, but does secure with double strap closures at the top. These straps also cinch the pack so that contents don’t move around. A further strap at each side finishes this job really efficiently. If the pack is fully loaded it feels stable and if it is only partly loaded it still feels stable.
Another zipped pocket sits in front of this panel and inside there is an organiser pocket with a mix of pockets. There is also a key clip in here. This pocket could be used for spares, first aid equipment, snacks or simply your keys and wallet. It is a great little addition that doesn’t feature on some of the smaller size packs.
Almost there! On this side of the pack there is also an elasticated stash pocket that secures with a quick release buckle. This is a great size for storing maps or a spare layer. You could also use it to store items like your gloves or lightweight knee pads while jumping on the uplift or hike a biking.
The final storage pocket is at the bottom of the main body of the Raptor. This a zipped pocket containing the tool roll. This allows quick and easy access to tools and spares. It also keeps messy repair kit away from the rest of your gear. Once the tool roll is packed away there is room in this pocket for some other smaller items. I’ve been keeping spare tubes in there.
The Hydraulics bladder sits in a dedicated zip pocket behind the AirScape back panel. There is a storage clip to hang it in the vertical position. It is then a simple job to zip the pocket and you are ready to go. This also means you don’t need to open the main pack to remove it. An opening allows you to feed the hydration tube down the left hand shoulder strap if preferred.
Osprey’s bladder system is great. The bladder opens via a large and secure slider closure which is quick and simple. This allows you to easily add ice cubes or hydration tabs and it also make cleaning the inside very simple. The Osprey bite valve is efficient and the magnetic clip allows it to be very simply stashed. It clips easily onto the sternum strap when not in use and its a solid dependable design.
I really like the fit of the Raptor 14. The ridged AirScape back panel moulds comfortably to the shape of the back and feels both comfortable and stable. Once you combine this with the shaped and padded hip belt and sternum strap then the Raptor feels glued securely for even the most wild biking manoeuvres. The back panel also breathes well. I won’t say that you don’t get some build up of moisture on hot and sweaty days, but it is easily as good as any the best biking packs I’ve tried. The addition of two smaller zipped pockets on the hip belt offers another great addition for storage of small spares or snacks.
The Raptor is made from 210D Nylon Diamond Ripstop nylon fabric. This strikes a good balance between lightweight and durability. So far the pack has easily stood up to the rough and tumble of biking. This fabric also offers decent weatherproofness which is especially important for UK conditions. This isn’t to say the pack is waterproof. Infact, very few models on the market are designed to be fully waterproof. I would advise to always pack your essentials in dry bags in wet conditions.
So, my Osprey Raptor 14 Rucksack review highlights another winner from Osprey. All the bases are ticked for a fully featured high performance mountain biking rucksack. The Raptor will soak up the essentials for a long day in the saddle while providing a comfortable and stable carry. The Raptor is also great value. I think a RRP of £120 for a pack of this quality and with these features is fantastic. Well done again Osprey. You can find details on the Raptor 14 on the Osprey website here. The short review video below is also well worth a watch.
If you are after a small capacity pack please check out our review of the awesome Osprey Siskin 8 here.