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Osprey Savu Pack

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
Savu Lumbar Bottle Pack (Slate Blue)
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Wanted to hate it. Now I wear it every ride.

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

More versatile than you think. Carries more water than expected. Very balanced if only 1 bottle. Semi-rigid soft vented backing is perfectly sized & feels unobtrusive. Less cumbersome than backpack
Does not move or shift at all. Plenty of room for a shell. Compression strap/bottle sleeve is brilliant. Has multiple uses.

The Bad:

Family members may make fun of you. May not carry enough for winter versatility. No bite valve means no sipping on descents or rolling terrain.

Overall Review:

Having owned, a Camelbak neoprene 1st generation water bladder since day 1 (after having lost too many water bottles out of my stupid cage), I've never wanted to go back to losing bottles. I graduated over the years to a trusty Camelbak Mule & stayed the status quo. But this summer has been absurdly hot & wet in the south & I tried a 30 day ride challenge that saw me lugging too much stuff for short rides. Have had no desire for a "bum bag" when I've seen them baboon swelled off other's backsides, but the Savu caught my eye because it would allow me to "dabble" in the hip pack realm for only $55.

First, the $55 price tag should be the MAX anyone charges for these things. $75 & up just seems absurd for so little material & engineering that has existed for decades.  That price point was what sold me!

Next,  I immediately set my self up for some sort of disappointment  as I dumped my packs contents into the back pocket waiting to figure out what I needed to leave behind. NOTHING.  I didn't leave anything.  It all fit. Lezyne mini-pump, lazily folded patched up 27.5" inner tube, 2 tire levers, Topeak Alien multi-tool, sealed plastic poncho, mini "1st Aid Kit", zip ties, long, folded section of duct tape, car keys & all. Cell phone dropped into the top pocket eazy peezy. Granola bar in the left hip pocket, mini bottle of contact solution in the right.


Now, the learning curve! You don't just slap 2 full bottles on, yank the straps and take off. I would recommend your 1st ride with the Savu to be with 1 bottle.  Learn the weight distribution & how it will sit (FYI, once the Savu slides down a hair, that soft vented backing panel sits perfectly above your tailbone & disappears.  Pulling bottles out of the sleeves can depend on how tight you cinch down the waist & compression straps, but after a ride or 2, you catch on & they go right in.  The bungee has an adjustable tensioner to keep bottles of any size in check "just in case" & they can serve other purposes.  

Convenience or madness.  Madness is trying to reach behind you with a bum shoulder trying to find the cell phone pocket. Convenience is realizing you don't have shoulder straps, so you just pull the pack up off your hips to your waist, rotate it around to face you & pluck out your phone.  Madness is trying to unzip your shorts to pee until you realize the same rule applies.  Just pull the pack straight up, stick your stomach out an inch and you're clear.  Madness is trying to click the buckle around your hips after you've adjusted it to sit where you want it.  Convenience is realizing that if you just loosen one strap, click the buckle and give the strap a tug to snug it, you're back riding in a heartbeat.  

A word on the waist straps. They are very convenient because to tension you pull forward and hands toward one another to tighten them.  Most other hip packs I've watched friends with have to pull back and out to adjust tension.  The Savu is easy and you can ride along and tension or loosen either strap as you ride by either tugging the strap forward or one finger to loosen the tensioner.  If I can fault the pack for one thing, it would be that the excess strap flaps in the wind at high speeds.  At the same time, anything that pins the strap down while riding would make adjusting it far less convenient, so I'll easily take the convenience and adjustability.


I literally wanted to hate the pack, and I DID the moment I had 2 full water bottles and all my stuff in it.  I felt like a bad decision with an extra butt.  Quickly realized I'd tightened it too high on my belly like Spanx.  Don't try to get it to sit right with 2 water bottles until you learn "where" it sits on your hips & back. 

Now that I've ridden with it for a few weeks on every single ride, I've taken my tube out and strapped it to the frame (again, resistant to change) which freed up ALL the interior pocket.  Buying a 2 pack of frame straps was also a great idea. Now I can strap a 26" tube to the missus bike & my 27.5" to mine rather than carry 1 or both myself...or forget them.

The Bottle holders. They are seriously brilliant.  Semi-rigid material that holds it's shape for a bottle to "push" back into the sleeve with gentle pressure.  2 tiny little metal button snaps that unsnap so you could even throw a massive Nalgene in them or fold flat for short rides. I quickly realized that the collapsed sleeve, using the 2 compression straps, would easily hold a full size pair of TLD Raid knee pads (see attached pic) & the bungee adds a 3rd semi-secure lash point for them.  There is a bottom catch strap you can't see that holds the bottle up in the sleeve when snapped, but easily moves out of the way so you can toss in pads.  For a rain jacket, I have room in the main pocket now that the tube is gone, but you can still carry a rain jacket if the rear pocket is full by simply stuffing it in the bottle sleeve and compressing it. One could even go so far as to strap a Nalgene in the bottle holder & STUFF IT full of a jacket or other items.
The 2 hip pockets are made of a solid material & will hold up well against muck and moisture splashes, although not waterproof.  I've sprayed the pack with DWR treatment just in case. 

I sweat a ton & drink a lot of water, but on rides with a backpack bladder, I either drink all the water or not enough, simply because I can't tell how much is in the pack.  I noticed that on the last 2 rides I've done, both long by my own standards at around 3 hours, I knew exactly how much water I had left & arrived back at the car with a sip left.  Having 1 or 2 bottles to match the ride length & the awareness of how much I've got left, I've used my rations better.  

This is the perfect pack to keep you realistic about your ride & what you NEED to pack.  It holds everything I can think of for 3 seasons & has disappeared on my back.  There are only 2 functional downsides:  You cannot grab a sip as you're rolling on bumpy terrain  or descending like with a hose & bladder.  But after reading reviews of people with all sorts of issues with disconnecting straws & flopping bite valves on hip packs, I'll take it  I've not missed that extra lavishness so far. The other downside is when winter comes & the temps really drop.  No major lash points or large storage pocket mean you can't go into really cold condition prepared with jacket, knee pads and strap an insulating layer to the pack if the weather takes big swings like it's known to do here. 

The upside of a hip pack in winter is that I will most likely be able to keep my rain jacket on longer since it won't be pinned to my shoulders and back by straps & a bladder, so I won't need to pull my jacket off and on as much.  I may even buy a pair of short straps & if needed lash a layer along the length of the pack using the compression straps as harness points.  

Others will be able to figure out unique ways to carry most anything with this tiny pack thanks to the compression straps.  Let me know as you figure them out and if they work for you. 

Very happy with this purchase and happy to report I'm sold on it.   


Product Osprey Savu Pack
Rider Unisex
Hydration Pack Type Hip Pack
Bladder Capacity 0.9L (32 oz)
Storage Capacity 4L (244 cubic inches) with 2 water bottle sleeves (*water bottles not included)
Materials 900x600D Polyester main body
210D Nylon Duramax accent
420HD Nylon Oxford bottom
Airmesh hip belt
ErgoPull waist strap closure system
AirScape lumbar backpanel with extra thick ridged foam with center air channel for ventilation
Pockets Dual snap-in-place or tuck-away water bottle sleeves
Zippered main compartment with internal tool organization
Zippered stash pocket with heat embossed scratch-free lining
Dual zippered hip-belt pockets
Blinker light attachment
Colors Obsidian black, molten red, slate blue
Miscellaneous Covered by Osprey's All Mighty Guarantee:
Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If they are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, they will replace it.

Dimensions (height x width x depth): 6.7" x 11.8" x 4.3" (17cm x 30cm x 11cm)

Weight: 0.81 lbs (0.37 kg)
Price $55
More Info

The Savu lumbar pack has two rigid pockets that make it easy to pull and replace water bottles as you pedal so you can stay hydrated without stopping. Angled hip belt and compression straps keep the pack close to your body and provide stability over every type of trail. When one or both water bottles aren't needed, each bottle sleeve can tuck away for a streamlined pack. 

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