How to Wash an Osprey Pack

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think much about how you wash your gear. But cleaning your gear is a great way to make sure it lasts as long as possible. How do you wash an osprey pack? It’s not as difficult as you might think. In fact, with a little bit of gentle care, your osprey backpack will stay in great condition for years to come. Here is a guide on how to clean your osprey pack the right way. Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Updated: November 29, 2022

osprey pack backpacking on mountain

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Osprey Pack Maintenance

Osprey has always been a company that is dedicated to the customer. From the beginning, founder Mike Pfotenhauer insisted on creating packs that were fitted to the individual, and he would take the time to do it himself. This hands-on approach carried over into the company’s current philosophy, which emphasizes customer service and a dedication to making sure that each and every product meets the customer’s needs. They really are all about quality and the customer!

Read more about Osprey’s dedication to the outdoors and their amazing guarantee here

To keep your Osprey pack in great condition, be sure to take the time after each use to do some upkeep tasks. You’ll keep your pack looking and working well for a long time.

Clean out your pack. After each use, you should make sure you empty your pack completely. Brush out any dirt and crumbs from each compartment.

If your pack is wet, hang it up to dry fully after use. The easiest way to do this is to open up each compartment fully and hang it upside down to dry. This will inhibit mold and mildew growth.

When to Wash Your Pack

You probably don’t need to wash your pack every single time you use it. Osprey recommends washing when dirt, sweat, or other stains have appeared on the fabric or mesh of your pack.

How to Wash an Osprey Pack

Sorry for all of you who were hoping to use your washing machine, but it’s just not the safest way to clean your beloved pack. Even Osprey themselves recommend hand washing to keep your pack in the best shape possible. Don’t worry though, it’s really simple and doesn’t take too much time.

To clean your pack, Osprey recommends using NikWax Tech Wash, a special cleaner for waterproof clothing. Tech Wash helps keep waterproof and water repellent gear and clothing working well by not leaving behind a hydrophilic (water attracting) residue like most detergents. That hydrophilic residue covers up the water repellent layer of your gear and can cause your gear to soak up water instead of repel it!

Washing Instructions

What you’ll need to wash your Osprey packs

A big sink or a bathtub, a storage tote will work too if it’s big enough to submerge your pack and swish it around.

Durable Water Repellency (DWR) safe detergent such as Nikwax Tech Wash

A soft bristled brush. A hairbrush for babies works great for this. They’re super soft and their small size makes them easy to maneuver inside the compartments on your pack.

Fill your tub/tote/sink with warm water and follow the detergent instructions to add correct amount to water.

While the container fills, loosen any straps on your pack and remove the hip belt and harness if possible.

Submerge your pack under the water and swish it around a bit. You may see the water already changing color, depending on how dirty your pack was.

Use the brush to gently scrub the inside of all compartments and the outside of the pack. If there are stubborn spots, let your pack stay submerged while working on the next step.

Using the brush again, clean all the zippers and buckles. Use a cup or the faucet to rinse debris out of the buckles if needed.

Drain or dump the dirty water and fill with cold fresh water. Rinse the pack well and hang dry in a ventilated area away from direct sunlight. If you’re using a tub, you can also rinse with cold water straight from the faucet. I always feel like this rinses better than dunking the pack to rinse.

I know we all have our own tricks for keeping a pack in good shape, but I’m curious to hear about yours. What do you do?

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