Review: Osprey Women’s Verve 9 Hydration Pack

Summertime mountain bikers require plenty of water for long, hot, dusty rides, and what better way to carry that water than with a sweet Osprey hydration pack?  I recently had the chance to review the women’s-specific Verve 9 Osprey pack, and I couldn’t be more pleased with it.

According to the Osprey website, the Verve 9 is ideal for 1.5 to 3-hour bike rides and is also suitable for trail running or day hiking. It comes with a 3-liter hydration bladder as well. The pack includes 9 liters of storage space, as well as several great new features.  I took it out on a 2.5-hour bike ride recently, and it held plenty of water and gear for a ride of that length.

The Verve 9L pack (pictured here in Passion Purple) has two zippered storage compartments and a deep, open center pouch for stuffing rain coats, bandanas, etc.  Visible in the top center is the helmet holder. This is a great feature for times when you’re simply climbing up a dirt road on a hot day and really don’t need your helmet on.  The lower hip belt (which I’m using) can be removed if you so desire.

I found that the pack had plenty of room for my tools, windbreaker and snacks. All the straps are easily adjustable, and the backpack is comfortable even when loaded with gear and 2.5L of water.

One of the greatest features of any Osprey pack is the magnetic bite valve clip.  Instead of fumbling for a drooping hydration hose and bite valve while riding, this one attaches to your sternum strap buckle.  It has a 180-degree on/off pivot and is easy to reach and reattach while riding.  Also, one strap has a small front pocket for stashing a gel shot or granola bar.

When we were stopped for a snack on Mary’s Loop I tested out the helmet holder.  It’s a great way to make sure you don’t ride off and leave your helmet behind!  It’s easy to thread the holder through your helmet and then twist it so that the helmet stays securely in place and out of the way on the back of your pack.

One of my biggest pet peeves with my old pack was attempting to get the full hydration bladder back into my pack. I’d have to stuff it down in there, shove it around, bang the pack up and down, and finally, slowly, get the pack zipped back up. It was a total pain.

The Osprey Hydraulics reservoir is unique. Its contoured backer plate design and supported front frame (see below) make it stable and easy to slide in and out of the reservoir compartment.

Overall, I found this pack to be easy to use and easy to adjust.  I have plenty of storage space, and removing and positioning the water reservoir is a breeze.  The features of the pack, including the magnetic bite valve, removable ErgoPull Hipbelt, and even blinker light attachment, make it perfect for mountain biking, trail running, or even day hikes.

MSRP: $100.

Thanks to Osprey for providing the Verve 9L for review!

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