It was only earlier this year that I ever used a bladder when cycling. I’ve never tried them running, but after a day in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire with Osprey Europe, I’m kind of a convert. We tested out a couple models on that day, but I had my eye on the Osprey Seral 7 which is a bike-specific lumbar-pack with an integrated hydration reservoir.
Out on a ride recently I even bumped into fellow Essex cyclist, @PurpleSpokes and her husband in Epping Forest whose decision to purchase a cycling waist pack was cemented after seeing me with the Seral.
Essential Features For A Day On The Trails
I guess the biggest feature of the Osprey Seral 7 is that it comes with the 1.5L Hydraulics™ Lumbar Reservoir so it can either be used on its own or in addition to bottles on the bike.
I haven’t installed bottle cages on my cross bike as they would just get covered in mud so when I use the bike for longer off road rides, a water source is essential.
In terms of fit, it’s made to be worn on your lower back. The Seral 7 has what Osprey call the AirScape™ backpanel with foam ridges specifically for comfort and fit. The straps are adjustable around your waist which makes it even easier to fit your specific body.
The pack also features an LED light attachment point and reflective graphics to make sure you can be seen when out and about. You should try the Eddystone Clip On LED Light* which actually saved me from being taken off the course during Red Bull Timelaps when my rear bike light failed.
The pack has two main compartments; one is shared with the bladder and the other is located in front. The front compartment has internal organisation pockets including a scratch-free pocket for electronics or glasses, and a mesh pouch with key-clip.
What & How I Packed
For my most recent gravel ride, I didn’t actually need too much but here is some of what I took along:
- House keys
- GoPro and Joby GorillaPod*
- 2x Nakd bars
- ID and cash
…and there was room for plenty more!
The Osprey Seral 7 vs A Back Pack
This conversation takes me back to when I was planning my London to Paris ride. Sorting out how to carry my luggage was one of the biggest parts of planning.
One potential option for that trip was to carry everything in a backpack, but doing so would (could?) result in a very sweaty back and achy shoulders from the weight.
So these really are the same reasons that I would suggest choosing a waist / hip pack over a backpack for mountain biking or gravel riding.
The Osprey Seral 7 Waist Bag In Detail
Empty, the pack weighs just 0.37 kg, but adding your water and accouchements will soon add up. The position in which the pack sits though means that bounce is minimised and you barely notice the weight at all.
The maximum dimensions are: 20 (l) x 33 (w) x 15 (d). The pack also has two zippered hip belt pockets which are more easily accessible when on the move.
Last but not least, the pack is unisex and available in two colours – red (as featured in this post) or green for 2021.
What Do The Reviews Say?
We all love reading reviews right, so I’ll save you reading some of the others online after reading mine and share what they said here. Here is what people are saying:
- Good functional alternative to a back pack
- avoid the sweaty neck syndrome especially in the Summer.
- Would be useful for some additional straps to secure surplus outer wear
- I kinda agree with this but if your layers are lightweight, you can probably fit at least one in the pack if necessary or stash it between the start and your body.
- This is a great little bag for short day rides. Bladder holds plenty of water and the mouthpiece has a good flow.
- It’s much more comfortable that full size backpack.
There’s nothing more to know about this cycling pack – if there is, ask away please! But now you’re filled in, if you think this is the bag for you, then you won’t be disappointed when you get your hands on it!
You are gonna love this if… you enjoy outdoor adventures on two wheels and want to take along water yo can easily access.
Think twice if… you’re an extra light packer on the bike and don’t need the extra space.