Hands-on Gear Review

Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir Review

Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir
Price:  $34 List | $34.00 at REI
Pros:  Large handle and long collar for easy filling, easy to clean, inexpensive, extended hose attachment
Cons:  Hard to flip inside out, plastic taste
Bottom line:  Lots of unique features in a lightweight hydration reservoir.
Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
Weight (*= 3L size):  6.15 oz (2.5L system)
Bladder Capacity Options (liters):  1.5L, 2.5L
Plasticy Taste w/ Opening?:  Yes
Manufacturer:   Osprey

Our Verdict

The Osprey Hydraulics LT Bladder is one of our top competitors for the Best Buy award. 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 very easy to use and compatible with most backpacking and running hydration packs. The handy handle helps you maximize your fill by holding the bladder horizontally.

We loved the longer collar on the flip top, making it easy to collect and share water. It comes with a magnetic tube clip that attaches anywhere on the tube; this clip can also be removed and used for other packs that don't come with a tube clip. Even though this bladder has many great features that we loved, it fell a little short when compared to the CamelBak Crux Reservoir. The Crux was easier to fill and a little lighter. It also did not harbor any sort of plastic taste out of the box.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Saturday
August 13, 2016

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The Osprey Hydaulics LT comes with a few more bells and whistles than most bladders. It's easy to use, clean, and is compatible with most backpacks and Osprey packs.

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! Similar to the HydraPak Shape-Shift Reservoir, the bite valve is simple, doesn't leak, and provides ample water with minimal suckage. The twist lock mechanism was harder to use than a simple switch found in the CamelBak. We like the magnet too. It easily connects to the tube (anywhere you please) and you can choose where to attach it on your pack. We put it on our chest strap while running and hiking. It's also compatible with all other packs in this review.

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 was the location of the quick release hose. All other bladders had the quick release right at the base of the bladder. This one features the release hose about one foot away from the base, which was helpful when we needed to get the bladder out of a filled pack. It eliminated the need (and frustration) of digging around to try and find the release. Instead, we could quickly find it and pull the bladder out fast. This was especially useful when we were on the move or out backpacking.

The quick connect hose is easy to switch out with others if you prefer a different style.


If you're looking for a similar bladder with a pressurized system, check out the Editors' Choice award winning Geigerrig Hydration Engine instead.

Ease of Care


This bladder is quite easy to clean, but not as convenient as other flip top varieties. The opening huge which allows you to easily get a brush inside, so cleaning is a cinch.

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

The only downside, when compared to other flip top bladders, is it's not easy to flip inside out. Since the quick connect is located further up the length of the tube (instead of at the base), it gets in the way. Because of this, we opted to just clean it like a regular zip top bladder. We simply rinsed it out and used a pair of kitchen tongs when allowing it to dry out. We also liked the Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Cleaning Kit for a more thorough cleaning.

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

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.


Ease of Filling


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.
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.

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

The additional handle makes filling easy!
The additional handle makes filling easy!

We found collecting water from trickling streams was a cinch, and filling in shallow water fountains was easy too. If you're looking for screw top bladder that is even easier to fill, check out the MSR Dromlite or CamelBak Crux.

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


We had no issues with leaks in the bite valve or pack after our three month testing period. The bladder is made from a TPU film that is quite durable and puncture resistant. We expect this bladder to perform for years.

Weight


A little heavier than other flip top versions, this 2.5L bladder weighs roughly 6.15oz. If you're looking for something lighter but similar, check out the HydraPak Shape Shift reservoir (~4.85 oz for a 3L bladder).

Best Applications


This is a great all around use pack! Take it skiing, hiking, biking, and more! If you're in the market for a great backpacking bladder, check out the MSR Dromlite.

Value


At only $34, this is one of the most inexpensive bladders on the market. It also has many bells and whistles that other basic bladders don't have! In our book, its high value and was almost a winner for our Best Buy award.

Conclusion


This bladder is perfect for the person in search of a light, functional flip top bladder with a handle. The magnetic attachment is super handy for easy drinking access while the quick-release system is ideal for fully loaded packs. Lots of cool features in a lightweight bladder.

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!

Other Versions and Accessories


This contender is available in 1.5, and 2.5 versions.

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Cleaning Kit
Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Cleaning Kit
For $24 you can keep your water tasty.
Amber King

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Most recent review: August 13, 2016
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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