Osprey are well known for their packs and Ben has been testing one of their smaller offerings in the form of the Siskin 8 litre.
Definitely at the smaller end of the riding pack spectrum, the Osprey Siskin 8 has won our man Ben over . Find out what made it so good below.
- AirScape™ backpanel with large central ventilation channel
- 2.5L Hydraulics™ LT Reservoir included
- Front shove-it pocket
- LidLock™ bike helmet attachment
- Zippered scratch-free sunglasses and electronics pocket
- LED light attachment point
- £80.00 RRP.
Back pack and luggage gurus Osprey have totally revamped their range of riding packs for 2019, including the all new Siskin 8 hydration pack designed for shorter trail rides and summer blasts.
I have been using the pack for several months now, including some savagely hot rides and more recently in some pretty minging conditions. It has been my default bag for bike testing where I often carry a shock pump and tyre pressure gauge as well as the normal spares so I can tinker as I go.
This time last year I reviewed the Osprey Viper 9 hydration pack and loved it, so I was interested to see what the new Siskin had to offer.
All of the 8 litres of internal storage is in one main compartment and within that there is a small pocket for a phone or glasses. This is near the top of the bag, so you don’t have to rummage too deep to get to your phone quickly. There is also a small netted area to secure your tools and keys and a large baffle to stop stuff falling out when you unzip the pack all the way.
The other storage is in the rear stuff pocket which I use for a jacket on every winter ride I go on. It is so useful and accessible, especially on changeable rides where it is dry, rainy, dry, rainy and you are taking your jacket off and on loads. On the back of the stuff pocket flap is the Osprey Lidlock helmet carry system which does a great job of holding a trail lid in place, but is a feature that I never use.
As has always been my experience with Osprey, the quality is top notch. From the buckles, to the material and stitching it all just works well and is finished to a very high standard. Surprisingly I have not actually crashed wearing this pack (yet) so it hasn’t been tested too hard, but it seems really durable and has stood up to repeated jet washes and stiff brushes after rides and still seems as good as new.
I found the Siskin to be nice and secure on my back, both when packed full with 2 litres of water and some gear and also when pretty much empty on my local loop. Either way I appreciated its narrow profile and back hugging shape and the straps did a fair job of securing the pack. I did find myself loosening the straps on fire roads and tightening them to drop in, but I don’t see this as a problem.
When I compare the Siskin to the Viper from last year I do get a little frustrated though and to be honest I preferred the Viper. The extra front pocket was so useful and kept all my tools and spares to hand without going into the main compartment.
Yes, it was £5 more expensive and it was 1 litre larger, but I found the Viper to be easier to live with and a slightly better pack for that reason. I do prefer the Siskin’s colours though and if I had never used the old Viper I would have given the Siskin a glowing 5-Star review.
What do we think?
Overall the Siskin is a classy bit of kit that should last you many years. The pack is robust, well made and comfortable, and the bladder delivers your water in plentiful supply through the bite valve. I would recommend this for general UK riding all year round as it is very versatile and packed with tidy features.
- Built quality
- Well-laid out storage
Could do better:
- Viper 9 is a fiver more and arguably a better pack