Review: Osprey Seral Hip Pack
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 ReportTwo 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. 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.
|One 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|