The Osprey Katari 7 pack. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Osprey Katari 7 pack. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Price: £70
Weight: 534g
Colour: grey/green
Rated capacity: 7 litres
Country of manufacture: Vietnam

The Katari 7 is a slimline pack aimed at mountain bikers, cyclists and runners.

The rucksack comes with Osprey’s 2.5-litre Hydraulics LT reservoir, which slots into a sleeve outside the main compartment, and has a hanging loop with a small plastic buckle to keep the bladder upright.

The rucksack is designed with good ventilation. The hack has two soft, ridged, foam-filled vertical sections with venting perforations between the ridges. In between these two pads is a central ventilation channel with mesh covering. The harness straps have mesh sections at the top of the shoulder section, then a foam padded section at collar-bone level, again with ridges similar to the back pads. Below this is another mesh section.

The waist belt is a simple webbing design with plastic buckle. The sternum strap is also a narrow webbing material. The buckle is an innovative design incorporating a pair of magnets. It clips into two docking holes on its counterpart on the left strap, and the magnets hold it firmly closed. Unhooking is simple to open the strap. Both sides adjust continuously for height via ‘rails’ in the harness.

The magnet is also used to hold the drinks tube when not in use. The Hydraulics LT reservoir has a sliding magnet housing on its tube. If you pass the tube through the elastic loops in the right harness strap, the tube can then be held across the chest by attaching it to the magnet. If you prefer, you can remove the magnet from the drinks tube and just tuck the tube under the harness strap when not in use.

The water reservoir itself is made of soft-feeling TPU and has a v-shaped internal baffle to reduce the sloshing around of water when on the move and stop it ballooning when filled.

The bladder has a rigid plastic handle near its top to hold when filling it. A tethered rigid plastic closure slide is slid off. A plastic fold-down flap can then be lifted and the reservoir opened. Squeezing the ends of the mouth keep it open when filling. The fairly wide opening means filling the Hydraulics reservoir from streams was fairly easy.

The drinking tube is then passed through one of the loops built into the rigid handle, depending on whether you want it to feed left or right.

The bite valve is opened by turning its housing 45 degrees and it works well with a good flow possible.

The harness straps are comfortable and well ventilated. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The harness straps are comfortable and well ventilated. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The rucksack has one main compartment with a zip running three-quarters of its length down the centre, with a hook-and-loop fastening cowl at the top to help keep out the rain. Inside are two small mesh pockets with elasticated tops. There are small elastic loops too to keep bike tools or other small items in place.

If you’re using the pack while running, these help stop small items moving around too much. We used the pack mainly for biking. The main compartment was just big enough to fit in a waterproof top, a puncture-repair kit and tools, plus a small first-aid kit and a couple of snacks.

On the pack at the base of the zip is a reflective loop to attach a rear lamp.

There are also two elasticated mesh pockets on the outside of the pack, which also has a haul loop.

The Katari 7 has another small pocket at the top of the pack, which is zipped and contains a key clip. The pocket is big enough for items such as a phone and sunglasses.

We used the Osprey pack mainly on our mountain biking outings and it worked well. There was a little dampness in the back but that’s inevitable with any pack when you’re working hard, but the ventilation channel and padding design helped keep this low.

The main compartment has mesh pockets and elastic loops for gear. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The main compartment has mesh pockets and elastic loops for gear. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The harness was very comfortable and very well ventilated. It helped keep the pack in place over bumps and the Katari 7 felt secure. The zip pullers have plastic loops which made them easy to use when wearing gloves.

Quality was good too, and the little design touches are what you would expect from pack experts Osprey.

It’s just big enough for the essentials on the bike or on a short run. We tended not to fill the reservoir to its full capacity on our rides, which helps keep the weight down, but if you do need the full 2.5 litres of water, the Katari 7 supports it well, with no discomfort.

It’s not cheap, but you do get the Hydraulics LT bladder included, which would cost £30 if bought separately and can be used with other hydration-system compatible rucksacks. The quality, design and comfort earned this little pack a grough best buy recommendation.

Performance 31/35
Comfort 31/35
Features 7/10
Quality 8/10
Value for money 7/10
Total score: 84/100

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