I know the summer heat is upon us and backcountry skiing is probably only on Crystal Wrights’ agenda, but the Osprey Kode 22 pack is a stout hybrid that should be on your gear-dar (gear radar). I’ve been switching back and forth between the Manta 25 and the Kode 22 and have really enjoyed comparing the two packs these last 6 months.
The Osprey Kode 22 is a winter skiing domination pack. The Manta 25 is a bike/hike hydration pack. I’m matching these kids up in the same article because they are made by my favorite pack company and a lot more similar than you would think.
Osprey Kode 22: The Hybrid
When you lay down $120 for a pack you expect it to handle more than one task. The one feature that really makes this a great summer pack is the insulated shoulder strap for hydration. In the winter it keeps the water from freezing, in the summer it keeps the water from boiling point. I took a break from hydration packs for a while and re-joined the masses with the Mantra and the Kode packs. I forgot how often you have to blow water back into the bladder. I found with the insulated shoulder strap on the Kode you don’t have to as much.
The other summer feature on the Kode is the back panel. It has ridges that keeps air moving and a lot of support for a heavier load. The 22 L would be too small for an overnighter but I really think a minimalist could pull off a backpacking jaunt with the Kode 38. The 22 has been ideal for my field work and day hikes.
Osprey Kode 22 Specs
- Vertical, A-frame, and diagonal ski carry.
- Hipbelt pockets for quick access to Motrin.
- 1200-1440 cubic inches depending on size (SM, MED, LRG).
- Snowboard carry.
- Insulated hydration sleeve.
- Fleece lined google pocket.
- Weight: 2lbs 5oz-2lbs 9oz.
Osprey Kode 22 Compartments
When you open the main compartment of the Kode all the way it almost turns into a sleeping pad. For avy gear this is a great way to get to your stuff quick. I also like this style of zipper for organizing and digging into my gear later. Instead of dropping the headlamp into a deep dark vortex, Osprey really nailed it by exaggerating the opening.
Osprey made a pack a year or so ago called the Switch that had this real nifty lycra to hold a helmet. I like how they took the focus off that for the Kode because personally with my Smith Variant I don’t mind letting it dangle while I skin up the trail or just wear it. I believe Osprey stepped back and really decided what was important for a flawless winter pack and out came the Kode. And the buy-product of that was an amazing hybrid for the summer time.
I think eliminating any “top pack/pouch” is also a good idea. The only thing up top is a handle which really slims the pack down. When your sloshing up a trail you don’t have a pouch in the way of your noggin’. I haven’t used this for ice climbing but that slimmed down design would be great when your swinging picks. Even a dirtbag rock climber could appreciate the simple design for multi-pitch digs.
The Osprety Kode 22 Bottom Line
The shoulder strap and back panel are beefy, in a vegan kind of way. Slim but secure. The Manta 25 is obviously a lot lighter and would never set foot on the winter snow. If you are looking for a do-it-all duo season pack, I would definitely go with the Kode 22 or 38. The 38 does have the top pouch to distribute the increased volume. Happy hiking and remember, it’s always snowing somewhere. Tweet Osprey at @ospreypacks to confirm my findings or jib jab about their amazing packs.
Photo Explanation: Having some fun with shadows and my snow shovel.
BUY NOW: The Osprey Kode 22 Daypack.