Our "Rider Review" article series features honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.
In the past, people would have needed to choose between the water bottle or the hydration backpack route when it comes to carrying water. These days there is a new option, the hydration hip or "lumbar" pack. Our friend Jorge shares his experience with the Osprey Savu Lumbar Bottle Pack. Check it out!
An inconvenience of riding small frames is finding a way to fit a bottle cage, and it is almost impossible with full-suspension frames. The best solution for me to carry hydration has been the use of hip packs, some hate it, some laugh at the idea, some love it. I am in the latter camp and in the last two years, I have tried and used several of them. Naturally, when I saw the Osprey Savu I was intrigued by it and I will admit at first I was skeptical of its usefulness but now I have been using it nonstop on weekdays after leaving my job which usually are short rides of an hour.
The only hassle with traditional hip packs I have met with is the maintenance of the bladder, eventually with time and if you are not cautious they spill, they are difficult to keep clean and eventually need replacement after a full season of use. And that is why I purchased the Savu, for daily quick laps I just fill one or two bottles and I am on my way to my local trails, and when I get home it is much easier to clean the bottles than the traditional bladder. Another advantage is that you can actually see how much water you still have, sometimes with the bladder it is difficult and I have ended up short on hydration on some occasions. The Osprey Savu fits two bottles; I have used it with 21 and 24 oz bottles with no issues. Just make sure you snap the buttons that give the bottle sleeves its shape. Even using it with one bottle the pack does not feel unbalanced which is useful for short rides. Certainly, it is not meant to be used on the go but it is not a problem for me since I am used to stop to hydrate even with the traditional bladder systems.
The Osprey Savu has good space for tools, cell phone and the occasional lights/accessories I carry during winter. It also includes a practical key holder and side pockets. Certainly, something that the Osprey hydration pack could improve is placing more inside pockets but it is not a deal-breaker. Also, it could provide some more external features to hold knee/elbow pads but then again it is not something I carry on a daily basis.
Riding on the trail has not been different than other hip packs it stays in place and snug, it is comfortable even in tropical weather and different than other packs that use bladders you do not need to readjust the belts as the bladder empties. I highly recommend this pack and I am also looking forward to purchasing the Osprey Seral since I have been impressed by the quality and craftsmanship of Osprey.
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