The Osprey Raptor is an excellent trail pack with tons of versatile storage. It holds enough for medium to long rides, sits well even when loaded, and includes a 2.5L reservoir. It's well made too – there's very little to fault.
Built from a tough fabric that’s taken rock undergrowth scrapes happily, the Raptor has four zipped main pockets: two with mesh organisers, one with a tool roll pouch, and one for coddling your shades or googles.
It also has a pouch that concertinas open between the main body and outer pockets, in which you can stuff a jacket or body armour, and a helmet retention device. It’s a neat solution and works well.
You also get two small zipped pockets on the hip panels, which are useful for stashing snacks, multitools or other small things you want handy. Other details include reflective areas, a whistle on the sternum strap and a rear light mounting point, though there's no rain cover – heavy rain or long soggy rides will defeat the fabric, though occasional showers are okay.
The 14-litre volume is excellent for a trail pack, and just right for anything up to a day's ride. The webbed internal pockets are thoughtfully shaped and sized, and everything bar the small outer front zipper works well – this one is just a bit small at the mouth, which makes it awkward.
The tool pouch is a nice touch, with zipped pockets and two straps to hold a pump, though they're only big enough for a pretty small pump. You can fit a larger one in the main body, of course.
Unfortunately the tool pouch is right at the base and in a prime spot for getting soaked - on wet rides it gets damp inside - which is obviously not so great for your tools.
The meshing gives decent ventilation, even on hard-effort climbs, and the Raptor even has the good manners not to interfere should you need to get off and carry the bike. It creates enough of a ‘shelf’ to rest the bike on top, and the wide straps even provide a little padding.
The Raptor is a tall, narrow shape that doesn’t interfere with movement when riding, either. I’m 5’10, with a long back, and the Raptor feels a good fit, with plenty of scope for taller riders too. The shoulder straps are light foam with mesh for airflow, and generally very comfortable – I only wanted more padding with the pack absolutely overloaded with camera gear, pads and water.
Time for a drink
The reservoir feels a bit basic compared to the rest of the pack. It works just fine but feels very plasticky, and you're forced to remove both hose and reservoir to refill. The hose can’t be quick-released and left in situ, and while there's a handy zip for accessing it, that only works if you run the hose on the right.
I also feel the hose could be a touch longer, and its magnetic catch needs to be stronger, although – on a positive note – the reservoir as a whole proves solid and leak-free.
The waist strap has a natty pull motion to tweak fit on your hips, and the broad side panels keep unwanted swinging and bouncing on rough trails to a minimum.
I really like the 14L Raptor - its size, the well-considered storage and its comfort make it a really solid choice of pack for all kinds of trail riding. If there was a rain cover and a more refined reservoir it'd be near perfect, and the price, whilst towards the premium end, is well earned.
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