Osprey Raptor 10 Review:
With the rise in popularity of frame and saddle bags, even over panniers, it seems like backpacks have been pushed to the side. But nothing can replace being able to get on and off your bike with everything you packed without needing to remove or unstrap anything. That convenience will always be appreciated.
As a daily commuter by bike and a frequent hiker, a light and comfortable backpack is critical. So my quest for a new cycling pack began. While researching the brand that rose to the top, with good reason, is Osprey. If you are not familiar with the brand they are known for quality backpacks, have a satisfying lifetime warranty, and are well-received by others.
The Osprey pack that caught my eye was the raptor 10. The raptor series, which is aimed at cyclists, provides cycle specific features while being a very comfortable pack. This pack hit the most important qualities I was looking for in a pack; comfortable and a pack that keeps my back cool.
When it comes to comfort, the raptor 10 is a dream to don. Most of the time I'm surprised how light the backpack feels on my back, and at times I even forget I'm wearing anything.
The raptor 10 comfort starts with Osreys “airscape” back, which incorporates a mesh that is suspended over a ribbed foam back panel with large channels for airflow, providing a cool back on long rides. Incorporated behind the foam is a stiff plastic panel that keeps the pack from bending or morphing when full, always keeping the pack off the mid back section and only making contact on your lower back and shoulders. These components are working together to provide an optimal amount of airflow. This may not be Ospreys touted ‘coolest’ backpack, but I was impressed how well it kept my back cool.
These ‘cool’ features extend beyond the back of the backpack. The hip straps are transparent as they are made up of different mesh materials. The shoulder straps are made up of more mesh wrapped around foam with vent holes found across its length. I commend osprey with going for mesh hip straps as they are comfortable enough to support a small pack like this, but also provide a great deal of ventilation.
As for comfort, I have no complaints. The foam incorporated in the shoulder straps are soft. The hip straps are large enough to grab onto a good section of pelvis and wide enough to not feel like its trying to cut into skin. The hip belt, shoulder straps, and elastic sternum strap keep the pack stable while on tough rides.
Can tick off cool and comfortable and make the sale, right? Sure cool and comfortable were my top criteria, but this bag does so much more in some of the best ways and is the reason why I went with this pack over others.
The pack comes included with one of the best three liter water bladder I have ever used. The bladder has a mouth that opens the whole top length of the bag making it easy to fill and clean. The bladder has a plastic back that keeps the bag stiff, but also helps protect the back from abrasion when setting it down. Lastly, the bag has a handle built right into the bladder making it easy to hold the bag when filling. The bag is a pleasure to use all the way through.
The bladder pocket has a zipper that comes partially down a shoulder strap where the hydration tube exits through. This allows the bladder tube to be secured close to the bag, but also makes it easy to remove the tube and bladder from the pack for cleaning. The tube runs out of the hydration pocket, through an elastic strap, and then connects to a magnetic clip attached to the sternum strap. This magnetic clip allows the bite valve to easily be clipped on and off and more importantly be in the same position every time. A convenient and easy to use system.
On my short daily commutes I dont bring the bladder and instead carry my 10 in ipad pro. Although I dont own a 13 in thin laptop to test, my guess is that it would fit snuggly as I can fit a 10 in ipad pro and 12 in laptop with some room to spare.
The osprey raptor 10 is not shy of pockets. Besides the water bladder pocket that can fit a thin and light laptop, the Osprey has a large main compartment with a few segregation pouches, a small quick access soft touch pocket for glasses or electronics, a hidden compartment inside the soft touch pocket for keys and wallet, hip belt pockets on either hip belt, a ventilated mesh pocket on the outside that can help dry off small wet clothing like gloves or socks, and lastly a tool pouch pocket located on the bottom of the bag.
When commuting I carry my iPad pro, Canon m6, additional lens, AirPods, air pump, mini tripod, and a light jacket. Even with these items I have plenty of room to spare.
Want to see how much the osprey raptor 10 can hold? Check out what I packed for the Camino de Santiago on bike.
As a cycling backpack the osprey 10 incorporates some neat cycling specific features. My favorite is the helmet clip which keeps your helmet with the bag. The backpack includes a collapsible and removable tool pouch at the very bottom of the pack. The tool pouch can unravel and hang off your pack or if going for a hike, the pouch can easily disconnect from the pack. Found along the front are reflective patterns and a place to secure a bike light. All these features are specific for cycling, but do not get in the way if you use the pack for any other activities such as hiking or traveling.
If I were to find a complaint for this pack it would the lack of weather cover. Unlike Ospreys other 10 liter cycling packs, this pack does not have a weather cover included. The material is advertised as water resistant, but do not expect your items to be dry in downpour. This can easily be remedied by using dry sacks or buying a rain cover.
When it comes to looks I think the raptor 10 beats all other packs I have seen. The pack comes in three sexy looking colors; red pepper, black, and persian blue. My first choice was the blue, but I guess that was everyone else's first choice as well. I’m happy with the black as it incorporates a neon green to the inside of the pack that offsets the dark outside. A bright interior is great for trying to find items inside the backpack.
The pack isn't cheap, but in my eyes is well worth the money, especially with that lifetime warranty and osprey reputation. Iv been more then pleased with the Osprey raptor 10. It has been more comfortable then I can imagine and large enough to fit what I needed. This is my new go to bag for day hikes or riding.