Epic Mountain Bike Holidays | Spain | Basque Country | Pyrenees

Latest Posts

Reviews > Osprey Escapist 25 Mountain Bike Pack Test

Osprey Escapist 25 Mountain Bike Pack Test

Osprey Mountain Bike Pack Rucksac Review
Osprey Escapist 25: Review of this great mountain bike pack.

Osprey Escapist 25: Mountain Bike Pack Review.

Last month I got a call from Osprey asking if I’d like to test out one of their packs for the upcoming mountain bike holiday season. To be honest I hadn’t really been aware of Osprey but after some discussion they sent me the Osprey Escapist 25 pack. This pack isn’t a mountain biking specific model, rather it’s aimed at mountain bikers and walkers. The reason I went for this pack is that as a mountain bike guide I need to carry a lot of equipment so needed the space. Previously I have used a Camelbak HAWK, Camelbak Mayhem and a Dakine Apex (read the review) so I know I need between 20 and 25 liters of carrying space. Osprey’s mountain biking specific Zealot only goes up to 16 liters which, although plenty for most mountain biking, just isn’t enough for the equipment I carry when I’m guiding mountain bike holidays. Read on for my thoughts on the Osprey Escapist 25.
Great sized pouch for tools.Bottom compartment, opens into main section.
 
Osprey Escapist 25: Quality and Layout
The first thing that I noticed with the Osprey pack was the quality. There is so much attention to detail, and everything seems to be very well made. The pack is made from a tough feeling nylon material which looks like it will be very hard-wearing. There are lots of separate zipped compartments and all the zips and the zip attachments are top quality. The top zipped pouch is a great size, more than big enough for a decent camera, although it isn’t padded. I never really understood why the top pocket was padded in so many rucksacks anyway, does anyone really fall onto the top of their rucksack? The main compartment is a nice size too, and the front pocket has webbed dividers to take tools. The tool area has less sub-compartments than in my Dakine but I find it a great size and its wide, shallow shape means I just put everything in there and it’s not much hassle to rummage for it. There is also a bottom zip which opens into a good sized compartment on the bottom of the main storage section. If you don’t want to use this bottom section you can open it into the main compartment, giving you a bigger space for storage there. I like this bottom section because it is somewhere separate, and very quick to access, for my first aid equipment. There are two great pockets on the hip belt and, unlike other packs I have tried, you don’t need to be a yoga teacher to access them without removing the bag! The only thing I would like to see, and have yet to see on any mountain bike rucksack, is for the tool pocket to be on the bottom of the pack. Tools are just about the heaviest thing I carry and having that weight low down would be nice. The Osprey manages to seem bigger than its 25 liters. I think this is just because of the great sized pouches.
Easily accessible hip pockets.Roomy but unpadded top pocket.
 
Osprey Escapist 25: Shape and Comfort
This is something that stands out with the Osprey Escapist rucksack. I have to say that I have also tried a couple of their mountain bike specific rucksacks, brought out by my holiday guests, and they also felt extremely comfortable. The back of the rucksack is padded with foam ridges which allow air to flow around your back. This works really well and was also extremely comfortable, even on long days mountain biking with the pack stuffed full. The harness straps are also foam and feature a great range of adjustments and, the clever bit, they attach into the rucksack with heavy-duty velcro, allowing you to adjust the height of the pack. The velcro is backed up with an adjustable strap, I guess for security. All this makes for a very comfortable and adjustable rucksack. The shape of the Osprey Escapist pack is great, it’s quite long and thin but not too deep, i.e. it doesn’t stand too far out from your back. The pack comes in two lengths, for people of different heights, which coupled with the shape and adjustment, means you can really get the pack comfortable on your back. I carry a lot of weight in my pack when I’m guiding, sometimes almost 8kg, and the big thing I notice is how comfortable the Osprey Escapist is. I haven’t had any rubbing while riding and somehow when the pack is on my back it feels lighter than it should. I think that this is because the broad, well padded straps distribute the weight so well. The pack also doesn’t move. At all. That, along with the comfort, is the really big advantage of the Osprey over anything I have used before.
Wide, well padded straps.Straps attach with Velcro.
 
Osprey Escapist 25: Cool Features and Attention to Detail
The attention to detail on the Osprey pack is nothing short of startling. The designers must have a severe case of OCD. To start with there is a fantastic pouch on the straps which fits my mobile phone perfectly and means I can usually answer it before it stops ringing. Also the buckle on the strap that goes across your chest is a whistle. I kid you not, a whistle! It’s fantastic. There is a great elastic buckle that holds any ventilated mountain bike helmet perfectly, not something I use while riding but it’s great at the end of the day to keep your helmet and pack together. The outside of the pack has several webbed pouches, great for holding a jacket, spare tubes or whatever else you fancy. These are a good size and I find them very useful. Another nice feature is the way the adjustments on the straps work, they are held at both ends. This means that you don’t have loose straps flying about, rather you’re left with a small loop of strap which is less likely to get caught anywhere. These are small touches but are things that are very noticeable when you use the pack.
Great helmet holder.Plenty of well sized webbed pouches.
 
Osprey Escapaist 25: Missing Touches
The Escapist I received didn’t come with a hydration reservoir. This is a pity because I have seen Osprey’s reservoir and I really like the look of the magnetic clamp on the mouthpiece which holds it perfectly in place. I’m using my Camelbak reservoir and it fits perfectly. It’s worth deviating for a second just to say that the new Camelbak reservoir is fantastic, so much better than anything they’ve made previously and well worth the upgrade; one of my products of the year I think. There are no dedicated armour straps on the Escapist, nor is there anywhere easy to attach the armour. I have made a temporary attachment and will probably get Amaia’s Mum to sew some straps onto the pack. If it had these straps then I think it would be the perfect mountain bike pack. The best solution would be some straps on the bottom, this is by far the best place to carry armour. It is worth noting that the new Zealot mountain bike specific pack has a flapped pouch for the pads, again I think I’d prefer to have the pads low on the bottom of the pack where I find they are comfortable to carry. It saves putting muddy pads into a pouch.
Fantastic Rain Cover.
Rain Covers: Great for Muddy Mountain Biking!
This is getting a section all to itself because I like it so much. There is an integrated rain cover. This is a fantastic addition for any biker. At first I though I wouldn’t use it and was planning cutting it off to gain some storage space. I am now a total, and complete, rain cover convert. It keeps everything perfectly dry, no more rusty tools and soggy sandwiches. The best thing though is if it’s muddy, you just add the rain cover and it keeps everything clean. I only wish that the rain cover was detachable because then I could leave it to dry out in the van while I take my clean pack indoors to prepare it for the next days riding. No more ear ache from Amaia when I leave a trail of mud into the house!  
Osprey Escapist 25: Overall Review
The Osprey Escapist 25 is a fantastic pack for people who need to carry more gear. It would make a perfect rucksack for overnight bike adventures or for mountain bike guides. The only real downside is the lack of a place to carry armour, a feature which is available on more bike-specific packs. Osprey are relatively new on the mountain biking scene but given the amazing quality of their packs I don’t think it will be long before they become one of the big players in the mountain bike market. + Beautifully made. + The most comfortable pack I have ever used. + Packed with great features. – Lack of storage for armour. (More bike-specific models have armour storage).

Tags: ,

3 Replies a “Osprey Escapist 25 Mountain Bike Pack Test”

  1. Hello,

    thanks for the review well done. You do not mention anything about the size (S/M and M/L) of the escapist 25 bag. Maybe at the time you wrote the article, there was no possible choice. Today, this bag allows adjustment of the harness according to your size.

    Best
    Olivier

  2. Hi there
    can you tell me if 14″ (its about 32x24cm) laptop will fit inside? plus some clothes like shirt and pants? i want to use this back daily for commuting to work and from time to time i need to take the laptop with me?

  3. Hi Sylwester, that should easily fit. I have my 15″ macbook in there quite often.

© 2009 - Basque MTB, IRUN, BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN, Tel. +34 662 614 470
Mail. doug@basquemtb.com