The Osprey Viper 7 is a 400 cubic inch hydration pack with some pretty cool, and as far as I know, unique, features. This is just the right-outta-the-box-and-onto-the-kitchen-counter review. I’ll be getting, as Gandhi used to say “hard and heavy” with the thing some time in the near future. The color you are looking at is what they are calling “Thunder Cloud,” but it is, for all intents and purposes: black.
Run down of all the totally sweet features and a metric butt load of pics after the break.
The bladder is easily accessible and appears to be exceptionally sturdily built. Simply pull up a robust velcro tab, and you’re in there.
My tools jumped into the “internal organization” pockets like they were going home.
The shoulder strap pockets should come in handy — whether for making my energy gels more readily available or housing my ipod. Hey, you never know when you’re going to need to skip that Katy Perry song that somebody “snuck” onto your ipod. Heh, am I right fellas? Fellas…
The over-built blinker attachment at the bottom of the pack doubles as catcher for the hip straps. The hip straps are removable, although I’m not sure why. I’m a big fan of not having my hydration pack swing forward and hit me in the head as I come down off a jump or log hop. But if you’re on the fence about the whole “do I want hip straps or not” thing, you can simply latch the straps through the blinker loop while you think about it. Of course being hit repeatedly in the head with your hydration pack might impede your thought process somewhat.
The feature I’m most enamored with is the “LidLock” helmet holder. Because I, like most super-cool riders, be they real or imagined, tend to forgo the use of a helmet whenever possible, only donning it when I know for sure that an unforeseen accident is imminent. I ride through city traffic to the trails bare-headed, do most of my non-totally-gnarly trail riding with nothing between my brains and the pointy rocks but my unkempt hair, and then pause briefly to put my helmet on when I feel an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage is about to befall me.
OK, that’s made up. But I do like to strap my helmet to my bag occasionally, like when I get in a car or when I lock my bike somewhere and I want to walk around with my hands free and, more importantly, without my helmet on. A helmet may protect your brain from physical injury, but it does nothing to shield you from the emotional scarring that occurs when people say things like “Hey Joey, look at that d— bag…he’s such a d— bag, he needs a walking helmet!”
Just pull that little, plastic tab through a helmet vent sideways.
And pow! Look at that.
I felt like my helmet was on there securely enough, but there is a compression cord if you feel you need to add tension. And if you feel like you need to add tension to a given situation like say, riding in a crowded elevator, start tearing at your clothes while yelling something like “If that thing beeps again, I swear to God, I am gonna freaking lose it…LOSE—IT!”
The bite valve opens and closes via a pivoting back and forth sort of motion. It is also magnetic, like impressively so. It pulled a rusty .38 caliber handgun right out of Mystic River…and the Mystic River is about 100 yards from my house. OK, also made up, but I have no doubt that it will stay put during a ride. We’ll find that out for sure when I actually take this thing out for ride, which will happen when the snow clears…
who’s got the keys to the weather machine?