Whether you gain vert under your own power or on a chairlift, you're ready for the downhill roller-coaster ride with the Osprey Zealot 10 Hydration Pack strapped to your back. MTB-specific features like a removable roll-out tool pouch and a full-face helmet carrier make the Zealot your pack of choice for a day on the trails.Airscape suspension features ridge-molded foam that creates a lightweight yet supportive and ventilated back panelBiostretch ventilated harness features perforated EVA straps covered by soft, breathable spacer mesh for maximum breathabilityHydration sleeve has elastic cord compression to keep water under pressureHydraform reservoir is BPA- and PVC-free, and features an AquaGuard antimicrobial treatment to prevent growth of bacteria and moldIntegral framesheet in reservoir prevents barreling, while a rigid handles allows for easy insertion and removal in the pack180-degree pivot bite valve rotates on and off in either direction, and includes magnet that attaches to sternum strapReflective details improve nighttime visibilityZip and drop-in pockets on the shoulder straps keep essentials in easy reach
Strengths: Fit, I am 6'2", and this pack is tall and thin, in a good way. I feel like the overall length fits me better than any pack I've used in the past, it is long on my torso in a comfortable way. Also, due to its length is ends up being thinner so it feels like the pack sits closer to my back. This is my favorite part of the pack.
The bite valve feels good in my mouth (ha) and delivers plenty of water. Also, the magnet is a great feature since I hate the bite valve flapping around when riding. The bite valve seems secure enough so you don't have to ride with it in the closed position, but it still doesn't leak.
Lifetime guarantee, can't beat that.
Tool pouch is small but handy for tools you don't use all the time.
Logo/design on the back is cool.
Helmet lid lock is sweet.
There is also a part you can fold the back panel down to store pads etc when climbing.
Weaknesses: The only weakness I found is that there is no internal pockets, not a big deal though since there are enough other places to store stuff.
Oh, the other weakness is that the tube is not disconnect-able, so you have to fill the resevoir while it is attached, not a big deal though.
Overall, this is the best pack I've ever had. I would say that it is slightly expensive, but worth it. The 10 claims to be 600cu inches, though it seems a little smaller. I went from a pack that was 450cu inches, and that one almost felt like it had more room. I think this is due to the profile though, which in my mind is worth it. If you wanted a bigger pack, get the 16 though the 10 fits everything I need in my pack including a small first aid kit, and a shell, as well as all of the other essentials.
Similar Products Used: Hydrapack, Ogio, and Camelback various hydration packs.
Bike Setup: N/a
a Weekend Warrior
from Walnut, CA USA
Date Reviewed: February 21, 2012
Strengths: At first look the Osprey Zealot 10 is sleek with some good looks thanks to the screen printed graphics and silver/black color combo (it's also available in blue). The materials used feel very high quality and should take a good beating along the trail. Even the pockets are lined in a yellow material to make it easier to find things when your lighting isn't the best. Aside from the looks, the strengths of the Zealot 10 mainly revolve around the utility that it provides, thanks to its numerous straps, pockets, and clips. I managed to load the Zealot 10 with the following (and where they fit):
- SixSixOne Riot knee pads (outside main pocket)
- SixSixOne Riot elbow pads (inside main compartment)
- Pearl Izumi sun sleeves (under compression cords)
- Pearl Izumi gloves (outside main pocket)
- Tifosi Cycling glasses (top stash pocket)
- SKS tire pressure gauge (top stash pocket)
- Lezyne flat kit (tool pouch)
- SRAM CO2 inflator (tool pouch)
- 3x CO2 cartridges (tool pouch)
- SRAM Powerlink (tool pouch)
- GoPro Hero HD2 camera (inside main compartment)
- GoPro chest harness (inside main compartment)
- GoPro extra batteries (inside main compartment)
- Spare 26" tire tube (tool pouch)
- First Aid Kit (tool pouch)
- Zip ties (tool pouch)
- Cell Phone (top stash pocket)
- Wallet (top stash pocket)
- Keys (top stash pocket)
That's a lot of gear, not to mention that I easily clipped my Giro helmet to the outside of the Zealot 10 using the built-in "LidLock" attachment. Along with the soft-lined "Stash Pocket" up top, you also get a mesh pocket on the right shoulder strap and a zippered "media" pocket on the left shoulder strap for even more stuff. The main cargo area in the rear - yes rear, as unlike other packs on the market, the Zealot 10 features access through the back of the pack instead of the front, allowing you to get to your gear without having to unload everything strapped up front - is very roomy, even after loading in the hydration reservoir and tool pouch (more on this later). After all of the above I still had extra room in the front compartment just in caseI wanted to take along a windbreaker or even a Lunchables meal pack.
Speaking of reservoir, a zippered hydration sleeve separates your drink from your gear. Elastic compression cords keep your hydration reservoir close to your back and double as a jacket or glove/sleeve holder. The hydration compartment carries any 3-liter reservoir; mine came with Osprey's HydroForm reservoir, but I elected to use my CamelBak Antidote 3-liter instead, as I prefer the lower profile and larger bite valve and flow of the CamelBak unit. There are two exit slots for your hydration tube to suit left or right-handed riders, and a built-in clip inside the sleeve keeps your reservoir from sliding down into the bottom of the pack as it empties.
I saved the best feature for last - the built-in tool pouch. The roll-up pouch features two zippered compartments and a dedicated spot for a mini-pump.Once you load all your tools (including a tube) into the pouch, it rolls up and fits into a dedicated pocket at the bottom of the Zealot; it also unclips from the pack if you need to remove all of your tools at once. The positioning at the bottom of the pack brings the weight down low, and no longer do I have to figure out how to position all of my tools so that they don't shift around and make noise.
Weaknesses: The Osprey website says that their HydroForm reservoir is only available with the pack "in some markets;" mine came with it, but I ended up not using it. As I mentioned earlier, the CamelBak Antidote has better features. The HydroForm looks good with its screen-printed graphics and gray/white color combo, but other than the nice magnet mount for the bite valve (which attaches to a magnet mount on the chest strap of the pack) total function is more important than looks when it comes to reservoirs. The bite valve on the HydroForm is smaller, and the twist cap is very large and bulky compared to CamelBak's slim, easy to use 1/4-turn cap. Maybe future reservoirs from Osprey will be better, but for now I'll stick to my CamelBak Antidote.
Osprey Packs has a winner in the new Zealot 10. It is an exceptional pack that is great for all kinds of mountain biking. It's utility and ability to store a lot of gear in a low-profile, sleek package is unbelievable at first until you actually use one. I chose the 10 because it was dimensionally close to the overall size of my previous pack - but if you actually need even more space, they also offer a Zealot 16.
The Zealot 10 easily held all my gear, yet even when fully loaded it felt less bulky on my back and more comfortable to wear compared to my old pack. All of the storage features are a nice touch - especially the trick tool pouch. The ability to use any reservoir of your choice is also a plus, and overall the build quality and materials used are excellent. The retail price of the Zealot 10 is a little higher compared to similar packs of this size, so if you feel that the Zealot 10's price tag is higher than you wanted to spend, do yourself a favor and spend the extra $20-30. You won't regret it!
Similar Products Used: My previous pack was a CamelBak M.U.L.E., which served me well until I began bringing more gear. The slim profile of the M.U.L.E. limited what I could carry comfortably, as if I tried to load everything I bring with me (listed above) the M.U.L.E. would be stretched backward (towards the rear of the bike) and the weight of the gear would be noticeable enough that I would feel it sway side to side when riding through curvy trails. I had considered upgrading to the larger CamelBak H.A.W.G. NV pack, but seeing it in person the H.A.W.G. NV looked a little too large for my tastes.