The Osprey Raven 10 is a women’s fit mountain bike backpack incorporating a 2.5 litre reservoir and back system specifically designed for ladies. It’s a secure and sturdy pack that I reach for time and time again, despite some excess strap niggles.
The Raven 10 is the women’s version of the popular Raptor 10 trail pack, with alterations made to make it a better fit for women. We get a narrower shoulder harness set up with graded padding to suit our necks, shoulders and chests. The waist harness is shaped to suit women, which makes a lot of sense as we differ quite substantially in the hip and waist department compared to men. The packs overall, are shorter and narrower than the unisex oness, good news for those of us who have experienced packs hitting them in the back of the head on steep descents.
As the name suggests the Raven 10 is a 10 litre pack which now comes with a 2.5L reservoir rather than the 3 litre one that came with the 2018 pack. That’s still plenty of water though, although the bladder doesn’t have the stiff plastic backing anymore which is a shame as that structure made the old bladder a lot easier to deal with both in and out of the pack, but this one will save a bit of weight. The hose sits neatly over the right shoulder only inside a zip up sleeve. This zip allows access to the separate bladder compartment, it’s an easy job to remove the bladder and hose from the pack ready for filling. It uses the same Osprey bite valve which delivers good flow, although I found it hard to 'lock' close, it's a two handed job meaning it can't be done on the fly.
The rear of the pack has an updated version of the brands AirScape back panel which consists of foam ridge panels covered with mesh and is just as breathable as ever. The ridges are now directed towards the top of the pack rather than being placed horizontally which I suspect is to help heat rise up and away from the back. I tested this pack in winter ready for the January 2019 release so it was hard to fully test the functioning of this.
The hip belt is comfortable, it has two zip pockets on each side which are super useful. The waist belt pockets rise up the side of the body fairly high which does a great job keeping the pack stable. The stretch incorporated here makes the whole affair pretty comfy and allows the pack to be winched in relatively tightly with no discomfort.
The outside of the pack is very similar to last years version, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. There are still straps to winch flat the contents, a useful ‘LidLock’ helmet holder, an outer ‘stuff’ pocket (which is slightly smaller this year), a small pockets for valuables and a tall handle on the top which is easy to grab but a little large, affecting the packs good looks in my opinion.
The flexible shoulder straps are ergonomically shaped to take into account female curves, these have also been updated for 2019, with wider sections added to the upper part of the shoulder straps (top of the shoulders as positioned here) to make the pack more stable and mesh covering to aid breathability. I had no problems with the stability of last years pack and this version is no different, the pack sits nicely on the body and wider shoulder straps are certainly no hindrance to this.
A word on the straps though, the excess material left after strap adjustment is poorly thought out. There is nothing to secure the strap to the pack, where on a Camelbak pack there are elastic keepers, Osprey does not provide a similar retention system. If you are smaller then this leaves quite a lot of excess loose which is annoying and has the potential to get caught on things as you ride. As with last year’s pack, I rolled the excess up, used zip ties to secure and forgot about it. They’d have to be re-zip tied though if you want to adjust the pack. Osprey said last year that they have a solution for this and that future packs will address and fix the issue. I checked up on this updated before reviewing this pack and was told there is now nothing in the pipeline to address the problem, something I think is a mistake, it mars what is otherwise a perfect trail pack.
The main bag section features sections to store a pump and a shock pump which is handy and makes them easy to reach, there is plenty of room for snacks and a jacket and, of course, the tool roll at the bottom of the bag, keeping mucky tools out of the way of clean gear inside the bag. I’ve been really impressed by the bag’s water and muck repellant qualities, the tool roll stays clean and dry even with muck and spray coming up from the rear wheel.
Riding with the 2019 Raven is as good as the 2018 version, it’s the most stable pack I’ve ridden with, never once hitting me on the back head or knocking me off balance by swinging to the side when cornering. It fits very well, it flexes with the body yet retains some structural rigidity to support gear. It’s as comfortable and secure when fully loaded as it when empty. It’s my go-to, everyday pack, it’s fit and forget, it’s ready to withstand some rough and tumble too and at £110 (£5 cheaper than 2018), it’s not bad value for a pack this good. I just wish they’d fix that excess strap problem!
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