About Osprey

Osprey was born in California, 1974 at the seat of a single sewing machine, with a head full of ideas and a desire to design & build innovative backpacks to the highest quality. Today, Osprey products continue that pioneering spirit, being used on the highest mountains to the remotest islands and everywhere in between.

Behind the Design

“My personal philosophy is that I enjoy life more if I’m surrounded by things that I built myself. I understand my surroundings and I connect better with my environment. It was a love of building product, making things for myself and my friends that got me into this business.

I started out by building day packs and backpacks for customers in Santa Cruz. I was fresh out of University and I really enjoyed setting my own hours, building gear and listening to stories about how that gear had travelled to some peaks or around the world.”

Mike Pfotenhauer
Founder & Chief Designer

Inside the Company

Mike Pfotenhauer founds Osprey Packs in Santa Cruz California designing and manufacturing custom made technical backpacks himself.

1974

The beginning

Osprey introduces a highly breathable mesh panel that allows for maximum airflow and moisture wicking.

1976

Breathable mesh launched

Osprey begins selling packs through specialist outdoor stores.

1986

Retailers stock Osprey packs

Osprey moves into a former Gore-tex factory in Dolores Colorado. Hiring a new skilled workforce primarily from the Navajo Reservation.

1990

Production moves to Dolores CO

Osprey introduces Isis an innovative women’s specific backpack the first in a legacy of women’s specific packs.

1993

First women’s Fit pack

Osprey moves pack production to Cortez Colorado.

1994

Production moves to Cortez CO

Osprey’s ErgoPull™ hipbelt closure sets a new standard for backpack hipbelts. Its ergonomic design adds a new level of convenience and comfort.

1998

ErgoPull™ technology

Osprey founder Mike Pfotenhauer designs the StraightJacket™ suspension compression system.

1998

StraightJacket™ suspension

The Osprey Aether graces the cover of Time Magazine.

2001

Cover of Time Magazine

Osprey moves pack production to Vietnam.

2002

Production moves to Vietnam

Osprey founder Mike Pfotenhauer moves with his family to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam to oversee operations for the next four years and to establish the Osprey Vietnam quality control and design centre.

2003

Mike moves to Vietnam

Osprey Europe is set up in the UK to handle the supply of Osprey products to Europe.

2003

Osprey Europe founded

Osprey introduces custom molding hipbelt technology that innovates on hip and lumbar comfort.

2005

Custom Molding technology

Osprey launches the award-winning Talon series which goes on to become one of the leading pack designs in the world.

2007

Talon launched

Circuit daypack made with 71% recycled materials earns Outside Magazine’s Green Gear of the Year Award.

2007

Green Gear of the Year Award

To celebrate Osprey’s 35th anniversary in 2009 Osprey launches the All Mighty Guarantee.

2009

All Mighty Guarantee

The Osprey Design studio established in Mill Valley California.

2010

Osprey Design Studio established

Osprey launches the evolutionary Hydraulics™ Reservoir in technical hydration packs Raptor and Manta. These packs received three individual patents and immediately picked up awards and recognition.

2010

Hydraulics™ launched

Osprey launches the Poco Child Carrier series raising the bar on technical child carriers.

2012

Poco Child Carrier series launched

Osprey launches the Portal series in Fall 2013 to critical acclaim.

2013

Portal Series launched

Osprey Europe’s ecommerce website launched.

2013

ospreyeurope.com launched

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Osprey packs Exos and the Talon series receive an update. The women’s specific Tempest was also launched.

2014

40 years of Osprey

Osprey launches the PackSizer™ app the world’s first digital pack sizing tool which uses the camera on a device to match torso length to the right pack size across Osprey’s entire pack range.

2014

PackSizer™ sizing app

Osprey introduces the new award-winning Atmos AG & Aura AG featuring the new and ground-breaking AntiGravity™ backsystem.

2015

AntiGravity™ Technology

Osprey founder and chief designer Mike Pfotenhauer awarded ‘Outdoor Celebrity of the Year 2015.’ This coveted award celebrates an individual who has made special contributions to the outdoor industry.

2015

Outdoor Celebrity of the Year

Osprey Europe relocates the headquarters to a brand new bespoke building designed to support further business growth.

2016

New Osprey Europe headquarters

New Kickstand technology introduced into new Everyday and Commute packs. This technology allows packs to stand up by themselves without support.

2016

Kickstand Technology

Osprey Europe ranks 144 in the Sunday Times Fastest growing UK export company and London stock exchange as an “inspirational company”.

2017

Fastest growing UK company

The 4th generation of the iconic Talon & Tempest was released with feature updates and a refreshed design.

2017

4th Generation Talon & Tempest

Osprey celebrates 25 years of Women’s specific fitting packs. The women’s range continues to expand.

2018

25 years of Women’s Fit

Osprey Timeline

Mike Pfotenhauer founds Osprey Packs in Santa Cruz California designing and manufacturing custom made technical backpacks himself.

1974

The beginning

Osprey introduces a highly breathable mesh panel that allows for maximum airflow and moisture wicking.

1976

Breathable mesh launched

Osprey begins selling packs through specialist outdoor stores.

1986

Retailers stock Osprey packs

Osprey moves into a former Gore-tex factory in Dolores Colorado. Hiring a new skilled workforce primarily from the Navajo Reservation.

1990

Production moves to Dolores CO

Osprey introduces Isis an innovative women’s specific backpack the first in a legacy of women’s specific packs.

1993

First women’s Fit pack

Osprey moves pack production to Cortez Colorado.

1994

Production moves to Cortez CO

Osprey’s ErgoPull™ hipbelt closure sets a new standard for backpack hipbelts. Its ergonomic design adds a new level of convenience and comfort.

1998

ErgoPull™ technology

Osprey founder Mike Pfotenhauer designs the StraightJacket™ suspension compression system.

1998

StraightJacket™ suspension

The Osprey Aether graces the cover of Time Magazine.

2001

Cover of Time Magazine

Osprey moves pack production to Vietnam.

2002

Production moves to Vietnam

Osprey founder Mike Pfotenhauer moves with his family to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam to oversee operations for the next four years and to establish the Osprey Vietnam quality control and design centre.

2003

Mike moves to Vietnam

Osprey Europe is set up in the UK to handle the supply of Osprey products to Europe.

2003

Osprey Europe founded

Osprey introduces custom molding hipbelt technology that innovates on hip and lumbar comfort.

2005

Custom Molding technology

Osprey launches the award-winning Talon series which goes on to become one of the leading pack designs in the world.

2007

Talon launched

Circuit daypack made with 71% recycled materials earns Outside Magazine’s Green Gear of the Year Award.

2007

Green Gear of the Year Award

To celebrate Osprey’s 35th anniversary in 2009 Osprey launches the All Mighty Guarantee.

2009

All Mighty Guarantee

The Osprey Design studio established in Mill Valley California.

2010

Osprey Design Studio established

Osprey launches the evolutionary Hydraulics™ Reservoir in technical hydration packs Raptor and Manta. These packs received three individual patents and immediately picked up awards and recognition.

2010

Hydraulics™ launched

Osprey launches the Poco Child Carrier series raising the bar on technical child carriers.

2012

Poco Child Carrier series launched

Osprey launches the Portal series in Fall 2013 to critical acclaim.

2013

Portal Series launched

Osprey Europe’s ecommerce website launched.

2013

ospreyeurope.com launched

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Osprey packs Exos and the Talon series receive an update. The women’s specific Tempest was also launched.

2014

40 years of Osprey

Osprey launches the PackSizer™ app the world’s first digital pack sizing tool which uses the camera on a device to match torso length to the right pack size across Osprey’s entire pack range.

2014

PackSizer™ sizing app

Osprey introduces the new award-winning Atmos AG & Aura AG featuring the new and ground-breaking AntiGravity™ backsystem.

2015

AntiGravity™ Technology

Osprey founder and chief designer Mike Pfotenhauer awarded ‘Outdoor Celebrity of the Year 2015.’ This coveted award celebrates an individual who has made special contributions to the outdoor industry.

2015

Outdoor Celebrity of the Year

Osprey Europe relocates the headquarters to a brand new bespoke building designed to support further business growth.

2016

New Osprey Europe headquarters

New Kickstand technology introduced into new Everyday and Commute packs. This technology allows packs to stand up by themselves without support.

2016

Kickstand Technology

Osprey Europe ranks 144 in the Sunday Times Fastest growing UK export company and London stock exchange as an “inspirational company”.

2017

Fastest growing UK company

The 4th generation of the iconic Talon & Tempest was released with feature updates and a refreshed design.

2017

4th Generation Talon & Tempest

Osprey celebrates 25 years of Women’s specific fitting packs. The women’s range continues to expand.

2018

25 years of Women’s Fit

“Just to say thank you so much for arranging to fix James’ bag and to its very swift return post mouse attack! He is VERY pleased to have it back. Faultless customer care”

Sue, Bath

All Mighty Guarantee

At Osprey we only design and build high quality products that last a long time, that’s why all our products are covered under our All Mighty Guarantee. As part of our commitment to protecting the environment we always strive, whenever possible, to repair products rather than replace them.

Should you find any defect in either the materials or craftsmanship of your pack we will repair or replace it without any charge, within its reasonable lifetime.

Find Out More

Protecting the Future

At Osprey we are dedicated to the outdoors and a key aspect in our ongoing strategy is the protection and conservation of our natural environment.

That is why we sponsor the Bird Conservation Georgia’s project through The European Outdoor Conservation Association to stop illegal hunting of raptors in Batumi, Lesser Caucasus.

Environmental Message

  1. We only design/build high quality products that last a long time.
  2. We don’t over-produce products and sell them at clearance prices.
  3. We use very expensive materials and fabrics, therefore we keep wastage to an absolute minimum.
  4. Our product is not fashion driven, so we aren’t encouraging consumers to replace products before they are worn out.
  5. Wherever possible we repair warranty products rather than replace them.
  6. Wherever possible we use recyclable and recycled materials in packaging – and keep any packaging to a minimum.


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