Osprey Raptor 14 hydration pack review
Lots of clever features enable the Raptor to soar over other hydration packs. Osprey are most proud of the hydraulics feature – a gently preformed, wedge-shaped 3l Nalgene Hydraform bladder that, when ﬁtted into the bag, adds a degree of pressure to force water through the hose and valve into your mouth, reducing the ‘suck’ power required.
The bladder also has a neat carry handle that enables easy ﬁlling from a tap (like a jug kettle), without you having to juggle a structureless bag of water.
The pack draws a neat line between being ﬂexible and semi-rigid, thanks to its mesh Airscape back panel and the use of thin rip-stop nylon and stretch Lycra for the construction.
So, you get a pack that offers good venting while remaining close to the back, and has the ﬂexibility to pack in odd sized/shaped items because it hasn’t been overstructured.
We like the magnetic hose clip, the internal pump pocket, easy access hip pouches and one-ﬁnger zip pulls. There’s another small but signiﬁcant touch that we all fell in love with, too: the helmet clip, which enables you to attach your helmet to the pack. It’s just a curved piece of plastic on an elastic bungee – sublimely simple – so why all packs haven’t had this for years beats us.
Available in 6l, 10l, 14l (1,053g weight) and 18l versions, there’s one for most applications from ultra minimalism to fast day rides. The middle size (14l) version is perfect for most two-to four-hour rides where you might need an extra jacket, mid layer or some snacks stuffed in.
We really like the ﬁt of the Raptor: it’s right up there with the best from CamelBak and Hydrapak with a ﬁrm conﬁdent feel, regardless of load.