Osprey Rev 6 Review

[Editor’s Note: This review was composed by Alaskan trail runner and guest reviewer Kyle Emery.]

Who doesn’t like moving fast? I mean, it’s kind of the point of running! Osprey has decided to target us runners and hikers who are out to move quickly by creating a pack that is built for speed, but with enough capacity to sustain us for the long haul. The Osprey Rev 6 ($99.95) is obviously a pack built for just that. Osprey also tried to incorporate some new innovations with the pack. I’ve listed the positives and negatives below.

Osprey Rev 6 back view

The Osprey Rev 6.

Osprey Rev 6 Pros
Fit: Grade A+
One of the most important attributes for a running pack is its fit, and the Rev 6 fits magnificently. When I first got the pack, I was suspicious of how well it would fit because it lacks a waist belt. But, once I got the pack on and snapped the two Biostretch BodyWraps (a fancy term for chest straps) into place, I was very happy to find that the pack fit close to my body and moved with me exceptionally well. I’ve completed a number of three-plus-hour trail runs with this pack without any chafing at all. The Hydraulics LT Reservoir has baffles inside the bladder that are excellently designed and greatly reduce water sloshing while running. One of the best innovations in this pack is a plastic support that crosses the reservoir pocket and allows the water bladder to securely slide into place.

Osprey Rev 6 storage capacity

The Osprey Rev 6’s storage capacity.

Capacity: Grade A-
The Rev 6 features a 1.5-liter bladder, six liters worth of internal storage, and four mesh pockets. The main zippered chamber is large enough to hold some extra base layers, some extra food, and a small survival pack. There is a second zippered area that is supplemental to the main area and is large enough for a small first-aid kit and a wallet. There are two mesh pockets on each side of the pack which are large enough for two to three energy bars. The shoulder-strap mesh pockets have some interesting designs, but the bottom line is that they are only big enough for a couple of GU packets and are shaped awkwardly. Overall, this pack has plenty of space for a long trail run or day hike, which is exactly what this pack is designed for.

Hydration System: Grade B
The Osprey Rev 6 has a 1.5-liter Hydraulics LT Reservoir. This design is very well made and lives up to the hype. The reservoir material and hose is tasteless and flexible and will not rupture if it freezes. The QuickDisconnect system works as advertised; a simple push of the red button disconnects the hose, and it can easily be reconnected by pushing it back into the attachment. I only have two concerns with the hydration system: the fill cap and the magnetic bite valve. The fill cap is large and easy to fill, but it can be difficult to screw in correctly. I’ve had a few instances of accidental cross threading that ended with water leaking everywhere. The bite valve works well, but the magnetic clip has a bad habit of falling off the chest strap regularly.

Osprey Rev 6 hydration system

The Osprey Rev 6 hydration system.

Design: Grade A
Overall the pack is designed to be very durable. The back panel has a soft mesh that is comfortably lifted off of the main structural support of the pack. This design makes the back panel very breathable and provides a bit of a shock-absorption system. This pack seems to be built to last. Unless you went at it with an ice tool, I have a hard time seeing how you could damage the Osprey Rev 6. In the very unlikely event that you somehow managed to damage the pack, Osprey will give you a brand-new one with their lifetime guarantee.

Osprey Rev 6 Digiflip Media Pocket

The Osprey Rev 6 Digiflip Media Pocket.

Osprey Rev 6 Cons
Accessibility: Grade C
Unfortunately, accessibility is where the Rev 6 misses the mark. The shoulder straps on the pack are innovative, but not very practical. The left strap has what Osprey calls the Digiflip Media Pocket. The idea of the Digiflip is that you can un-clip the pocket and it will flip down and allow you to look at your phone inside of a plastic case. While this sounds like an appealing idea, the actuality of it leaves much to be desired. The size was designed with a smaller phone in mind, despite the current trend of larger-screened phones. My Samsung Galaxy S5 doesn’t fit inside the Digiflip, making this interesting innovation an unfortunate waste of valuable space.

The next oddity is the right shoulder strap. This bizarre compartment is a large mesh pocket with zipper access. The internal mesh pocket is useable after you unzip it, but it’s awkward to use while running, especially if you’re wearing gloves.

My final complaint I have is that the side panel mesh pockets are awkwardly placed. They’re just far enough back to where you can reach the pocket while running, but you have to strain your shoulders to reach them. Because of their placement, I am able to take things out of these pockets, but I can’t put things back in unless I stop and take off my pack.

Osprey Rev 6 front straps view

The Osprey Rev 6 front view.

Overall Impressions

Overall Impressions: Grade A-
Overall this is a great pack for long-distance runs that fits exceptionally well. While I have complaints about some of the mesh pockets, I can still put a sufficient amount of bars and/or GUs to sustain me for a four-plus-hour run. The Osprey Rev 6 has become my favorite pack to run with. It’s perfect for my daily training runs, and I plan to use it in my upcoming 50-mile race.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Have you run in the Osprey Rev 6? What is your overall impression of the pack?
  • For those who have run with it, what specific pros and cons did you find?
  • Does your phone fit in the Digiflip Media Pocket? If so, let us know what model you use.

There are 16 comments

  1. revgum

    I've run with the Rev 18 and my impression was very good overall.

    The digiflip media pocket does fit my HTC One barely, but I don't intend on using it.. that feature just seems a little cheesy (and not entirely water/condensation proof) to me. This "feature" is something to easily remove.. the bottom is held in by sandwiching a tab of velcro to the base of the shoulder strap. Saves a little weight, although if that was really a concern of mine then I'd probably be better off with one less cookie for dessert.

  2. runoh614

    One thing i would like to see improved is the elastic on the tops of the external mesh pockets. It's possibly just an issue for me but most times i flip open the phone pocket anything in the external mesh pocket falls out. I've lost numerous gels when I'm checking the time on my phone.

    Besides that it's a great fitting pack and a joy to run in.

  3. @knoxvilledba

    I use my Rev 12 for run commuting to work. The digiflip pocket is a failure for me for more reasons that its size. If someone calls me, its VERY hard to remove the phone. I just put my phone in the pocket which is on the outside of the digiflip. Its much more accessible, and I dont care about the see through screen business.

      1. @knoxvilledba

        I have a 2013 Macbook Pro 15-inch. Does not fit. Looks like anything 11 or under would fit easily, including a laptop sleeve. 13 would be a close call…

      2. Terry

        I’ve been doing a shorter run-commute with my 12″ macbook and it fits in the hydration bladder pocket (no bladder). It’s not quite wide enough to have it in a protective sleeve but it seems well protected enough and I put it in a ziplock if its wet out.

  4. sorensen123

    I you use your phone for music on runs or GPS on hikes, it works great.
    It's made fort answering he phone with earphones on anyway, not to be taken out each time.
    You shouldn't not like something for what it is not intended to be used as.
    I have the Rev-24 and although I don't plan on using the digiflip, I will leave it on only because it actually works pretty good as a storage area. If I don't need the storage, off it goes.

  5. Evan Freeman

    I bought the Rev 6 on a whim and ran almost 3 hours in it yesterday. I love it, but agree that the right strap pocket is not perfect. I was able to get my granola bar in & out with one hand easily without slowing down, though.

    I just thought I’d note that I used my Galaxy S5 in the Digiflip pocket without a problem. I had to trim the vinyl a little for the headphone cord, but it does fit, albeit tightly. A few more millimetres in width & girth for the pocket would be ideal.

  6. Roger645

    I bought the pack for some longer trail runs I had planned and just used it on a 25k mountain race. In terms of comfort I cannot fault this pack, it fits really good and does not bounce around even on technical trails. On the 25k event I used it without the bladder and had two bottles in the side pockets. This cut down a bit on weight but they are a bit of a struggle to put back in on the move. I have a iPhone 5s which fits in the digiflip pocket but my Samsung note wouldn't. For the race I also had a hand drawn route plan which I kept in the digiflip pocket which was useful for quickly checking elevation profile. The right hand front strap pocket ( the one with a zip) is a bit odd to use and now I keep gels in the zip part and put empty gel packs in the front one. The one on the front of the digiflip is good for shot-bloks. Not tried the pack in heavy rain yet but will keep stuff in ziplock bags just in case.

    Bladder works really well and the baffles stop the water sloshing around, Osprey don't do a cleaning kit for this bladder but when I asked them they said they will be bringing one out. The comfort of the pack makes it a winner for me, it's not perfect but I would recommend it someone looking for a good pack to run in

  7. @AdamLeadbetter

    On the strength of the review here, I decided to order the pack for my run commute. I don't need to carry a huge amount of gear with me each way (change of clothes, food for the day) as we have space to leave shoes, towels etc… in the office. Reading this review and watching Osprey's own video I felt sure I could fit in everything I needed.

    Once the pack arrived, I was suddenly a lot more skeptical – it seems so tiny. However, I removed the bladder and use the rear pocket with a 5-litre drybag to store my work clothes, and keep my wind jacket, waterproof cap, head torch and lunch in the main compartment. I can easily fit keys, security pass, warm hat, buff and gloves in the smallest "security" pocket.

    Once on, the pack is very easy to adjust and sits really well, high on the back. The adjustment straps are so well designed that they don't slip and require "on-the-fly" re-tightening as with many other packs I've used. I've cycled in the pack a couple of times and on a drop bar bike it hits the back of my helmet as it is riding so high up. This isn't a negative for the pack in its natural environment as it is designed as a running pack, not a biking one, but may be a consideration for some.

    I haven't used the bladder, so can't comment on that but I standard size UD Kicker Valve bottle fits perfectly in the right hand strap pocket and carries well there – at least as well as on my v1 SJ Ultra Vest. The side mesh pockets also easily fit the same bottle which stays put securely during a run.

    Main pros for me – the fit of the bag and the versatility of the pockets. I don't really have any cons, I haven't tried the digiflip pocket for its intended use so won't pass judgement on it. I'd really like to see a clip for a light on the back of a V2 of the Rev 6 and maybe both another pocket high on the straps and a pole/axe loop, but I would highly recommend this pack as it is.

  8. Rebecca Messenger

    Great review and its good to hear that others love it too.
    I use mine for running and hiking and its been wonderful. I did not realise that I got a large one and I am a medium sized woman, but it still fits well.
    I don’t use the digiflip because I don’t have a smart phone. Useful for a small map or emergency numbers though!
    I find the magnetic clip annoying because, as you said, it unclips a lot.
    I find that the next bits at the side are really irritating as they fold over and sit awkwardly against the body. I also find the straps hard to adjust.
    These are just minor things though, I wouldn’t swap this pack for anything, I love it.
    The pros for me are the large bladder, large main pocket, elastic outside strapping and the mesh front pockets.

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