Osprey

Women’s Salida 8 Hydration Pack

I’m super impressed by the comfort and functionality of the women specific Salida 8 backpack. Seemingly perfect for an all day epic or a quickie down your local trails, this bag has got yo’ back.

There is one main compartment, a sunglasses pocket, and a large zipper pocket with interior mesh. The 2.5L bladder which is included has a seperate section and is held up by a clip system to stop it slumping inside the pack, which was actually an aspect I found rather irritating on my old backpack. This reservoir is plenty big enough for an all-dayer (and this is coming from someone who is certain her youthful complexion is due to the impressive amount of water she can drink), and has a useful filling gauge on the side so you can fill it less for shorter rides. Now, this may be a slight overreaction but the first couple of uses of the bladder resulted in mild swearing and the face of someone that’s just been sucking on a lemon, but persevere, the plastic taste subsides after a few uses and now it’s completely unnoticeable. The hydration tubing feeds nicely through your straps keeping it tucked away, and there’s a small magnet on the sternum strap which means you can satisfy your quench and then BAM it’s secured away nicely with minimal effort. Does it work? Yes! Gone are the days where the hose is flailing around by your side and dripping water all over your leg. Hallelujah for that! The sternum strap too has a magnetic closure mechanism, supposedly so you can close it without taking your eyes off the trail. The magnetic closure on this bad boy is pretty strong so it’s not the easiest to open, especially when your hands are cold.

I typically carry my phone and keys, minitool kit, spare tube, pump, and (arguably the most important) snacks. The 8L version is only really big enough for one extra layer, like a jersey or lightweight waterproof jacket, but the expandable outer pocket works well for quickly stuffing a wet coat. The helmet clip is a nice addition and is super easy to use; It pops right through your lid and keeps it securely in place on your back so you no longer have your helmet swinging from your handlebars and hitting your knee on every rotation.

One thing to cover for peace of mind of my fellow Welshies… Is it waterproof? Seemingly so. This was ’Storm Dennis’ tested and I can honestly say it faired well. The water-repellant outer layer means the muddy water just beads up and rolls off, keeping your bag looking fresher for longer. It also has an ‘Airspace back panel’ with a large air channel to prevent the dreaded sweaty-back patch… but I have yet been blessed with the weather to test this feature.

To conclude, if you want something lightweight, comfortable and highly functional then this bag is for you. It’s ideal for shorter rides or racing, but if you’re planning on doing an overnighter or you’re a fan of hauling around kit “just in case” you’re definitely gonna need a bigger bag; luckily osprey have you covered with a 12L option. One thing I’d like to see added is the ‘quick connect’ feature provided on other osprey backpacks, eliminating the need to unthread your tubing from the traps, and the colour options are pretty limited with ‘Teal Glass’ (shown) or ‘violet pedals’ (deep purple) but both are aesthetically pleasing and have a nice style.

You can see and purchase the bag here https://www.ospreyeurope.com/shop/gb_en/salida-8-2019

Peace out, @little_row