For the last two years, I rode around with my hydration pack hitting me in the back of the head off every jump. It’s not that we had a bad relationship, mind you — my dog had just chewed off the hip belt. It was her puppy phase, and no strap was safe.

When I met up with a friend and he was wearing a shiny new Osprey Raptor 10, I was immediately intrigued. The pack and the company producing it both have a pretty good reputation in my circle of riding buddies. Here’s their “All Mighty Guarantee,” in their own words: “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.” Sounds pretty good to me.

I did the bare minimum of research before pulling the trigger, mainly debating over the 10L version vs. the 14L, and I’ve been incredibly happy with the pack. I’ll start with the basics.

In addition to the hip belt with two pockets that went missing on my last pack, the Raptor 10 has a single main pocket with a mesh area that’s perfect for keeping your new smartphone screen from getting too frisky with your car keys and the empty beer cans likely living in the bottom of your pack.

It also has vertical pockets on each side that are either for bringing along tasty trail pickles or a pump, like my Lezyne Micro Floor Drive pictured here. Depending on the season (and the ride), I generally bring along an extra layer and some sort of rain shell like my Outdoor Research Helium II jacket that packs down to about the size of a hackey sack.

Extra protection built into the bladder.

The Osprey 10 comes with a 3-Liter “Hydraulics” reservoir. I was initially disappointed when I saw the fold-and-clamp closure system. Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always been a screw-top kind of guy. I can also admit when I’m wrong, and the closure system has yet to let me down with the slightest leak. The bladder also comes with some plastic back protection built in. I’m not sure whether it’s for me or the bladder, but I like knowing it’s there.

Lots of purpose-built mountain biking packs come with tool storage of some sort, and the Raptor 10 is no different. A convenient unrolling pocket at the very bottom of the pack means heavy things like multitools, tubes, and CO2 cartridges stay down there, while other light, fluffy things like granola bars and marshmallows are stored higher up. This might not have a drastic impact on your center of gravity, but it’s a nice detail.

Why yes, it does match my bike — thank you for noticing!

And ultimately, the details are really what set the Raptor 10 apart. There’s a little zipper lock to keep your tool pocket from accidentally opening and dumping your thoughtfully-chosen emergency tools all over the parking lot, you Eagle Scout. There’s a magnet that keeps your bite valve nicely in place on your chest strap. Sounds like a gimmick, I know, but it works perfectly the vast majority of the time.

The magnet generally only fails when you’re having an OoB (off of bike) experience

There’s a pocket for your glasses that has a nice, soft liner so your clear-lens tri-goggles (like mine) get scratched up defending your eyeballs on the trail instead of in your pack.

Using it on a commute? The Raptor also has a spot so you can rock a red blinky light in traffic, as well as a “Lidlock” attachment to hold your helmet that I can’t take advantage of since I have a Smith Forefront. Not being able to walk around looking like a ninja turtle is a small price to pay, I guess.

Pocket for glasses or phones.

I was a little concerned that the 10-Liter version of the Raptor would be too small. If you’re looking for something that doubles as a light day pack for the rest of your active lifestyle you might want to bump up to the 14-Liter. I’d go with the 10 if your pack is strictly destined for riding. It’s been perfect for everything from two miles (it was really cold that day) to 82, and if you pack smart you can make every cubic centimeter of space count.

Speaking of, here’s what I bring in my pack, just for kicks:

  • Phone (I <3 Strava)
  • Extra layer
  • Jacket
  • Pump
  • Tube
  • Crankbrothers M17 multitool
  • Patch kit
  • 2 tire levers
  • 2 quicklinks
  • 2 cleat screws
  • Valve core
  • Derailleur hanger
  • Big rubber bands
  • Zip ties
  • Brake pads
  • Lighter

If this seems like a lot, I occasionally do some pretty long and pretty solo one-way rides, and I like knowing I can get out of just about any sticky situation.

A review isn’t complete without one or two gripes, so I racked my brain to come up something about this pack that I don’t like. The one major downer is that the material the pack is made of could be more durable. I strive to spend more time on my bike and less time doing front flips onto the trail, but if you mess with fire you’re going to get burned. The pack is showing signs of these “burns” and could probably use a patch or two where I’ve landed on my back. That being said, it’s mostly cosmetic and far from meriting a return to Osprey for repairs. When I do send it in for a fix, I’ll be sure to report if their guarantee is truly “All Mighty.”

This is probably my fault, but this material isn’t Cordura, either.

Overall, I would highly recommend this pack. I’m a thirsty rider, and I like having the three liter capacity for rides in the summer heat. The mesh back helps it breathe reasonably well, and the hip belt and chest strap keep it right where you want it when the trail gets bumpy (or jumpy). It’s also obvious that the bells and whistles were designed to serve a purpose on the trail and not as selling points for the retail staff at REI.

MSRP: $130

Claimed weight: 1lb 6oz

Your Turn: If you have a Raptor 10, let me know what you think in the comments section below, or you can feel free to critique the contents of mine.

The straps keep the Raptor firmly in place when sending.

# Comments

  • mtnryder

    I have an older 10 and a newer 14. The newer 14 is actually lighter than the 10. I love these packs (obviously) and don’t have any gripes, other than the price keeps creeping up. I think I paid $80 for my 14 two years ago. It was on sale but the full MSRP is crazy. I haven’t had any issues with the material used. It keeps the weight down. I highly recommend this pack and several friends have also bought their own

  • triton189

    Just purchased the osprey 14 and am still loading it with essential stuff. I ride Colorado Rockies often and you need rain layer and supplies for most repairs out there. Keep finding pockets I didn’t know existed! This thing truly allows you to put ten pounds of s@$t in a five pound bag. Love how there are 4 cinch straps to compress the whole bag down after its packed, really prevents any movement while riding.

  • mongwolf

    Sounds like a great bag, but it’s just crazy what companies charge for outdoor products because we are willing to pay for it. $40 for a pair of gloves. $130 for a bag. I could go on and on. That all said, I may buy one of these bags someday … … but on a really good sale. I can afford it at the list price. I just wouldn’t for the principle of it. Are these companies really pricing their merchandise at the margin (maximum profit) (marginal cost equals marginal return). If they are, then we, the consumers collectively, are not acting rationally. Or are these companies pricing beyond the margin and actually losing profit? I assume these companies have a real understanding of market place economics, and they are pricing at the margin (and using a couple of other necessary techniques). And if so, then the issue lies with us the consumers.

    • Michael Welch

      Hey mongwolf, I agree that $130 seems like a lot, but if you go on 50 rides each year and have this thing for 3-5 years you’re actually paying less than a dollar per ride for a quality piece of gear that comes with a pretty awesome sounding (albeit untested on my end) guarantee.

      I’ve heard as a general rule that a product’s list price should be about 4 times the production cost. This allows for companies to make a profit after expenditures like R&D, marketing, and distribution. Some of Osprey’s sales are Direct to Consumer, but I would guess that the majority come from other retail outlets, including big nationwide outfitters like REI down to local bike shops. This means they probably have to mark things up even more since retailers are buying at wholesale.

      At the end of the day, you can find this pack for more like $100 with a little shopping around. If you already have a functioning pack it’s one thing, but if for whatever reason you need a new one I think it’s a pretty fair price. Thoughts?

    • mongwolf

      So a 150 rides a year and you get 1-2 years out of it in your analysis. Hmmmm. Doesn’t sound like it’s worth $100 even. Of course everything you added in goes into marginal costs. And I’m not so sure they are doing a bunch of expensive R&D on these kinds of products. Maybe I’m wrong. The only place for relatively expensive R&D on such a product would be in the materials, but that’s being diversified across their entire product line basically. Still not completely with you Michael. I’ve run a company for several years, so I have a pretty good grasp of company costs. I have also seen what is charged for many of the same products in third world countries. Funny it’s much cheaper oftentimes … … Why? Lower demand at the US price point. So they have to lower the price. All I’m saying really is that little downward on the market by consumers would probably go a long ways. Look at the new bike market. It is dropping really quick. Why? Because the bike companies were jacking the price waaaaaay up for a few years to see what people would pay. People in general stop buying at those price points. It was not on the cost side of the equation.

    • Slyham

      Mongwolf, I totally understand what you mean! So expensive.

      With that said I own two raptor bags, 14 for big rides and 6 for small ones. Neither bag cost me over $100 and one was in the $60 range. I’m a deal hunter.

      I also own an Osprey backpacking backpack. I really don’t consider any other bag brand. They are that good. They’re R&D is in the pack suspension and all the little details that make their packs so great.

      Sure you could go to the local big box store and buy a generic hydration pack for $40. If your happy with that then go for it. I ride with a lot of casual riders that are fine with those. For me, it is worth the deal hunting to find theses packs. You won’t find anything better IMHO.

  • dpb1997

    I have had two of these packs. They are value for money. Very comfortable albeit a bit warm in the summer. Lots of great storage. Very light.

  • schultz.cliff

    I’ve been riding with my Raptor for at least 4 years, probably longer. Love it for comfort, big bladder, that I’ve replaced once due to a leak, and bomber durability. Every time I see a different brands’ Newest and Best I check it out and come away realizing Osprey is best. If you want a cheap pack. Buy a cheap pack. It’s a good excuse to have a new pack more often. Check out Semi-Rad.com’s chart of well worn vs. new and shiny.

  • Michael VanLoon

    I don’t have this pack, though I am intrigued.

    Regarding the guarantee: I have a giant Osprey backpack for multi-day hikes. I actually bought it as a return. Someone else had obviously taken a tumble in it. It had scratches and tears, and had some nasty gouges stitched up on the belt.

    I sent the whole thing back to Osprey. They returned it with all the tears on the pack stitched up. They didn’t even bother with repairing the belt — they simply sent me an entire brand new belt.

    So I’d say they do a pretty stellar job honoring their guarantee.

    • Michael Welch

      That’s good to hear, Michael. Still using mine on every ride and it’s holding up great so far.

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