First impressions: Osprey Hydraulics 3 litre bladder

Right before we were about to head out on our weekend adventure hike in the lovely Seitseminen National Park, I found myself with a dilemma, of how I was gong to transport my drinking and cooking water during that hike. I had long been meaning to get myself a hydration reservoir for various reasons but mostly for airsoft and outdoors/hiking activities, but I hadn’t gotten myself up to it yet.

So I went and headed onto the internet superhighway and started browsing my local sports and outdoors retailers webshops and selection. My ideal choice of hydration reservoir originally was more on the lines of being military grade and most likely from manufacturers like Camelbak or Source. But this time I only had one day to get it, and I had to be able to pick it up from a local retailer.

I set my mind on a Camlebak 3 litre antidote reservoir which retailed at 55 euros and headed to the shop to pick it up, only to find out that there was a cheaper alternative, the Osprey Hydraulics 3 litre reservoir retailing at 36 euros. Yes I’m a poor student, so I picked it up with a couple of Nalgene 1 litre widemouths to serve me on my adventures, for the time being.

The reservoir

First of all, the Osprey hydraulics reservoirs are manufactured and designed by Hydrapak and are only branded for Osprey which isn’t really surprising, but I didn’t quite expect it at first. Designed in California and made in China, but which product isn’t made in China these days after all.

All hydration reservoirs throughout the market follow pretty much the same pattern for their functions, and Osprey’s/Hydrapak’s design isn’t anything too special compared to all the others I’ve seen.

Bladder, top filling, hose comes from the bottom, mouthpiece. Is there even any other way to do it?

To me, at first the look of the reservoir isn’t particularly rigid looking thanks to the shiny plastic parts and the overall design but that really seems to be quite the opposite when you have it in your hands and filled up. It’s not flimsy at all. The overall design of the reservoir is good and functional, and it has some very nice features built in it.

Carry handle is incorporated to the bladder structure. Slide-seal™- top closure

Notable features

Slide-seal™ top opening – Fast and easy way to fill the reservoir. Rigid and simple construction.

Carry handle – Allows easy reservoir management and filling.

Litre markings – Printed on reservoir body for ease of tracking of your hydration/left water in it.

Backside rigidifying plate – Brings structure to the reservoir when empty and filled and eases insertion to backpacks/bladder pockets.

Hose holder – Hose has a strong magnet on it and comes with a counter-piece to attach on any ~20mm wide webbing to hold your hose in place.

Replaceable hose and bite valve – Standard stuff pretty much. Bite valve can be closed by twisting the bite-piece. Hose has a QD-function around the middle.

Rigid backplate Magnetic hose-holder

I have used my reservoir a few times after the original hike, where it performed admirably, and it hasn’t failed me in any way on any of the possible occasions. The latest use was on our recent weekend day hike on Poronpolku 2016- outdoors event, and I was really glad I had my reservoir through those 24 kilometers on a warm autumn day. And surprisingly enough the reservoir kept the water reasonably cool in my backpack throughout the day, even though the reservoir isn’t insulated in any way. Or maybe it was just the fact that I felt hotter than the sun myself. The mouthpiece with the bite valve is nice and functions reliably and hasn’t leaked in any way this far.

But I have to admit, even though I like the Osprey reservoir, it will most likely get a Camelbak or a Source hydration bladder on it’s side sooner or later. Not only to compare the two, but more due to me wanting a product that has been proven over and over again to be durable and designed for rougher use.

I don’t assume the Osprey reservoir would fail me, quite the opposite, but this was more of a mission critical equipment acquisition rather than an investment on a longer scope of time.

Even still, I’m looking forward to testing this hydration bladder more and more!

– Blue

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About The Author

Culinary student in my mid 20’s, relieved of peacetime duty, but interested in voluntary national defense, firearms and much more. Due to my economical status as a student, I’m still watching my options on getting into the shooting hobby, but hopefully in the near future it becomes a reality.

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