It’s getting harder and harder for women to choose kit these days, because we seem to have more choice than ever before. The Osprey range alone features women’s specific packs for commuting, racing, big mountain days out and everything in-between. In this case I have gone for the Osprey Raven 10 – a female specific riding pack designed to carry all your gear and enough water for a long day in the saddle.
The Osprey Raven 10 is pre-loaded with features to make your ride more comfortable. To start with, there’s the AirScape™ ventilated foam back panel, made from a soft foam that’s shaped into ridges for comfort and fit. I have found that if I don’t pack it right, the back pad is soft enough to be bent into an uncomfortable shape and not sit flush on my back, but that aside it’s comfortable even when fully loaded. The pack has a hip belt made from a material that’s ever so slightly stretchy – not so much that it’s immediately obvious, but certainly enough to aid comfort. The sternum strap is adjustable, an essential feature for any women’s riding pack, and the straps themselves are padded for additional comfort.
The hydration reservoir is 2.5l and has its own compartment, making it really easy to take in and out to refill. There’s a small buckle to help keep it in place, and the hydration hose can be routed either side to suit everyone. The reservoir itself has a simple folding top with a clip that slides on. I’ve had no issues with the reservoir leaking from either end of the hose, and the mouthpiece has the option to lock it off.
There’s an abundance of pockets on this pack. The main section zips down low enough to not have to fumble around for your items, but not so much that it flops open, and it has a small mesh pocket with zip closure for security which contains a key clip. At the back of the main section there are three open pockets, two of which are perfect size for a track pump, shock pump or a larger multitool, and the middle one has proven to be excellent sandwich storage with a spare tube at the bottom. It’s really handy having a pocket for your pump, as it makes it easier to locate when out on the trails.
The outer pockets start with a generous sized glasses/goggle pouch with a scratch free inner material. This pocket isn’t fleece lined or padded, so you’ll need a case for any breakables that you do choose to keep in there. The hip belt offers a zip pocket either side, which are just big enough for a handy snack or an easy access multitool, but there’s no way you’ll fit a phone in.
The front of the Osprey Raven 10 has a stretchy pocket with a buckle closer, which is great for your extra layer. This section also includes a clip for a light. Finally, there’s a large pocket at the bottom of the pack that houses a tool roll. My tool kit grows by the week, I’m even at the point where I carry a mini torque wrench now after discovering my ‘engineer’s feel’ was way off the mark, and I can fit everything in this section.
Other details include the zip grabbers, which make it easy to get hold of the zips even with thick winter gloves on, and a bike helmet attachment. There’s a big handle on top of the Osprey Raven 10, which I have put a lot of strain on by over filling my pack and then leaving it hung up, and it’s sturdy enough to take the load.
The Osprey Raven 10 pack is really comfortable, and even when full the weight is spread so evenly that it doesn’t cut in on the shoulders or feel overbearing on my back.
|by Amanda for 5 months