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After four years of giving my Osprey Verve 7 hydration pack tough single track love, I decided that it was time to let my trusty backpack go. I was seeking longer, more grueling rides and frankly needed more space to hold all my gear, including a softshell, spare socks, assorted performance food and the like.

While the Verve 7 had a simple design and a handy bungee system, it simply did not offer all that much room. I also didn’t like having to spend time taking off the pack and digging around (and sometimes unpacking everything) to grab a spare tube or sunscreen that had been crammed into the narrow storage space. Welcome the 2016 Verve 9. Initially, I was hesitant to embrace a larger pack that deceptively appeared too bulky and had a suspicious number of visible straps and pockets. However, after taking the hydration pack on a few rides, I quickly became a fan of Osprey’s latest offering.

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Surprisingly roomy, the Verve 9 offers a wealth of features including a direct zip access for the 2.5 liter reservoir, ventilated mesh back panel to prevent back sweat, a BioStretch shoulder harness to provide a contoured fit, and a blinker light attachment strap near the base. Osprey also kept the magnetic sternum strap bite valve attachment and the lid lock feature to attach a bike helmet.

Add-on features that are now must-haves for me include a front shove-it pocket for multi tool and spare tube, stretch mesh side pockets make essentials accessible (no more taking off the pack), and a deep pocket tucked inside that is the perfect size to hold extra performance gels. The Verve 9 is the perfect pack to take on long mountain bike rides and easy day hikes that do not require extra layers or necessities to pack.

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Retailing for $100, the Verve 9 comes in three colors: scarlet red, raven black, and azure blue. The pack weighs approximately 1.12 lbs, dimensions are 16H x 9W x 8D with 9L of storage capacity. Find out more at OspreyPacks.com.

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