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Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir Review

This lightweight reservoir has a lot of fun features.
Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir
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Price:  $34 List | $32.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Large handle and long collar for easy filling, easy to clean, inexpensive, extended hose attachment
Cons:  Hard to flip inside out, plastic taste
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 15, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 10
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Ease of Care - 25% 6
  • Ease of Filling - 20% 7
  • Quality and Durability - 15% 6
  • Weight and Packability - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Osprey Hydraulics LT Bladder is a fully-featured bladder with many functions at a decent price. It stands out for its longer flip-top closure, built-in handle, extended quick release hose system, and magnetic bite valve that always keeps water close at hand. It is straightforward to use and compatible with most backpacking and running hydration packs. The handy handle helps you maximize your fill by holding the bladder horizontally. It is a great lightweight and featured reservoir at a great price.



Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $32.00 at Backcountry
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$36.95 at Backcountry
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$34.99 at Amazon$29.75 at Amazon
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$26.95 at Backcountry
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Star Rating
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Pros Large handle and long collar for easy filling, easy to clean, inexpensive, extended hose attachmentDurable, reliable, fast flow rate, easy to fillDurable, great water flow, easy to fill and clean, versatile use, good price.Lightweight, slim profile, simple to use, easy to cleanLightweight, super packable, durable material, inexpensive, incredibly versatile
Cons Hard to flip inside out, plastic tasteWider profile doesn't fit narrow hydration sleevesCan't flip inside out.Not as durable as other options, connections get gummed up without lubricationPoor taste, does not come with hose or bite valve, doesn't pack easily into backpack sleeves
Bottom Line Lots of unique features in a lightweight hydration reservoir.A reliable and burly bladder with all-around awesome performance.One of our favorite bladders with an array of uses.Ready for any on-the-go athlete looking for a lightweight hydration system.Take this lightweight and packable reservoir on your next backpacking adventure.
Rating Categories Hydraulics LT Reservoir Platypus Big Zip EVO CamelBak Crux Reservoir Shape-Shift Reservoir MSR DromLite Bags
Ease Of Use (25%)
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8
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9
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9
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8
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8
Ease Of Care (25%)
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6
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6
Ease Of Filling (20%)
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Quality And Durability (15%)
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Weight And Packability (15%)
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Specs Hydraulics LT... Platypus Big Zip EVO CamelBak Crux... Shape-Shift... MSR DromLite Bags
Weight of Bladder & Tube (3L, *2.5L system,**4L system) 6.15 oz* 6.90 oz 8.40 oz 5.40 oz 5.20 oz**
Bladder Capacity Options (liters) 1.5L, 2.5L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 2L, 3L 2L, 4L, 6L
Dishwasher Friendly? Yes No No Yes No
Plastic Taste Yes No No Yes Yes
BPA-free? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bite Valve Bite valve with shutoff twist valve HyFLO Self-sealing Bite Valve Bite valve with updated shutoff valve Bite valve with shutoff twist valve None (Bite valve with lock arm shutoff valve in separate attachment kit)
Can bite valve be removed? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hose Connection Extended quick release hose (no swivel), no release at base of bladder Mid-tube, but can be changed to the base. Quick Release Quick release hose (no swivel) Quick release (no swivel) At the mouth of the screw top
Closure Type Slide top Zip top Screw top Slide top Screw top (3 in 1 spouts)
Warranty 1-year limited guarantee Limited warranty Lifetime Guarantee Lifetime warranty Limited warranty

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Hydraulics LT comes with a few more bells and whistles than most bladders. It's easy to use and compatible with most backpacks.

Performance Comparison


Sometimes you need to share water on the trail. The elongated collar of the Osprey Hydraulics creates a small spout - a perfect feature for thirsty friends.
Sometimes you need to share water on the trail. The elongated collar of the Osprey Hydraulics creates a small spout - a perfect feature for thirsty friends.

Ease of Use


Simply put, this bladder is easy to use. The bite valve is simple, doesn't leak, and provides ample water flow with minimal effort. The twist lock mechanism is harder to use than a simple switch, but if you don't like it, you can switch it out, as this model is compatible with many other valves and tubes. We like the magnet it comes with as well. It easily connects to the tube (anywhere you please) and you can choose where to attach it on your pack. We prefer it on our chest strap while running and hiking.

The many features of the Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir. We liked to use this with the Osprey Talon 18 on many day hikes.
The many features of the Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir. We liked to use this with the Osprey Talon 18 on many day hikes.

Another cool feature is the location of the quick release hose. Instead of the quick-release being at the base of the bladder, it falls about halfway up the hose. This is advantageous when you want to disconnect your bladder without digging through a pack full of gear. This is especially useful when we were on the move or out backpacking.

Hydration on the go while running 26 miles in the Grand Canyon. While we love the features of this bladder  the handle poked into our shoulder through this running vest (with no back padding). Make sure this bladder fits properly with your running or hiking pack for best use!
Hydration on the go while running 26 miles in the Grand Canyon. While we love the features of this bladder, the handle poked into our shoulder through this running vest (with no back padding). Make sure this bladder fits properly with your running or hiking pack for best use!

The quick connect hose is easy to switch out with others if you prefer a different style. Since it's made by HydraPak, it's compatible with all of their products, plus those manufactured by Camelbak.

Ease of Care


This bladder is quite easy to clean, but not as convenient as other flip-top varieties. The opening huge allows you to easily get a brush inside, so scrubbing inside isn't too hard. That said, when trying to flip it inside out, our efforts were deemed useless because of the plastic handle and hose connection. Because of this, we opt to simply rinse it out and allow it to dry. Afterward, throw it in the freezer to kill any unwanted and lingering bacteria.

Our cleaning brush fit with ease inside of this hydration bladder.
Our cleaning brush fit with ease inside of this hydration bladder.

Hydrapak Customer Service reports that the LT is dishwasher safe, on the top rack, as are all Hydrapak reservoirs. However, according to Hydrapak, it should be noted that the Osprey LT cannot be reversed, so washing it in the dishwasher may not be 100% effective for getting inside the reservoir. Throw a Hydrapak Bottle Bright tablet in if you're worried.


Use kitchen tongs to aid in the drying process!
Use kitchen tongs to aid in the drying process!

Ease of Filling


Similar to other HydraPak manufactured models, this bladder is quite easy to fill in both deep and shallow environments. It stands out for its attached handle and the extended tongue that provides easy filling in all situations!

The additional handle makes filling easy!
Sometimes you need to fill up in a stream  lake  or river. Here we use the Osprey Hydraulics LT to collect water from the Uncompahdre River. The elongated collar and additional handle makes it easy to fill anywhere.

Collecting water from trickling streams is a cinch, and filling in shallow water fountains is easy too.

If you don't use the handle  simply pinch and pour water inside while camping.
If you don't use the handle, simply pinch and pour water inside while camping.

Quality and Durability


We had no issues with leaks in the bite valve or pack after our months of testing. It is made from a TPU film that is quite durable but not as puncture resistant as thicker filmed options in this review.

Weight and Compressibility


A little heavier than other flip top versions, this 2.5L bladder weighs roughly 6.15oz. Because of its extended tube that does not detach at the base of the bladder, it is not super packable.

Jared hikes up to 13 000 feet in the San Juan mountains with the Osprey Hydraulics LT in tow.
Jared hikes up to 13,000 feet in the San Juan mountains with the Osprey Hydraulics LT in tow.

Value


This is an inexpensive bladder with great features and performance. If you're on a budget, know that it is of value, and offers good performance for the price.

Conclusion


If you seek a lightweight but high performing bladder with all the bells and whistles, this is a great option. Take it running, hiking, or camping…whatever you please!

Hiking through the mountains? Don't forget your favorite bladder for on the go hydration!
Hiking through the mountains? Don't forget your favorite bladder for on the go hydration!


Amber King