When you’re two-wheeling downhill over rocks and ruts, a pack that bounces around or throws off your balance can be a crash waiting to happen. Osprey’s Zealot is designed specifically for mountain bikers; it has a slim design that keeps it centered and close to your body. As you’d expect, it includes a hydration reservoir and has separate sleeve with a drainage spout in case the bladder gets punctured or springs a leak. Pockets galore, sure, but it’s the placement not the quantity that won Tony over. A small pouch on the shoulder strap, for example, is a good place for him to stash and easily reach his energy snacks without missing a pedal stroke. And the piece de resistance? A magnetic interface between the drinking tube and the shoulder strap that keeps the tube from flapping in your face or out of reach. Conclusion: The Osprey design team spends plenty of time on the single track and knows what riders want.
Price: $129 (10 liter), $149 (16 liter)