Review: Osprey Seral Hip Pack is Comfy and Convenient

Mar 8, 2019
by Richard Cunningham  
Osprey Seral hip pack review


Osprey's latest range of hip packs are worth a look. The Seral, reviewed here, includes an internal bladder and ample storage space to stash layers, and to serve during longer forays into the backcountry. For bottle feeders, check out Osprey's Savu. It's designed to hold a pair of water bottles on either side of a reduced-size storage pack. Both packs are sized to maximize the amount of storage that can be carried comfortably without hindering your riding experience.

Features & Construction

Osprey follows hip-pack convention with a wide cinch belt that includes zip side pockets. The hip belt and pack are mesh lined for comfort. Where the
Seral Hip Pack
• "AirScape" mesh back and foam lumbar panel for stability
• Osprey 1.5L lumbar reservoir by Hydrapak
• 7 liter total storage
• Magnetic bite-valve latch
• Zippered main compartment with mesh & zip pockets.
• Dual zippered hip belt pockets
• Tail light attachment
• Weight: 0.82 pounds (370 grams)
• MSRP: $85 USD
• Contact: Osprey
loads are distributed in the back of the bag, Osprey builds in a ribbed lumbar panel that circulates cooling air and stabilizes the pack. All the internal seams are taped and sewn, and the inside of the pack's two main compartments are lined with water-resistant fabric.

Osprey Seral hip pack review
A padded pouch in the reservoir pocket protects and isolates fragile items.
Osprey Seral hip pack review
The lined main compartment has a mesh pocket organizer and one zip pocket.

A separate zip pocket accesses the 1.5 liter HydraPak reservoir, which has baffles that maintain the shape of the bladder to conform to the pack when it is full to capacity. That is huge, because un-baffled reservoirs impinge upon internal space and can make repacking gear a chore. A padded compartment Inside the hydration pocket can be used to protect a camera or smartphone and separate fragile items from jostling against gear in the main storage area.

Osprey Seral hip pack review
The two circles in the reservoir are the welded to maintain its shape.
Osprey Seral hip pack review
Side pockets are a good fit for gloves and food items, but smartphones won't fit.
Osprey Seral hip pack review
Mesh liner and a molded lumbar pad maximize its comfort.
Osprey Seral hip pack review
Osprey's magnetic bite-valve latch can be re-positioned on its webbing ladder.


Smaller details: The hydration hose has a quick-release function at the reservoir and a magnetic latch fixes its bite valve to the waistband. Quality zipper pulls are handy for gloved or freezing hands, while four compression straps flank the main compartment to keep small loads from shifting and to ensure the pack is expandable for epic days on the bike. The Seral is claimed to hold 7 liters of gear, including its 1.5 liter reservoir, and weighs only 0.82 pounds (370 grams). MSRP is $85 USD, and the pack is covered by Osprey's "All Mighty" guarantee, which basically covers any product for any reason.

Osprey Seral hip pack review


Trail Report

Two things I've always liked about Osprey packs are the quality construction and light weight. The Seral hip pack stows a lot of gear and it's built to last, yet it weighs less than a pound. Placement of the waist belt and side pockets is spot on. They stayed clear of my movements when they were loaded with spare gloves and food, yet they were easy to access without shifting the pack around.

On the subject of shifting around, cheers to the designer who came up with the Airscape lumbar pad. It supports the weight and keeps it laterally secure so effectively that I didn't take notice that I was wearing it while riding of the area's most infamous rock trails. No vertical or horizontal shifting - and it was loaded with a jacket, tools, a pump, my camera, and a nearly full reservoir of water.

I wouldn't want the Seral to be any larger, but if it was significantly smaller, it would not carry much more than the tools, spares and water that enduro-bros strap onto their bikes, and the point of using a hip pack is having all your stuff in one place, which is especially handy if you have more than one bike in your garage. This winter has been cold and wet for the pampered pets in Southern California, so my Seral has been at the ready, packed with layers lighting system batteries and spare gloves.
Osprey Seral hip pack review

Enough praise, there was one important aspect of this pack that did not fire on all cylinders during the review period. The magnetic latch for the drink-tube bite valve was not secure enough to take a glancing blow from trailside brush, occasional contact while leaning against my bike, or a flailing elbow. The location of the tube allows it to swing behind the rider when the bite valve escapes its mooring (which it did on occasion) and some unfortunate day, it will surely meet its end attempting to mate with my spinning rear wheel. Stronger magnets may be the solution, but I'd suggest that Osprey hook up with Fidlock and use their more secure magnetic latch for the Seral's bite valve.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesOne of the most functional and comfortable hip packs I have ever used for carrying a useful stash of gear on unbridled technical rides. I wish I didn't have to be mindful of its magnetic bite valve latch, but for now, I am willing to fuss with it because the Seral ticks every other box.RC





47 Comments

  • + 41
 It looks so big you might need one or even two shoulder straps to help stabilize it.
  • + 1
 Ya - I don't understand the benefit of taking water off your back to throw it on your waist. Instead of flat and stable across your back you get a big wiggly bulge (OK - I already had that) around your waist. I like a hip pack in the bike park where all you need to carry is a multi-tool and your wallet, but if I'm not going to carry a water bottle on a longer ride I'll throw on a hydration pack for better fit and more versatile carrying options
  • + 24
 Uhhhhhh... you’re running the hose wrong.its supposed to wrap around the front, it won’t kink the hose inside, and it won’t fall off at random. I’ve been running a different pack with that bladder and have had no issues with the hose running around your waist.
  • + 11
 This will look cool with my Prius
  • + 2
 Just got one of these. I can fit an iPhone X in the side pocket. I have added a strong neodymium magnet to the stock magnet ( just magnetically connected) to make a stronger attachment for the drink tube bite valve. I really like it!
  • + 1
 Are you able to link the magnet that you purchased? (or send me a PM if product links aren't allowed)
  • + 2
 I got 1 more reason to hate fanny packs yesterday. Some far more fit than me douche bag came by with his wireless speaker playing Phish or some other hippy pop garbage. In the forest...like I wanted a concert in my ticked off skull as I'm trying unwind, zone out and enjoy the outdoors.

But heck no...your stupid cool ass has to blast tunes at me like THAT is what the fokk I want to hear during MY time in the woods? I wanted to rip his hip pack off and shove it up his spokey arse!
  • + 2
 I'll be getting one of the Savu packs for sure. I currently have the Evoc hip pack race with 1.5l bladder, it's too much with the bladder full and as mentioned it eats up storage. I've been very pleased with my osprey raptor pack for many years. Just had it replaced for free past year when I sent it in for some repairs and Osprey decided it would better to just replace it.
  • + 3
 I just picked up the Savu and it is absolutely awesome. I usually use a Dakine Hotlaps 2L but always wished it carried a bottle on both sides instead of just one. The Savu is more comfortable, holds more stuff, breathes better, and can hold 2 bottles.... and its only $55 bucks for a lifetime guaranteed pack.

Naaaaat baaad.
  • + 1
 I was eyeing the EVOC for the fancy straps that appear to keep it in place better than my Camelback pack does currently. Any thoughts on how the strap kept things in place?
  • + 2
 @NRZ: Nothing seems to budge when I'm riding. It feels super secure and moves with you instead of independently bouncing around.
  • + 2
 @NRZ: it's ok. As you consume water you have to tighten it. I also find the hose a bit short. I don't really use the little cinch straps often. I typically ride with a water bottle on the pack and my gear in it. I rarely use the bladder because it becomes to cumbersome.
  • + 1
 In the market for a hip pack. This sounds promising, however I would be interested to hear a comparison review with this and the Henty - Enduro 2.0 which resembles a hip pack in many ways, but also has shoulder straps for extra support and to secure the drink-tube closer to your mouth.
  • + 5
 These should come with bar ends.
  • + 1
 I'm partial the waist strap of the new EVOC Hip Pro vs the Osprey. The width and velcro allow you to get a real snug fit. It also gives you to option to use bottles and/or bladder: www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-gear/review-evoc-pro-3l-hip-pack-and-hydration-holster Pricey though
  • + 1
 I HATE wearing a backpack on a bike, I have 8 different styles, always trying to find the perfect pack. I laughed at "fanny packs" (which have been rebranded as "hip packs"), no more. This thing rocks!! It doesn't move, it is off my back and allows me to move with the bike and yet I can carry the layers needed in Colorado shoulder seasons. I don't give a damn how I look anymore because it solves my problem. BTW the only people that see it are the ones I just passed, and there's that.
  • + 1
 I just picked up one of these at REI. I have the Bontrager rapid pack I grabbed last year but the zippers are corroding and it doesnt sit very well, which is part of the reason I grabbed this. No need for a full pack. It looks and feels pretty well built and I'm looking forward to using it...once the temps are in the low teens.
  • + 1
 I've been eyeing the Bontrager pack as it seems very minimalistic and only 233g, and centering the water bottle distributes the weight so much better than all the silly bum packs that put one water bottle on the side. Any follow up comparisons between the Bontrager and Osprey?
  • + 0
 Hot laps for the win, 2l hydration is the key, bottles suck as do side pockets because they get in the way of your arms/elbows. Pump, tube, extra kit can go on the frame.

Need more than 2l? Add bottles to your frame and/or wear a shoulder pack.

There’s a saying in backpacking about the risk of having more storage: it’ll get filled up and weigh you down.
  • + 2
 ive almost had my pants ripped off landing my ass on the rear tire after a big drop, i could imagine a fanny pack leading to real catastrophe for me
  • + 1
 Could a small smartphone such as an Iphone SE fit in one of the waist pockets?
  • + 2
 Don't let any one tell you it's not hip.
  • + 4
 It's still a fanny pack. Wink
  • + 2
 nice 301 Wink
  • + 2
 No cup holders? I'm out!
  • - 1
 Once again Osprey you missed it. Why not a small pouch on the outside to carry a small BEAR SPRAY CAN? These are the things that will make you loose sales to the competition.
  • + 4
 That’s a pretty specific request/requirement plus I wouldn’t want to reach back and grab a can while in a dangerous situation.
  • + 2
 @COnovicerider: where would you carry bear spray then? Some people mount it on the frame but it gets dirty and is kind of hanging out
  • + 5
 For most of the world it's not something people would ever consider.
  • + 1
 @plyawn: front pocket so I can get to it easily and quickly.
  • + 1
 @plyawn: there’s a company called Counter Assault that makes a nice one—chest or backpack strap.
  • + 2
 Our bears in the lower 48 are lazy so we can outrun them. You Canadians have motivated bears and slower riders Smile
  • + 1
 Richard's setup is admirable.
  • + 1
 What shoes is he wearing in that pic? Ride Concepts?
  • + 1
 Big S is showing on his right foot tongue.
  • + 1
 And left I just realized.
  • + 1
 What the kind of crazy bike is in the back???
  • + 1
 Liteville
  • + 2
 Das Liteville!
  • + 0
 “For all hipsters who ride mt bikes. Hip packs”
  • + 2
 I wear an Evoc hip pack and am about the furthest from hip.
  • + 1
 We need to seriously reevaluate the word "hipster" as soon as "mountain bike" or "hip pack" gets evoked.
Not saying there aren't cool (or annoying) mountain bikers in the world, but eh...c'mon. Let's be real, most mountain bikers are weird DORKS. Adding a hip pack into the mix is only going to deepen this index. I'm getting one asap.
  • + 1
 @Jetmo: no we don’t need to re-evaluate the Word hipster. I don’t wear tight jeans. I don’t wear flannels. I don’t wear buddy holly glasses or beanies year round. Those are some of the defining first sights when spotting a hipster. They are city slickers who think they are alternative and cool. I also see them wearing fanny packs. I ride moto, mt bikes, and hunt. I use what is practical. Fanny packs are great to hold your shotgun shells when duck hunting or your ammo when walk hunting Praire dogs. They suck to use on bikes because they bounce around more than Dolly Parton’s tits while jogging. They also suck on moto for the same reason. I have a couple of fanny packs, and they only get used for walking or sitting activities.
  • + 1
 @yamaha0249: Ok beanie year round made me laugh. And I get the hipster takedown thing, having grown up betwixt the trees and duckies myself, despite now living in the hipster world capital. (did you know hipsters hate on hipsters? it's a trip) Hell, my pants are for sure not boot cut these days. But my point was, that whatever the sins of the annoying hipster are, I don't see them infiltrating my local trail center. And even if they did and then suddenly a taco stand serving craft beer popped up, I'd be all over it like a pack on a fanny :]
  • + 1
 #bigfannypac
  • + 1
 #makefannypacksgreatagain

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