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  1. #1
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    Hydration Packs

    My buddy has an Osprey Hydration back pack, he loves it.

    Camelbak seem to dominate the market, which do you guys prefer?

  2. #2
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    Either one works. Both come with lifetime warranties on the components.

    My personal preference was for the suspended mesh back that Osprey packs 2012 and earlier had. Now that it has changed, the differences matter even less than before.

  3. #3
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    Osprey. I have had a handful of Camelbaks and while that brand does its intended job, the Osprey's design, comfort and ease of use puts it in a higher class.

  4. #4
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    Touchy subject. Everyone seems to have their favorite. What I can't seem to get around is just how expensive the major brands are. I used a Costco High Sierra brand ($15.00) for probably 5 years. The reservoir totally sucked but I replaced it with a Camelback. IMO Camelback bite valves and reservoirs are the best. I recently purchased a Camelback M.U.L.E. on sale for $59 bucks, which was a great deal considering the reservoir separately is about $35 bucks.

    Find the one that suits your needs as far as capacity of reservoir, the pack itself, and what you intend to actually carry. I like to be able to strap excess layers that I shed. I also like 100oz capacity for those warmer desert/summer rides.

  5. #5
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    I’ve only had my Osprey pack, so nothing to compare to really. But, I did my research and kept coming back to the Osprey packs. So far, in the 8 months I have had mine, I love it. I have the Viper 10, and I hardly notice it’s on my back. I really like the magnet holder for the mouth piece, and the hard-backed reservoir really makes a ton of sense, as I commonly only fill it half full.

    In addition to the pack itself, Osprey has an “All Mighty Guarantee”. Hard to beat this:

    Osprey will repair for any reason, free of charge, any damage or defect in our product – 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.
    Source: All Mighty Guarantee - Osprey Packs, Inc :2013: Official Site
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  6. #6
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    initially had the MULE and it worked fine but i just thought it was too small on my back.

    am expecting my OSPREY RAPTOR 18 and im excited to get it. the part where i can take out the reservoir even when the pack is full is what im quite amused. with the camelback id have to loosen or adjust something to fit the reservoir back in.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    I’ve only had my Osprey pack, so nothing to compare to really. But, I did my research and kept coming back to the Osprey packs. So far, in the 8 months I have had mine, I love it. I have the Viper 10, and I hardly notice it’s on my back. I really like the magnet holder for the mouth piece, and the hard-backed reservoir really makes a ton of sense, as I commonly only fill it half full.

    In addition to the pack itself, Osprey has an “All Mighty Guarantee”. Hard to beat this:


    Source: All Mighty Guarantee - Osprey Packs, Inc :2013: Official Site
    I have the same pack and love it.

    The magnet holder is wonderful.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bapski View Post
    initially had the MULE and it worked fine but i just thought it was too small on my back.

    am expecting my OSPREY RAPTOR 18 and im excited to get it. the part where i can take out the reservoir even when the pack is full is what im quite amused. with the camelback id have to loosen or adjust something to fit the reservoir back in.
    My MULE has a separate zippered pocket for the reservoir accessible from the back.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HitmenOnlyInc View Post
    My MULE has a separate zippered pocket for the reservoir accessible from the back.
    so does mine. lol. but with pack full of stuff, you'd have to guide the reservoir back in, the osprey reservoir however has a handle of sorts so that the reservoir does not fold up when you put it back in.
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  10. #10
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    For small rides, Camelbak original 2lt. I like it as it is lightweight and easily filled up. I also have a water bottle with some energy drink on my frame. Works for me for a 2hr ride.

  11. #11
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    I really like the Dakine packs because they have really great pockets + organization.

  12. #12
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    I have the Camelback M.U.L.E. for the larger capacity and my wife has the Osprey Raptor. Here are my observations:

    Camelback reservoir is easier to clean and dry properly(hose disconnects nicely)
    Osprey has magnetic bite valve
    Camelback bite valve has better flow
    Osprey reservoir fits into the pack easier
    Camelback reservoir pouch is fully enclosed
    Osprey reservoir pouch is open at the top
    Osprey reservoir cap screws on(better)
    Camelback has twist-lock
    Camelback reservoir has built in drying arms
    Osprey straps seem a little wider and more comfortable
    Camelback straps have more adjustability
    More pockets in the Camelback
    Can fit a helmet in the Camelback
    Osprey has a helmet clip for external attachment

    Osprey had to be returned under warranty for repair. Customer service was great and turn-around was fast.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    Either one works. Both come with lifetime warranties on the components.

    My personal preference was for the suspended mesh back that Osprey packs 2012 and earlier had. Now that it has changed, the differences matter even less than before.
    What changes on the suspended back mesh are you referring to? The packs that had the suspended mesh back in 2012 (Syncro and Manta) still have the same thing. The Raptor and Viper series backpanels never had the suspended mesh but both of their backpanels have been greatly improved for better airflow in 2013 as well.

  14. #14
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    I just got my MULE for Xmas and it's amazing. Though I'm sure if I got an Osprey pack, I'd say the same thing. I like the size of the reservoir, the ease of removing/filling/cleaning/drying/replacing it, the amount of room and pockets the Mule has, the helmet pouch and the available/removable straps. I also like that I can move the chest strap and valve clamp up and down (I'm guessing Osprey has the same thing). They're both great...so...get whatever's on sale!

  15. #15
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    I bought a Geigerrig 1200 at Costco during one of their instore demos. They are expensive, but if you can catch them on sale, so worth it. Lifetime warranty on the bladder. The ability to pressurize the bladder and have the water come out under pressure when you are breathing hard is a nice feature. It's big, but they do make smaller sizes and the packs have a ton of cinch straps to reduce the volume.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ospreypacks View Post
    What changes on the suspended back mesh are you referring to? The packs that had the suspended mesh back in 2012 (Syncro and Manta) still have the same thing. The Raptor and Viper series backpanels never had the suspended mesh but both of their backpanels have been greatly improved for better airflow in 2013 as well.
    The bigger packs (Escapist and Talon series, in particular). I was under the impression, from a coworker, that all of Osprey's packs were losing the suspended mesh/hard foam to go towards the more traditional padded back with chanels.

    At any rate, it's good to hear from a rep that that isn't the case...I really liked showcasing that stuff to customers

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GelatiCruiser View Post
    I just got my MULE for Xmas and it's amazing. Though I'm sure if I got an Osprey pack, I'd say the same thing. I like the size of the reservoir, the ease of removing/filling/cleaning/drying/replacing it, the amount of room and pockets the Mule has, the helmet pouch and the available/removable straps. I also like that I can move the chest strap and valve clamp up and down (I'm guessing Osprey has the same thing). They're both great...so...get whatever's on sale!
    Do you have any issues putting a full reservoir in the pack when its already filled with gear? Just git a LOBO yesterday and will be returning it as I have to remove gear to fit a full reservoir.

    I currently use a RimRunner and looking for a smaller/lighter option but now that I've started looking at other options I realize how versatile the RimRunner is despite its size.
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  18. #18
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    I use a Camelbak but had to swap the bladder out cause the bite valve was hopeless...

  19. #19
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    Im looking at the sizes for the Osprey, I really like the Raptor series, what is the average size most of you use for day trips?

  20. #20
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    I own a Camelbak Cloud Walker and a Hydrapak Big Sur. In terms of the bladders...I don't like the Camelbak bladder at all. It's more annoying to clean and I hate the big circular lid that they use, but the bite valves are nicer. The Hydrapak bladder is much easier to flip inside out to clean. I typically use the Camelbak for hiking or for longer bike rides if I take more stuff with me, but the Hydrapak gets used more often on bike rides because the size is more practical.

  21. #21
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    osprey pack with a camelbak bladder. i just could not get behind the funky valve on the osprey bladder.

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgreaney View Post
    Im looking at the sizes for the Osprey, I really like the Raptor series, what is the average size most of you use for day trips?
    I use the 10. Not too big, not too small.

  23. #23
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    Whichever is cheaper. I do prefer Camelback bladders and valves, though.
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  24. #24
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    The 2013 Raptor 10 is tough to beat, in my opinion. Just really well thought out and designed. Some improvements were incorporated like a stronger magnet on the bite valve, and a roll-up tool pouch with it's own pocket. The design and layout of pockets,etc. just make sense to me.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shibby View Post
    The 2013 Raptor 10 is tough to beat, in my opinion. Just really well thought out and designed. Some improvements were incorporated like a stronger magnet on the bite valve, and a roll-up tool pouch with it's own pocket. The design and layout of pockets,etc. just make sense to me.
    There are still some great deals to be had on the '12s, which is what I would snag now if in the market. I got one for about 50% off.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by owensjs View Post
    I own a Camelbak Cloud Walker and a Hydrapak Big Sur. In terms of the bladders...I don't like the Camelbak bladder at all. It's more annoying to clean and I hate the big circular lid that they use, but the bite valves are nicer. The Hydrapak bladder is much easier to flip inside out to clean. I typically use the Camelbak for hiking or for longer bike rides if I take more stuff with me, but the Hydrapak gets used more often on bike rides because the size is more practical.
    Ditto on the superiority of Hydrapak reservoirs. I have the smaller Hydrapak Flume & Soquel packs. Very easy to clean & maintain, although I left a full bladder in the Flume over a couple years & now I'm looking for a replacement. They have good bite-valves, quick-disconnect hoses, & magnetic hose holders.

    I put full reservoirs in my Hydrapaks all the time without having to empty or shift the load significantly - and my packs are pretty full of gear. I have to bounce the pack a few times to get the reservoir to slide in & settle into place, but it's never been a problem or nuisance.

    I think Hydrapak is one of the best values - I don't think it gets enough respect.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclyle View Post
    Do you have any issues putting a full reservoir in the pack when its already filled with gear? Just git a LOBO yesterday and will be returning it as I have to remove gear to fit a full reservoir.

    I currently use a RimRunner and looking for a smaller/lighter option but now that I've started looking at other options I realize how versatile the RimRunner is despite its size.
    No issues at all. And i have a ton of crap in my pack besides the bladder.

  28. #28
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    When you buy them do they come with the 3L Reservoir?

  29. #29
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    I have 2 Camelbaks.

    My daily use one is the Camelbak Charge.

    It's big enough to hold the essentials, lots of pockets, lightweight material, but still small enough so you forget that you are wearing a backpack. Also features a large 100 oz resorvoir.



    I bought the bigger Camelbak H.A.W.G. for a long ride that I did a few months ago. It's much bigger, thicker and more durable canvas, features a built-in waterproof cover, and again lots of storage pockets. A 100 oz resorvoir too.



    I wouldn't never use the HAWG as a daily backpack cause for me it felt large and I always knew I was wearing a backpack. The Charge is perfect for me. Big enough to carry all your tools, supplies, first aid, etc. Still it's lightweight and durable to handle any ride.
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  30. #30
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    I have the Camelbak Mule NV and the Dakine Apex. Both are great, I tend to use the Mule in the summer more because of the superior air flow and the Dakine in the winter so I can carry extra layers better. Even though the Dakine is larger, it has never felt too larger or cumbersome when full of stuff. Both are sturdy tough bags that I would recommend to anyone.

    Never used an Osprey so I can't comment.

  31. #31
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    +1 for the Camelbak Mule NV. Enough room for everything I need including lunch for rides that I stop and relax for a bit. Plenty of room for my layers and the built in rain cover is handy as well. The airflow on my back is what sold me on it. I've only used Camelbak "compatible" bags in the past (burton, oakley, north face, da kine) so this is my first all CB bag that is mtb specific. I'm sure the others are good too, just speaking on my experience with CB.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by likeaboss View Post
    I have the Camelback M.U.L.E. for the larger capacity and my wife has the Osprey Raptor. Here are my observations:

    Camelback reservoir is easier to clean and dry properly(hose disconnects nicely)
    Osprey has magnetic bite valve
    Camelback bite valve has better flow
    Osprey reservoir fits into the pack easier
    Camelback reservoir pouch is fully enclosed
    Osprey reservoir pouch is open at the top
    Osprey reservoir cap screws on(better)
    Camelback has twist-lock
    Camelback reservoir has built in drying arms
    Osprey straps seem a little wider and more comfortable
    Camelback straps have more adjustability
    More pockets in the Camelback
    Can fit a helmet in the Camelback
    Osprey has a helmet clip for external attachment

    Osprey had to be returned under warranty for repair. Customer service was great and turn-around was fast.

    Osprey has some great feature that everyone should emulate.
    The rigid backplane for the reservoirs keeps it off the back and helps the pack dry. The magnetic clip corral is awesome.


    Ergon
    Their ball joint packs never took off. I have two and I won't give them up. The pack literally floats on your waste and is neutral to any twisting motions. Their newer packs try to emulate this with strap systems that move through the packs. I assume they help. The hidden pockets in unusual places are great in Ergons and their use of the backplane area for pockets accesible while wearing is awesome.

  33. #33
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    Camelback HAWG NV.

    I've owned 3 Camelback products (2 MULEs + the current HAWG) and have never had a reliability issue. Prefer the NV type over the normal due to decreased stench. On the regular, the pads that line the back start stinking and won't stop regardless of how much bleach you use while washing. Friend of mine rides with a Deuter that has a mesh back. The Deuter seems like a nice pack.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgreaney View Post
    When you buy them do they come with the 3L Reservoir?
    Yes.

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