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Osprey Seral 7 hip pack review

The Seral 7’s size and comfort make it a go-to pack for longer rides

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £90.00 RRP | USD $100.00 | EUR €100.00 | AUD $150.00
Osprey Seral

Our review

An impressively stable and body-hugging large pack with well-balanced weight distribution
Pros: Secure fit that feels deceptively light when loaded up
Cons: Lack of open mesh side pockets
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Osprey’s Seral 7 hip pack’s flat profile and baffled HydraPak 1.5L reservoir are designed to ensure it stays balanced and secure.

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The wide side pockets, with lightweight AirMesh fabric, add to the all-day comfort of this high-quality, practical bag.

Osprey Seral 7 details and specifications

As its name suggests, the Seral 7 has a capacity of seven litres.
Ian Linton / Our Media

The Seral 7’s voluminous seven-litre carrying capacity is distributed evenly, making for a well-balanced, slim pack. It weighs 518g (382g without a bladder), which is impressive given its size.

Welded baffles in the HydraPak bladder help to keep the weight of the water close to the body, and the bladder’s low profile prevents it from encroaching into compartment space.

The bladder’s hose is routed through an opening at one end of the zip, making installation and removal easier compared to bags with hidden, internally routed hoses.

A close, contoured fit is achieved via Osprey’s ErgoPull side straps that help cinch the bag in the hip belt, bringing it in close to your centre. And, just as Osprey claims, it “improves… comfort by achieving a perfect fit”.

The pack has plenty of ventilation thanks to ridged panelling and an air flow channel (dubbed AirScape), combined with a lighter mesh material (AirMesh) under the side-pocket wings.

The lined front compartment has a key clip and two internal compartments, one of which is zipped. It’s designed to protect a smartphone.

Osprey Seral 7 performance

The mesh material aids comfort levels.
Ian Linton / Our Media

The Seral 7 is well suited to long all-day rides on gnarly trails thanks to its large capacity and its ability to stay put over rough, steppy trails.

The central panel and mesh material make an appreciable difference to all-day comfort and freedom of movement by ensuring pressure is kept off the base of the spine and sacrum.

Once familiar with how it best rests on the hips and the optimum tension required to securely tighten the hip belt – which was less than I originally thought it would need to stay put – I was able to forget about it entirely and concentrate on the riding.

I was impressed with the lack of movement over fast, rough descents and slow, techy steep trails. I didn’t have to reposition it after every run.

This is thanks to the way it conforms and wraps around the body, leaving no gaps. Its shape-hugging fit meant it didn’t jump around and swivel during testing.

The lack of mesh, elasticated side pockets was a minor frustration, however. I like to use these to store items of clothing I take off while on the move and missed having them on the Seral 7.

Replacing the mesh pockets are spacious, easy-to-access side zipped pockets, but these aren’t as versatile as the mesh ones.

I was still able to access the front pocket easily to get a phone out while climbing, which was useful.

How does the Osprey Seral 7 compare?

Installation and use of the bladder hose is simple and effective.
Ian Linton / Our Media

Its close, secure fit gives it the edge over the competition and not having to reposition it after every run made it stand out from other packs I’ve tested.

The closest performer is the EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3L. Arguably, this has a more comfortable strap, but has less than half the total capacity.

Comparing the Seral 7 to other packs that can fit a 1.5l bladder, it not only remains in place but also feels less bulky and weighty thanks to the low, flat profile and baffled reservoir construction.

Osprey Seral 7 bottom line

It’s a pack that’s ready for longer rides.
Ian Linton / Our Media

The Seral 7 exudes quality and is ergonomically sound. It’s best suited to riders who prefer a larger pack for longer rides.

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It’s a great replacement for a cycling backpack, keeping the weight off your shoulders. Smaller riders may struggle to get a tight enough fit given the size of the bag and side pockets, but this problem is shared across most hip packs.

How we tested

We tested five hip packs designed to make life easier on the bike. We filled them with our usual all-day ride stuff, including tubes, pumps, snacks, tools and emergency supplies, and wore them while riding a wide variety of terrain in Scotland’s Tweed Valley.

This included trails with high-speed sections and super-technical features, to see whether they stayed put or bounced around and became uncomfortable. We also wore them for some daily rides and commutes, to see how user-friendly they are and whether they make our list of the best hip packs.

Packs on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price AUD $150.00EUR €100.00GBP £90.00USD $100.00
Weight 518g – 382g w/o bladder
Brand Osprey

Features

Features HydraPak Reservoir included: 1.5l
Available colours: Claret Red; Black; Dustmoss Green
Capacity 7l