Hands-on Gear Review

Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir Review

This lightweight reservoir has a lot of fun features.
Osprey Hydraulics LT Reservoir
By: Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 21, 2018
Price:  $34 List  |  $32.00 at Backcountry - 6% Off
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
71
OVERALL
SCORE


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

We love 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, our Best Buy winner. The Crux is easier to fill and a little lighter. It also did not harbor any plastic taste out of the box.

Another key comparison is the Osprey Hydraulics that features a robust and sturdy backplate with all the same features of the LT. It's a little more expensive, a little heavier, but offers a stiffer design that is more durable and easier to stuff into filled backpacks. Overall, the Osprey Hydraulics LT is a great lightweight and featured reservoir at a great price.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

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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, similar to the Osprey Hydraulics. 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.

Best Applications


This is a great all around use bladder! Take it skiing, hiking, biking, and more!

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


At only $34, this is an inexpensive bladder with great features and performance.

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

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Most recent review: July 21, 2018
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