Interbike 2013: Osprey adds lightness too

New Rev fast/light packs and Radial tech commuter

Tucked in among its friends

Tucked in among its friends

Given their reputation for quality and accompanying lifetime guarantee, it’s no surprise that Osprey’s hydration packs have traditionally run to the ‘substantial’ end of things.  Function and durability have long been good and the packs have held up very well, but the Colorado company hasn’t always had much to offer the fast and light crowd.

12L Rev looking clean and sleek.

12L Rev looking clean and sleek.

For 2014, this changes with the introduction of the Rev series.  Coming in 1.5L, 6L, 12L, and 24L capacities, the Rev packs make use of what Osprey are calling the “Biostretch” harness and body (as opposed to waist) belt.  The design is intended to hold the packs’ content against the rider’s back while allowing the pack to move with the rider.  A pared-back and baffled Hydraulics LT reservoir does away with much of the Hydraulics model’s structure, contributing to significant weight savings.  As an added bonus, the reservoir’s disconnect has been moved to the top of the bag, reducing the liklihood of spillage when removing the hose.

Strap pockets make for easy access.

Strap pockets make for easy access.

The lightweight, breathable shoulder straps have ambidextrous hose routing and manage to integrate several easy-access pockets.  On the left strap, a flip-down “DigiFlip” pocket allows for easy smartphone or media player access.  All packs also include side mesh pockets- taken together, riders on the go should have little need to stop or remove their Rev for snacks, media, cameras, or small tools.  Pricing is nice as well:  $70 for the Lilliputian 1.5 and $100-130 for the 6-24L models, all including bladders.

Technical commuting is the best kind.

Technical commuting is the best commuting.

Also for 2014, the Radial range is looking like the pick of Osprey’s commuting-oriented packs.  Less fashionable than technical, the Radial series makes use of Osprey’s Airscape back panel to improve breathability and protect the rider from pointy contents.  A suspended sleeve should protect a laptop nicely, as should the integrated rain cover.

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