Osprey specialise in backpacks and other luggage for outdoor pursuits. They are based in Colorado, USA, where they were first established in 1974 by Mike Pfotenhauer. Mike was taken walking as a young boy in his native Oregon and the uncomfortable sensation of an ill-fitting backpack clearly stayed with him.
He was taught to sew by his mother and made his first backpack at 16. He started making them seriously in his early 20s and sold them from a shop in Santa Monica, California. When demand got too much, he hired an old Gore-Tex factory in Colorado and trained some of the skilled seamstresses from the local Navajo reservation in the ways of making his legendary packs.
Osprey are now well known for their craftsmanship, indeed Mike still checks every new product they bring to market, but it has also introduced some new technologies over the years. They were one of the first companies to introduce breathable mesh in the ’70s and in 2005 they introduced a moulding for the hip belt that adjusts to the shape of the wearer.
A range of packs and luggage specifically designed for bikes and cyclists is now a key part of the Osprey range. They carry three series of hydration packs aimed at women bikers; Mira, Raven and Verve. The general use cycling bags are bracketed into ‘Active Everyday’, ‘Multi-use’ and ‘Gear Hauling’, which give you a pretty good idea of what you’re getting. Aside from this they offer small bike accessories, such as a hydration reservoir cleaner.