Osprey Escapist 30 hydration pack review
The gear trend these days has been about the “one quiver.” You know, that gear that can do it all, every day? We’ve got one-quiver skis, one-quiver bikes, one-quiver shoes, and even one-quiver backpacks. Well if you’re in the market for a one-quiver pack, then rest your trail-weary eyes on the Osprey Escapist 30 hydration pack.
The Osprey Escapist 30 is part of Osprey’s mountain biking pack line, and has all the features you’d want for that. But strap this to your back, and you’ll find that it’s also ideal for long day hikes, adventure racing, or even carrying your text books across campus. It’s a true one-quiver piece of gear, but born from the womb of mountain biking. As such, I took the Escapist out on all of my mountain bike rides in Utah and Colorado this spring and put it to the test.
The first thing I noticed when I pulled the Escapist out of the box is that it’s a true Osprey, built with all the features that make us love their packs. Features like the AirScape ventilated backpanel, BioStretch harness, and LidLock bike helmet attachment are all there. But as far as bike-specific packs are concerned, the Escapist 30 goes beyond by literally “packing” everything you could want inside. There’s huge main compartments that fit whatever you’d need to pack for a long day in the saddle or multi-day bike packing trips. There’s also internal organizer pockets for bike tools that keeps things like pumps, chain tools and tire levers right where you need them for when you need them.
There’s also an attachment for a blinker light and reflective detailing that rounds out the Escapist 30 bicycling oriented features. I’m also really impressed that they even included a rain cover that stores inside the bottom compartment that you can whip out at the threat of a storm.
I’ve been taking the Osprey Escapist along on rides to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Flying Dog and Corner Canyon all spring, and found it to be, quite frankly, too much pack for a typical mountain biking excursion. This pack is big, and really meant for very long days in the backcountry, bike packing, or bringing along a bunch of extra layers if you’re riding in cold weather or expect a drizzle or two. However, the size also works out for shorter rides as the bottom pocket fits my SLR camera perfectly. In fact, I’ve been bringing my SLR along on rides far more often since I got the Escapist 30 as it makes carrying the “big” camera so easy.
My only real complaint with the pack is that I found the shoulder straps to be a bit uncomfortable. The bottom part of the straps dig into my ribs, despite all attempts at adjusting the straps to make it ease the pain. Also, the Osprey HydraForm Reservoir isn’t included, but I’d highly recommend using it with the pack as my Camelbak reservoir doesn’t work as well and there’s no ideal place to store the bite valve (whereas the Osprey version has that cool sternum strap magnet.)
In all, I’d say the Osprey Escapist 30 can be your go-to pack for just about anything. Although its features make it look like a bike-specific pack, with ad-ons like the rain cover, ventilated back panel, and myriad pockets on both the shoulder and waist straps make this gear hauler efficient for anything the outdoors call you to partake in. So is the Escapist 30 a one pack quiver? If you need a pack for long bike trips and hiking, I’d say most definitely.