The Osprey brand is synonymous with quality in the world of backpacks. Osprey have recently developed a range of packs squarely aimed at the trail runner. The range includes a waist belt style Rev Solo Bottle Pack (£25), the Rev 6l pack (£60) and the smaller, but feature packed, Rev 1.5l pack (£50). It was the Rev 1.5l that we were given the opportunity to properly review the over the summer months and see how the kings of the big packs copes with the other end of the spectrum.

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Lets start by stating this pack is strictly for runners, or someone who doesn’t want to carry much with them. You can fit a jacket and not a lot else in there, especially once the reservoir is full of water. This tiny capacity we found to be more than good enough for our long trail runs over the summer (20km+), especially with the various pockets holding the essentials in one place.

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Not recommended rehydration practice!

There’s also bungee compression system that allows you to add a few extras if needed, which means it will be ok for most winter runs as well (where I invariably set off with too much kit, though still less than most runners. How anyone can run far in a fleece tracksuit without melting is beyond me!)

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We really love the DigiFlip™ pocket on the shoulder straps that take a mobile phone comfortably. This allows you to use a smartphone as a GPS quite easily if needed, or just to make and receive calls as nature intended. The apparent small capacity is supplemented further by the Dual PowerMesh™ harness pockets on the straps for carrying ample gels and there’s a secure pocket on the front that keeps your wallet and keys secure. It’s not apparent at first glance either, being hidden under the seam, and we only found it after re-reading the pack spec after puzzling over where the key-chain holder was located (and every pack has one of those these days!)

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If you’re planning on running in the dark, you’ll be glad to know that the pack has some hi-viz strips as well as being a visible yellow.

There’s a bladder inside the pack for hydration, that has a secure valve that allows just the reservoir to be easily removed to fill and clean. The mouthpiece clips magnetically onto the chest strap, preventing it dangling on the floor when you take the pack off and exactly where you want it on the run. It would stay in place during the run as well, so long as you placed the tubing out of the way of moving arms.

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So on all technical counts, the pack is an apparent winner. As someone who has only run-commuted with a pack in the past, and usually uses a waist pack, I expected this to take some time getting used to.

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Simply put, I’m converted. The weight is in just the right place on your back, and while it is a total cliché, I would quickly forget I was wearing it. While the same goes for a waist pack on most runs, it can still rock about when you’re carrying excess weight, such as water. The Rev 1.5 is designed to carry 1.5 litres of water, or a total of around 2 KG in weight. And chafing? Not something we came across during the review process as it just fit, without pinching or moving where it shouldn’t.

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Overall, the Rev 1.5l doesn’t disappoint, performing all you’d expect from a sturdy running pack. There are cheaper alternatives, as always, but if you’re serious about trail running then this pack should be all you need.

Weight : 0.34 (M/L) kg
Maximum dimensions : (mm) 390 (l) x 210 (w) x 100 (d)

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