After a year of all-weather usage, we review the Raptor 14 Hydration Pack. It’s one of Osprey’s best hydration backpacks for a day in the saddle; whether you’re mountain biking or commuting in the city. £89 from Osprey or Amazon.
Quick note: there are unisex, male and female specific backpacks out there. The Raptor 14 is male specific in it’s fitting. If you’re female and like the look of the Raptor, you might want to check out the female specific Raven 14.
Osprey has made a name for themselves in recent years with a range of thoughtfully designed, rider-specific hydration backpacks.
For a day’s riding we first looked at the other packs in the Raptor range. We felt that the Raptor 10 lacked the additional storage needed for a day ride and that the Raptor 18 was too large, unless you planned on taking a tent with you.
We wanted a light, mid-sized hydration backpack with enough space for lunch, tools, snacks and spares. The Raptor 14 offered everything we needed.
Osprey Raptor 14 Specifications
- Weight : 750g
- Dimensions: (mm) 470 (L) x 220 (W) x 250 (D)
- 3 litre Hydraulics reservoir
- Loads of pockets and storage
- LidLock helmet attachment clip
- Magnetized bite valve
Comfort and Fit
Osprey has gone all out to please riders on the Raptor 14 with plenty of unique features. The first thing we noticed (and love) is the comfortable AirScape foam panel on rear of the hydration pack. This soft foam moulds to your back to give a snug fit whilst the ridged texture allows plenty of airflow to keep you cool. It’s the most comfortable pack we’ve worn to date.
The Raptor 14 weighs just 0.75kg. Coming in at the light end of the mid-size backpack market with 14 litres of storage, it’s lighter than the CamelBak M.U.L.E. (0.77kg); although it’s unlikely you’ll feel the difference.
Comfort continues with the adjustable sternum and waist straps. They’re lined with a soft mesh to aid airflow so you don’t get a sweaty back or pressure marks on your shoulders.
Weight distribution is great too with the positioning of the water reservoir and storage compartments; whatever you’re carrying won’t shift around when jumping or cornering.
The backpack is made from tear resistant 70x100D nylon shadow creek fabric so it’s soft but hard wearing. We’ve put the Raptor 14 through hell with grease, tools, mud and rocks but it’s still in great shape and is machine washable.
Storage Features and Capacity
There’s loads of smart storage features on the Raptor 14 too. Soft-lined side pockets and easy access zippers keep your valuables separate from your tools and snacks. Plus, large loop rubber toggles allow you to open the pockets without having to take off your gloves.
Inside the bottom zip pocket unfurls a ToolWrap roll containing 2 further mesh pockets and a stretchy strap for any extra tools you want to take with you. This saves digging around in the main compartment whilst keeping them out of harm’s way should you fall as you won’t want to store anything hard in the waist zip pockets.
In addition to the four external pockets (dual waist strap pockets, a top and a bottom pocket), there are two large external pouches. These are perfect for stuffing in your windbreaker or snacks with a simple clip access.
Osprey has included a great LidLock™ helmet retention clip on a stretchy toggle with the Raptor range. Just pull it out and feed it through your helmet to clip it to your backpack. We love this feature. When you’re not in the saddle it’s a practical perfect alternative to hanging it from your handlebars.
Finally, there’s a loop on the outside of the pack to clip a blinking bike light securely, perfect for commuters and offers great visibility when combined with bag’s reflective graphics.
Inside there are plenty more storage features with a clip for your keys, a mesh pocket and two soft-lined wells, which are great for larger tools. This helps the Raptor 14 stay stable on the trails, nothing rattles around and everything stays where you want it to. The hydration bladder sits in a separate zip compartment.
Hands down, the best feature of the hydration pack is the bite valve magnet clip. This holds the water delivery system neatly in place when it’s not needed but ensures quick and easy access when you need a drink. It snaps back into place easily so you’ll never have a loose hose slapping your face on a descent.
Additionally, most of the tube zips neatly into your shoulder strap; meaning the hose won’t be flapping around behind you either.
The Osprey Raptor 14 comes with a 3 litre soft, durable, bladder which has some great features too. The hydration pouch has wide opening, large screw cap and rigid lid handle, so you can fill it up easily without squeezing water all over yourself.
The smart design of the hydration bladder lets it keep its shape when full to the brim and stops water sloshing around on a ride. With a fully loaded backpack and bladder, the Raptor 14 still fits snugly without uneven pressure distribution.
When wanting to detach the hose for cleaning, it can be a little tricky. The hose doesn’t detach as easily from the hydration pack as the CamelBak variant, but the Raptor 14’s construction and fit is far superior in our opinion.
The Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack is a probably the best mountain biking daypack on the market at the moment. It’s full of high quality, rugged and full of functional features which you won’t be able to live without once you’ve experienced them.
Like any other piece of kit, you want it to fit and feel right and the Raptor 14 ticks all the boxes. Faced with the CamelBak vs Osprey dilemma, we’d take the Osprey every time. Giddy up.