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Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir Review

This lightweight reservoir has a lot of fun features
Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir
Photo: Osprey
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Price:  $34 List | Check Price 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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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 12
  • Ease of Use - 25% 8
  • Ease of Care - 25% 6
  • Ease of Filling - 20% 6
  • 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.


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Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Best Buy Award 
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$23.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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64
Star Rating
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Pros Large handle and long collar for easy filling, easy to clean, inexpensive, extended hose attachmentThick and durable bladder, handle for easy filling, drying accessory, excellent flow rate, narrow and rounded profile for easy fit in narrow packsDurable, reliable, fast flow rate, easy to fill, excellent valve locking mechanismDurable, great water flow, easy to fill and clean, versatile use, good priceDurable, versatile and lightweight design, good flow rate, great price
Cons Hard to flip inside out, plastic tasteBulkier components don't pack downWider profile, closure is hard to close in cold weather and requires maintenanceCan't flip inside outHarder to clean, bite valve doesn't lock off
Bottom Line This lightweight reservoir has a lot of fun featuresThis top performer stands out for its quality construction and easy filling profile that is reliable for hydration on backcountry adventures and day tripsThis is a burly and reliable option has an awesome flow rate and convenient features, but long-term testing isn't favoring the zip closureThis is a high value bladder with stellar performance for a decent priceThis durable, lightweight, and simple bladder won't take a toll on your wallet
Rating Categories Hydraulics LT Reser... Gregory 3D Hydro Platypus Big Zip EVO CamelBak Crux Reser... Platypus Hoser
Ease Of Use (25%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Ease Of Care (25%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Ease Of Filling (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Quality And Durability (15%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
8.0
Weight And Packability (15%)
5.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
10.0
Specs Hydraulics LT Reser... Gregory 3D Hydro Platypus Big Zip EVO CamelBak Crux Reser... Platypus Hoser
Weight of Bladder & Tube (oz) 6.15 oz (2.5L) 7.1 oz (3L) 6.90 oz (3L) 8.40 oz (3L) 4.2 oz (3L)
Bladder Capacity Options (liters) 1.5L, 2.5L 3 L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 1L, 1.5L, 3L
Dishwasher Friendly? Yes No No No No
Plastic Taste Yes No No No No
Bite Valve Bite valve with shutoff twist valve Push-button on/off valve HyFLO Self-sealing Bite Valve Bite valve with updated shutoff valve HyFLO bite valve
Can bite valve be removed? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Hose Connection Extended quick release hose (no swivel), no release at base of bladder Mid-tube quick release, but can be changed to the base. Mid-tube, but can be changed to the base. Quick Release Quick release hose (no swivel) Screw-on hose
Closure Type Slide top Screw top Zip top Screw top Screw top (hose connection)

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...
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.
Photo: Ray Sena

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

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...
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!
Photo: Amber King

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.
Photo: Amber King

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!
Photo: Amber King

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!

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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

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

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...
Hiking through the mountains? Don't forget your favorite bladder for on the go hydration!
Photo: Ray Sena

Amber King