THIS week I have been out and about testing Osprey’s compact but feature packed Raptor 14 hydration backpack 

Who are Osprey?

Founded in California, Osprey have been making backpacks since 1974. “Today, Osprey products continue that pioneering spirit, being used on the highest mountains to the remotest islands and everywhere between,” they say.

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What is the Raptor 14?

It’s a go anywhere backpack with room for all your essentials that comes with a handy hydration unit.

What are its main features? The Raptor 14 is packed with features – no pun intended. Made from 70D x 100D nylon, it is lightweight, but sturdy, and designed for carrying everything you need if you are hitting the trails for the day or taking part in that sportive or long distance ride.

Slim for minimal drag, you might struggle to fit the likes of a laptop in, for example, so it’s maybe not for those on the morning commute.

But if you live for the open road and the fresh air then I have yet to come across anything to challenge it.

It weighs in at 0.73kg, before you fill up the three litre reservoir, meaning the only weight you are carrying is whatever you pack in it.

The reservoir itself, located against the rear of the backpack, is easy to remove, access to it gained by sliding the protective cover off and then pulling apart the plastic strip along the top. Once full, the whole thing clips in place inside its compartment.

Osprey have included a neat touch to prevent the so called ‘wandering hose’ problem. When you are not using it locks conveniently to the bottom of the pack’s adjustable strap with the aid of a magnet – simple and very effective.

The water, or whatever you care to fill it up with, flows freely with minimal suction required – something I have not found with every hydration pack. It’s also easy to clean out and replenish.

If you either head out on long rides or, like me, tend to end up further than you intended after getting a little carried away with your pedalling, then there’s room aplenty for all manner of clothing, tools and the like.

The Northern Echo:

There are two main compartments, the central one also having three further pockets, one that would secure a phone and others for pens etc.

There’s another more accessible compartment with a drainage hole where you could put wet gear, for example, and a flexible front section, secured with a clip.

In addition, there’s a part just for your tools which folds out of the bottom of the pack neatly and quickly and has two meshed zippered pockets. Once you have reached your destination, there’s also a handy LidLock for securing your helmet to, removing the need to try and squash it into your bag.

Given that you are going to be wearing the Raptor for a considerable period of time, the last thing you want is a build up of sweat between yourself and the pack. With this in mind, Osprey has designed in its AirScape backpanel with foam ridges for ventilation.

Finally, across the whole thing are reflective graphics and a space for an LED light.

How much does it cost and where can I find out more?

The Osprey Raptor 14 costs £125 and more details are available from www.ospreyeurope.com