Run of the Month: Lyndhurst Loop, New Forest
Created as a royal forest for deer hunting by William I in the 11th century,…
The Rev range is Osprey’s new collection of super-technical running packs. There are three packs at 1.5l (RRP £60), 6l (RRP £70) and 18l (RRP £90), each one available in two sizes (S/M & M/L) to suit every runner. Jen’s been testing out the Rev 18 for the past month – here’s how she got on:
The Osprey Rev 18 (RRP £90) is an 18-litre pack with a 2.5l reservoir that’s designed for trail running. It’s perfect for longer training runs, multi-day adventures, mountain running and even mountain marathons if you’re happy to go minimalist. Osprey packs come in different back sizes which is great for me – I’ve got more leg than body, so although I’m 5’8″ I often struggle with unisex designs. Back in our climbing shop days we used to use a measuring device to fit Osprey packs, however there’s a nifty new Packsizer App that will tell you what size you are based on a photo. It’s quite fun to use but, given there are only two size options, the results weren’t a surprise and I went for the small/medium.
We’ve been using Osprey packs for years, dragging them up mountains and on trains, packed with kit for everything from mountain bivvies to family days out. We’ve always been impressed by their great design and durability and – though we’ve tried our hardest – we haven’t managed to destroy one yet. The Rev is packed with features and is brilliantly-thought-out for running. The BioStretch harness is very comfortable: wide, padded straps that are foam encased in breathable mesh. Two expandable zipped pockets on the waist belt are perfect for snacks or anything else you’ll need on the run. The shoulder straps have a range of elastic loops and mesh pockets plus a clever pouch with a clear front that allows you to stash a smartphone or GPS device and view/operate it without the need to remove it from its pouch – this is detachable if/when you don’t need it. Two slim elasticated chest straps can be moved to a range of positions to get exactly the right set-up; this is one of my favourite parts of the pack in fact, as the chest strap is something most manufacturers struggle to get right, especially for the varying needs of us women. Bungee front and elasticated mesh side pockets mean there’s loads of easily-accessible external storage space, and there’s a handy zipped pocket in the top that’s separate and scratch-free: perfect for sunglasses. It’s also high-vis with reflective detail – great for commuting or running through the night.
The Rev 18 is a perfect choice as a runpacking, adventure racing or mountain marathon pack. It’s not big but the use of space is so clever that there’s plenty of room for everything you need. In fact we put this to the test and packed it with everything on the OMM kit list (check out those retro KIMM Kamleika waterproof trousers!) – and it fitted.
To be fair this was helped by some great lightweight, packable kit choices such as the Terra Nova Laser Competition tent, RAB superlight down sleeping bag (mine’s the old Quantum 200, no longer in production), Berghaus Hypertherm Hoody and Hyper Hydroshell jackets and of course the awesome Kamleika Race Pant – now much updated and even more awesome – and finally the Duomat sleeping mat from my OMM Classic 25 pack. It’s really impressive how much you can pack into the Rev and still wear it very comfortably while running on rough terrain. The whole lot weighed in at around 4.5kg without water.
The 2.5l reservoir that’s included with the pack slides neatly into an internal sleeve. Yet again it’s a great piece of design, with a detachable hose and large roll-down top for ease of removal and filling. The mouthpiece clips magnetically onto the chest strap, keeping it exactly where you want it with no flapping. I tend not to use reservoirs in favour of bottles, however the Rev deals neatly with either scenario.
To sum up, I’ll be using the Rev a lot in the future – it’s a fantastic, well-designed, comfortable pack that, based on my previous experiences of Osprey products, will last forever.