[This post was originally written for Ultrarunnerpodcast.com, it was published there on March 24th, 2014. Thanks to Eric Schranz for enlisting my help with the review.]
I use a hydration pack for runs longer than 2 hours, preferring the Nathan HPL #020 for its capacity and comfort. I also use more than one pack, so that I can swap them at aid stations without having to get in and out of the pack or bladder. Osprey’s quick disconnect reservoir makes multiple packs unnecessary, and there is plenty more about the new REV 1.5 to talk about.
I was told the new REV series trail running hydration packs from Osprey “fit like a shirt”, moving with your torso as you run. Osprey has long been an innovator in pack suspension systems, and I was eager to put the claim to the test. The REV is Osprey’s first backpack designed for trail running.
Key features include:
- A 1.5 liter reservoir
- A magnetic bite valve keeper
- Digiflip” media pocket provides weather-resistant access to your smart phone
|Tight and adjustable fit with no bounce.|
The REV sports two removable sternum straps. I like this feature. Removing the lower strap may be necessary to accommodate a heart rate monitor. All straps are well-organized with keepers; no loose ends to flap about. The REV was comfortable for the long haul; I had zero issues with its fit over 2-4 hour runs.
The REV 1.5 has a zippered reservoir compartment and a smaller zippered stash pocket in the main body of the pack. The smaller pocket is adequate for extra gels or energy bars, a headlamp, gloves, and even a small windbreaker. An external shock cord system on the exterior will hold extra layers and an extra water bottle. Up front, the shoulder straps provide more storage. Two small stretch pockets on the right strap are suitable for 5-6 gels, a sleeve of bloks or supplements.
The small pocket appears to be made of a weather proof material, which is always helpful on the trails. Overall, the material is similar to other packs, but doesn’t have the rip-stop that Nathan does. That aside, it’s very well made, and the attention to detail is obvious.
The left strap contains the removable Digiflip media pocket and a small stretch pocket. The Digiflip pocket holds my iPhone 5 in its Lifeproof case, but it is snug. Some brands of phones, phablets, or Otter Box cases may not fit inside the media pocket. The entire pocket flips down, revealing a clear window providing access to the phone.
|Quick connect bladder|
|Magnetic bite valve. Pacemakers, beware!|
The REV 1.5 lived up to the hype. Little details like locking strap keepers and the magnetic bite valve impressed me. The baffled reservoir retains its shape, keeping the center of gravity close to the torso. The quick connect on the reservoir makes refills feel like a Formula One pit-stop. The pack with its shock cord are capable of carrying enough gear to outlast the reservoir.
|DigiFlip pocket flips down for smart phone access|
The REV 1.5 is a well-designed, comfortable, compact hydration pack perfect for training runs. The REV series includes sizes ranging up to 24 liters of storage and I intend to investigate the larger sizes for use in longer races. I want more capacity in the reservoir, so I would consider buying the REV 6. Until then, my Nathan remains my choice for runs over three-four hours.