"Osprey is, in large part, about exceptional relationships.
Between the pack and its wearer.
The pack and its makers.
The company and its staff."
– Mike Pfotenhauer
Our mission is to create innovative high performance gear that reflects our love of adventure and our devotion to the outdoors. We succeed when we meet the demanding expectation of our most discerning customers and they are proud to use our packs.
Since Osprey was founded in 1974, every single product design bearing the Osprey name has passed through the hands of owner and founder Mike Pfotenhauer, undergoing relentless scrutiny. From stitching the first lines of custom-fitted packs, to meticulously designing innovative products with intuitive features, to forging personal relationships with the sewing operators who construct the packs, Mike has been the unbreakable thread that makes Osprey a company like no other.
Mike remembers backpacking as a young boy in his home state of Oregon with his brothers and father, wearing a backpack with an awful fit. With the help of his mother, he learned to sew, and created his first backpack at age 16.
As a young entrepreneur in Santa Cruz, California, Mike opened a retail shop in the front of his rented house where backpackers and travellers – drawn by word of mouth – came to get measured for the custom-fitted, made-to-order packs. Each was constructed by Mike himself over the course of several days. To these avid travellers, the legendary packs were worth the wait. The original name of Osprey Packs was Santa Cruz Recreational Packs.
You’ll find the rest of us, often Osprey founder and head designer Mike Pfotenhauer, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Here, surrounded by heat, endless bustle and vibrant energy, we design and build our packs to the exacting standards expected of Osprey. Living in HCM City provides many benefits, including the ability to ensure fair labor standards and face-to-face relationships with the factories that build our packs, cultural enlightenment, and the design inspiration of a cosmopolitan city.
Custom fit backpacks are Osprey’s legacy. Our expertise in designing backpacks that fit every shape, size and gender dates back to 1974 when Mike Pfotenhauer first began designing custom packs for mountaineers headed to the Sierra.
Almost 90% of Osprey packs are available in multiple sizes to fit a range of torso lengths. Additionally, many styles have interchangeable or adjustable harnesses and hipbelts to further customise fit.