I spent last weekend at Kingdom Trails in Vermont riding with friends. We arrived Friday afternoon, dumped our stuff and got in 2-and-a-half hours on the trail before dinner. Then we did another couple Saturday morning, took a break and throw ourselves back out there again in the afternoon. By Sunday, we were all pretty wrecked, but we wrung every last drop out of the legs, before hosing ourselves down, packing in some food and heading home.
To make all that possible, I took the Osprey Raptor 10 with me. This is a mountain biking pack with a 2.5-liter hydration bladder and enough storage to bring food, clothing and knickknacks along too. There are compartments and dividers. There is a way to attach your helmet to the top. You can put jellybeans in it, but don’t forget they’re there and have them melt in one of the pockets. It’s a bad scene. The challenge with this pack really is to make sure you’re not bringing too much stuff, because it has all the capacity in the world.
They make a Raptor 14, with even more capacity. I’m not sure why, but if you’re an-everything-and-the-kitchen-sink person, you might look at that version. My friend Chapman said he wishes he had pliers along on some rides, and scissors. Yeah. I don’t get it either.
One thing I particularly like about the Raptor is its low profile. It’s not too bulky. It has a stable waist belt, and a chest strap that also has a magnetic connector for the hydration valve. It’s super adjustable, so it fits a wide array of torsos, and Osprey also make the Raven 10 for women, with adjusted proportions and straps in the right places.
Kingdom Trails offers a lot of twisty, swoopy dirt with the opportunity for air around most corners. Having a pack that sits tight is key, and when it’s warm out (as it will be for the rest of our lives now) being able to tote all that liquid is a game-changer too.
I’ve used this Osprey pack for hiking and skiing adventures too. You could mow the lawn in it, if your lawn was real big.
The Raptor/Raven 10 is normally $155, but it’s actually on sale right now, from Osprey for $107.95. If you have any need for a new, long-day hydration pack that is a SCREAMING deal. It comes in four colors. I, of course, have the black. The others are Orange Sunset, Cedar Green and Wildfire Red.