I’m going to be reviewing the Osprey Raptor 14. I’m sure this has been done before, but someone might take some things from this not in others. I was originally trying to decide between this and the CamelBak MULE; I’m really glad I went with the Raptor, I’ll highlight a few things below.
**One note: I think this might be an older version, maybe a 2015 model or something. Compared to photo on the website, the design is a tiny bit different. I got it off of Amazon, so who knows. Doesn’t look like much has changed functionally though.
Here’s the overall view:
It’s a nice looking pack. I like the black and grey, it’s nice and compact, and high quality materials are used throughout. Some of the strap excess is tied to the taught section of the strap, and the zipper pulls are a perfect size IMO. I’m not a fan of the designs on the waist strap, I’m not really sure what they are to be honest, maybe wing bones? It would have looked cleaner without them. But there’s plenty of storage and all sorts of things going on, let’s pull it apart and dive a bit deeper.
Here’s the overall with everything unzipped:
Lots going on here. I’m going to start from the bottom of the pack, we’ll get a bit more specific.
Here’s a lower tool compartment:
It has two zippered mesh compartments. The upper one is all open, the lower one is stitched in the center, creating two pockets. In the center, there are two elastic straps, maybe for a mini-pump, suspension pump, or whatever you’ve got that may be cylindrical. At the bottom of this photo, and the one above, you can see there’s a flap, this goes over the top of this as it’s rolled up, creating a barrier between the mesh pockets and whatever it touches. As some tools may be greasy or dirty, this is a nice touch that you don’t see all too often.
Flanking that pouch is the waist strap. You can see it in the next two photos:
Nice little zippered pouches on each side. Continuing the mesh/lightweight theme, the body-side of these are mesh. Really useful for something you’d like readily accessible. It just barely fits my iPhone 6 when it’s laying flat, but not sure it would when it’s on me and curved. Would be great for keys, maybe to throw your gloves in or something like that. Extra storage is always welcome right? The strap are real nice and solid, good buckles, and I love that they have the clasp attaching the excess to the taught side, so it’s not flapping around in the wind.
Moving up, there’s a top-opening pouch that’s buckled on the top. Here it is:
It’s hard to see in the photo, but at the bottom there is a mesh area. On the front of this there is a loop that you might be able to attach a light or whatever you want to. Not sure I get the mesh piece, but it’s not going to hurt anything.
Right behind that, there’s a zippered compartment, and this is my only complaint about the pack. More pictures!
Nice compartmented pocket, but they’re not easy to use. It’s a side-open pocket, with top-open dividers. I don’t know what they were thinking. It’s difficult to get your fingers in there, can’t put anything long in there because you won’t be able to get it in or out, I just don’t get it. This is the one thing I would change about the pack.
Now, both of those are on the front/inside of the front piece, which is buckled and strapped on and moves forward for more storage. Photo:
Pretty good area, expandable pretty far. Not much to say here. At the top you can see that plastic piece, Osprey says it’s for carrying a helmet. Not sure how that will be in practice, but looks like it will definitely hold a helmet, just not sure how securely.
As you can see, the plastic helmet-holder is on the front of another pocket. I think you know the drill by now:
Not super deep, but it’s more than large enough for a couple phones, and it has a non-scratch material for sunglasses. That’s on the front side of the following pocket:
It goes all the way to the bottom of the pack. It has the mesh pocket there and two smaller ones flanking it on each side. This is lined in the back with a semi-rigid material, to protect it a bit from the hydro reservoir.
I really love the design of the reservoir pocket. The zipper for it goes all the way up and over the shoulder pocket, where the drinking tube goes. A lot of packs have a series of loops or something you need to slide the tube through, but this one you just zip and unzip. Love it. Here it is opened and closed:
Inside the hydro pocket, removing the reservoir, it’s that orange lining again. I’m hoping it’s waterproof, sure feels like it could be. Feels like a rain fly of a tent, similar to that material, but thinner. Finely woven polyester or something like that. And here again, both sides have semi-rigid backing. Some good protection for the reservoir. Here’s that:
Speaking of the reservoir, here she is:
The most prominent feature is the handle on the front. Love that! The CamelBak pouches just kinda flop around and can be difficult to fill and handle, but this handle makes it so easy. Pouch material is good and thick, and the back is very rigid, which gives it tons of protection and stability. Really well designed reservoir. The drinking tube is fine, it’s tube, not really much to say there. I really liked the quick-disconnect of the old CamelBaks, you could disconnect the whole tube and dry it out. I’m sure I could just pull this one off, but this would be something beneficial. In their defense, the new CamelBaks don’t have that anymore either, so not sure if there was something bad about them. The mouth piece seems good, instead of the open/close lever that the CamelBaks have, you turn the entire mouthpiece to a 90* angle to the tube. When it’s at 0* or 180*, it’s closed. You can see it here:
You may not have noticed, but that’s a magnet on the end of the tube, and there’s another one on the buckle of the chest strap. Helps keep it in position, and is awesome. I always used small carabiners on my old packs to hold the mouthpiece so it didn’t swing around, so this is a very welcome addition.
Phew, alright, almost done. On to possibly the most important area for some, the back. Now, I haven’t taken this out into the field yet, probably tomorrow morning, but it seems pretty well ventilated. Of course, we’re following the mesh/lightweight theme here. The pads are actually formed the way your back is, slightly curved. They have slots cut in them, are soft, and I hope they’re made of some material that doesn’t absorb sweat. There are channels running between the pads, should allow for decent ventilation. The shoulder straps are a mesh and material combination, and not sure if you can see in the photo or not, but they are real breathable, can see right through them in parts. Here’s the photo:
One last thing, the warranty. The warranty is awesome! They call it the “All Mighty Guarantee”, and here’s what they say about it on the website:
“Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If we are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, we will happily replace it. We proudly stand behind this guarantee, so much so that it bears the signature of company founder and head designer, Mike Pfotenhauer.”
Now, there are a couple things that aren’t covered, things like color or delamination (which could be a pack-ruiner after some time), so head to their site to check out the full details: http://www.ospreypacks.com/us/en/customer-support/all-mighty-guarantee
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll try to remember to follow up to this later on, after I get some field time with it.