I confess I love all my Osprey rucksacks. I like the attention to detail and the specific packs for different activities. I do sometimes complain that the Osprey designers offer too much attention to detail (I know, this is an odd thing to write!) but overall they are usually high quality products and vey well thought out.
The new Osprey Duro collection includes three vest-style packs, 15l, 6l and 1.5l, and in two sizes: S/M and M/L.
There is also a Duro running belt and a hand-held hydration system. For this review I have been testing the Osprey Duro 15.
- Vest-style fit with dual adjustable/removable sternum straps
- Triple hydration system with two Hydraulics Soft Flasks and a 2.5l reservoir.
- Multiple pockets
- Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment
- Unisex fit
- The prices of the packs are £90 for Duro 6, £120 for Duro 1.5 and £140 for Duro 15.
There are many features that I like about this pack and a few that I find irritating.
I have the S/M pack and I like the way that it shapes to my body. I can adjust it to fit fairly well although because this is a unisex pack and I am a slim woman I find I have all the straps at their almost tightest. It would be great to have a female-specific sized pack.
The sternum straps are seemingly very clever but in reality a bit of a pain. They can be removed and moved about, up and down the shoulder straps, to get the right fit. This is great.
However, the “snap to secure” system is fiddly, especially when you have cold hands or you are on the move. More than once I had to stop to concentrate on trying to get the sternum straps to connect. I prefer the straightforward clipped together straps on most other packs.
The mesh back and shoulder traps make the pack comfortable to run with and I really like the wide and padded waist band. There are two zipped pockets that are really useful. I do wish they were big enough to fit my iPhone 6 Plus phone.
There is a lot of useful space in the pack including a large zipped compartment and a stretchy outer packet that is open topped but handy for stuffing items that you want easy access to, such as a waterproof jacket r a map.
Another smaller zipped pocket can be found at the top of the pack. I put my mobile phone in there.
The pack has lots of straps to aid compression when not fully packed. This is important because most runners hate to have a pack that bangs around on their pack due to loose items inside the pack.
There are another two zipped side packets. Runners might like to stuff gels in these side pockets. I have to say I ran out of things to put in the pockets but I think that if you were using the pack for ultra running it would have lots of useful places for stowing differing things.
The zips have brilliant, easy to use pulls. You can fit your entire finger tip inside the plastic loops. This is brilliant when you are faffing around with cold hands. I found the zips really easy to use.
Another inner pocket is the place to hang a 2.5l water bladder. This is included in the 15l pack. Plus there are two smaller water “flasks” – basically soft water bottles – that can be placed in the wide shoulder strap pockets at the front of the pack. Many runners favour this system for easy access to water.
Personally, I prefer the traditional larger water reservoir with a tube that runs over the shoulder. Osprey has added a very useful magnet on the upper sternum strap to keep the hydration tube in place. This is excellent.
I find the flasks on the shoulder straps annoy me as I run. If you were a larger chested lady you would definitely not like the extra “frontage” created by the flasks.
I guess it’s about preference and it is nice to have the different options for hydration.
An annoyance was that I did find myself opening and shutting all three top zips quite a few times when trying to find things. It would be helpful to have colour indictors for the zips. I kept going into the large main pocket when I meant to access the small top pocket.
The additional feature of a place to carry poles when not in use is helpful. Many walkers and ultra runners now use lightweight poles so it is handy to have a place to keep these.
I really like the look of the smaller packs, too. The 6l would be a great pack if you do not need to carry many items while running. Note that this does not come with a 2.5l bladder. The 1.5l pack is great for times when you simply want to take the basics with you, for example, a phone, car key, energy gel and water.
Overall this is a well thought out running pack and definitely one to consider. A few minor niggles are outweighed by the general all-round good design.