Osprey Raptor 14
Hip belt with storage pockets
Removable ¾” belt
Water Tube Features
18.9”H x 8.7”W x 9.8”D
17.9”H x 8.7”W x 8.9”D
When on the go, it is always wise to carry a hydration backpack that provides easy access to much-needed fluids and keeps you hydrated all day long.
Such packs become even more essential during mountain biking, as just a water bottle won’t last you long.
With a hydration backpack, you don’t have to take a break or slow down your pace for a drink. You can simply take sips frequently through the handy reservoir tube.
Now Osprey Raptor 14 vs. CamelBak MULE- both are intended towards MTB riders and cyclists. The real question is - which one is best?
Both these brands are industry leaders when it comes to manufacturing premium hydration backpacks. The main difference between Raptor 14 and MULE is their breathability and ability to carry gear efficiently. Keep on reading if you’re interested in detailed features of both these packs.
Let’s dive right into how they compare to each other:
The Osprey Raptor 14 is deliberately designed for serious MTB riders and cyclists, as it is best-fitting and stable on your back. The flexible design of Raptor 14 lets you slim down the pack with the help of side compression straps for shorter rides. Overall, the pack measures 18.9”H x 8.7”W x 9.8”D- which is a tad bit bulkier than MULE.
At 1.75 pounds (0.8 kg), Osprey Raptor 14 is quite feather-light to haul around but not more than MULE.
On the other hand, CamelBak MULE is again intended towards MTB enthusiasts who need a solid pack for medium to long endeavors. It measures 17.9” x 8.7” x 8.9” and weighs just about 1.37 pounds (0.62 kg) - making it extremely maneuverable. Just like Raptor 14, MULE features two sets of compression straps, which also allow for overflow storage on the outside.
Osprey Raptor 14 is offered in 3 color options:
CamelBak MULE mountain biking pack feels lightweight and highly portable, all credits to its narrow-gauge design. Even when fully loaded, you won’t feel like you’re carrying a bulky backpack. Its durable design and rugged look make it perfect for a long day at trails.
CamelBak MULE is offered in 7 color options:
MULE has to be your choice, if you want a lightweight, small and streamlined pack.
Osprey Raptor 14 is made from premium 201D nylon dobby material, and the bottom of the pack is crafted out of 600D Polyester for better durability. Osprey’s craftsmanship is top-notch when it comes to endurance and longevity.
On the contrary, CamelBak MULE is made from synthetic material.
What makes Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack stand out is its AirScape Suspension. Such a unique suspended back panel allows for dynamic body movement while also providing locked-in, close-to-body fit. The fully adjustable design with padded hip belt, and sternum strap and shoulders straps offer exceptional comfort.
Talking more about shoulder straps, these newly designed wing-shaped contouring harnesses are bike-specific and provide amazing stability. They conform to the shape of your body when you’re in the riding position. Whereas, the AirScape back panel features Osprey’s exclusive meshing, padding and deep foam ridges to promote breathability and provide a great ergonomic fit.
As for CamelBak MULE Hydration Pack, it has Air Director back panel, which offers optimized cushioning and good ventilation in and around your back. The Airfoil back panel features two ‘pods’ viz. upper pod and lower pod. Upper pod works to evenly distribute the weight and keep the pack away from your shoulders for better airflow.
While the lower pod hugs the hips and lower back for better support. The detachable ¾” stability belt is softly padded and keeps the pack in place during gnarly rides.
In terms of ventilation, let’s say MULE is not that great, and you might feel soaked in sweat, even after a short adventure. Osprey Raptor 14 is comparatively better in promoting airflow.
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Osprey’s Raptor 14 comes included with a 2.5L Hydraulics LT Reservoir, which is easy to use and lightweight to haul around. The hydration bladder has a pour guard along with slide-seal opening to prevent leaks and also allows for easy refilling.
Likewise, the backpack also has a zippered internal hydration sleeve and a hose path for quick loading/unloading. Such a design prevents the water tube from flapping around as you ride down the trails. On the front sternum strap, there’s a magnetic bite valve clip that provides quick access to water- excellent for active cyclists!
CamelBak MULE, on the other hand, features its exclusive 3L Crux reservoir that delivers 20% more water per sip as compared to other packs. The hydration bladder is fully BPA-free and comes with a self-sealing bite valve and wide, the leak-proof cap for easy cleaning or filling.
Just like Raptor 14, MULE also comes with a magnetic tube trap attachment system for you to quickly drink from the tube and snap it instantly in place. The QuickLink™ system lets you disconnect the water tube immediately, so you can refill or load the water reservoir in no time.
The drinking tube in MULE also has an ON/OFF valve, which can be easily operated with one hand during rides.
If your ride on the trails demands plenty of water, you might want to go for CamelBak MULE. Though, Raptor 14 hydration system is also quite impressive and sufficient for a day’s endeavor.
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One thing that’s exciting about Osprey Raptor 14 is the removable ‘Tool Roll’ that sits at the base, where you can systematically store your bike essentials like tools and mini-pump.
Storage options in Osprey Raptor 14 are as follows:
CamelBak MULE has 9L of space to accommodate all your gear. It consists of:
If storage matters to you the most, then Osprey Raptor 14 is your ultimate candidate, as it flaunts well-thought-out organizational pockets, 14L of storage space and 2.5L reservoir.
At the back of Osprey Raptor 14, there’s a blinker light attachment along with reflective patch to make you visible under low light conditions.
Similarly, the MULE flaunts nice reflective accents so that others can see you in low lighting.
Osprey Raptor 14 has got a LidLock system with which you can secure standard bicycle helmet to your pack. Unlike your typical mesh panel, this LidLock system interlocks through your helmet’s vent hole for snug attachment with pack. Even the side compression straps can function to accommodate your full-face helmet as well.
CamelBak MULE has a universal hook for carrying a standard helmet.
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Osprey Raptor 14 comes with “All Mighty Guarantee,” where your pack will be repaired or replaced against any defects or damage.
Likewise, CamelBak MULE is backed by a Lifetime Guarantee against manufacturing defects in workmanship or materials.
Osprey Raptor 14 is designed for rugged mountain biking adventures. Which is why, it might come off as a bit bulkier or heavier than MULE. But in terms of comfort and performance, it definitely does not disappoint and keeps your back well-ventilated.
CamelBak MULE seems to haul around 3L hydration pack pretty comfortably. If you snug up the stability belt, it takes off weight from your shoulders and helps in better balancing. Even when fully loaded, the MULE feels comfortable on the back. The back panel, shoulder straps, and stability belt are all perforated to help breathability. But, MULE still feels a bit warm on your back.
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All things considered, if you’re wondering which is best CamelBak mule Hydration Pack or Osprey Raptor 14 Hydration Pack? - Here’s a roundup.
A newer version of Osprey Raptor 14 is great as it features shoulder wings that provide stable, locked-in feeling while riding with less bounce. Another bonus point about Osprey Raptor 14 is its excellent organizational pockets, handy tool roll and well-ventilated back panel.
As for CamelBak MULE, it strikes a perfect balance between lightweight design and storage. It has a sleek narrow-gauge design along with a 3L hydration reservoir and 9L of roomy space to carry a day’s worth of gear. Air Director back panel and exclusive Crux reservoir with faster water flow are two of its main highlights.
Osprey Raptor 14 vs. CamelBak 14- who wins?
Well, it all comes down to your personal preference and backpack requirements.
If storage space and systematic organization is your top priority, then Osprey Raptor 14 is your best buy. Newly designed wing-shaped shoulder harness is also quite impressive in providing close-to-body cycling experience.
But if a streamlined, smaller pack and the large capacity reservoir are what you seek- then go for CamelBak MULE.
Since the age of 10, Tim, a writer at Outdoor With J, has enjoyed camping in the great outdoors. Although he loves the peace and quiet of the outdoors, he also likes his creature comforts. Tim’s mission is to make camping a fun and comfortable experience for all. You can find more about him here
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