There was a period in my life when I was a pure-bred roadie. The kind of guy that if I drove somewhere to go for a ride, and forgot to bring cycling socks, but had say… running socks, I’d probably just not ride. When it came to cycling, one didn’t mix sports. And, one certainly did not wear a backpack.
Times have changed. Being a bike racer in Europe has worn off. Being a trail runner has worn in, as well as multi-sporting. Comfort has become more important than appearance. If it sounds like I’m getting old, well I’m not, I’m just wisening up.
Since discovering Osprey’s Katari road and gravel biking pack, I’ve started being more than just okay with wearing a pack. Coming in three sizes; 1.5, 3, and 7 liter, they are just the right amount of not too big. These days, I’m exploring gravel roads higher and higher in the Alps, which necessitates more clothing. And of course being a photographer, a camera with some extra accessories. I primarily use the 7 liter size and love the vertical zipper that allows quick access to what you’ve got. In Europe, I don’t use a water bladder since it’s rare to not have water available on even the longest rides. But, if water bladders are necessary for you, they all carry one.
What makes these packs so good is their design. Tall, skinny, high riding, nothing extra, and perfectly fitting shoulder straps all add up to really not feeling a thing back there. Sure, you can also use a mountain bike pack, but often they are wider and heavier. And seriously, how can you mix sports?
The Osprey Katari is the men’s pack, they also offer the Kitsuma, which is made specifically for women’s builds.
By Dan Patitucci