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.
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.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.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.
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: