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

Osprey Timeline

Mike Pfotenhauer founds Osprey Packs in Santa Cruz California designing and manufacturing custom made technical backpacks himself. 1974 Osprey timeline slide The beginning
Osprey introduces a highly breathable mesh panel that allows for maximum airflow and moisture wicking. 1976 Osprey timeline slide Breathable mesh launched
Osprey begins selling packs through specialist outdoor stores. 1986 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide First women’s Fit pack
Osprey moves pack production to Cortez Colorado. 1994 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide ErgoPull™ technology
Osprey founder Mike Pfotenhauer designs the StraightJacket™ suspension compression system. 1998 Osprey timeline slide StraightJacket™ suspension
The Osprey Aether graces the cover of Time Magazine. 2001 Osprey timeline slide Cover of Time Magazine
Osprey moves pack production to Vietnam. 2002 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide Mike moves to Vietnam
Osprey Europe is set up in the UK to handle the supply of Osprey products to Europe. 2003 Osprey timeline slide Osprey Europe founded
Osprey introduces custom molding hipbelt technology that innovates on hip and lumbar comfort. 2005 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide Talon launched
Circuit daypack made with 71% recycled materials earns Outside Magazine’s Green Gear of the Year Award. 2007 Osprey timeline slide Green Gear of the Year Award
To celebrate Osprey’s 35th anniversary in 2009 Osprey launches the All Mighty Guarantee. 2009 Osprey timeline slide All Mighty Guarantee
The Osprey Design studio established in Mill Valley California. 2010 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide Hydraulics™ launched
Osprey launches the Poco Child Carrier series raising the bar on technical child carriers. 2012 Osprey timeline slide Poco Child Carrier series launched
Osprey launches the Portal series in Fall 2013 to critical acclaim. 2013 Osprey timeline slide Portal Series launched
Osprey Europe’s ecommerce website launched. 2013 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide PackSizer™ sizing app
Osprey introduces the new award-winning Atmos AG & Aura AG featuring the new and ground-breaking AntiGravity™ backsystem. 2015 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide Outdoor Celebrity of the Year
Osprey Europe relocates the headquarters to a brand new bespoke building designed to support further business growth. 2016 Osprey timeline slide 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 Osprey timeline slide Kickstand Technology
Osprey Europe ranks 144 in the Sunday Times Fastest growing UK export company and London stock exchange as an “inspirational company”. 2017 Osprey timeline slide Fastest growing UK company
The 4th generation of the iconic Talon & Tempest was released with feature updates and a refreshed design. 2017 Osprey timeline slide 4th Generation Talon & Tempest
Osprey celebrates 25 years of Women’s specific fitting packs. The women’s range continues to expand. 2018 Osprey timeline slide 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.

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.