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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 | $29.95 at Amazon
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  ⋅  Jul 21, 2018
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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

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. The Osprey Hydraulics 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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Overall Score Sort Icon
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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 fillLightweight, slim profile, simple to use, easy to cleanLightweight, super packable, durable material, inexpensive, incredibly versatileEasy to fill, large screw top opening, inexpensive, great bite valve, narrow profile, compatible with most packs, divided compartments prevent sloshing
Cons Hard to flip inside out, plastic tasteWider profile doesn't fit narrow hydration sleevesNot as durable as other optionsPoor taste, does not come with hose or bite valve, doesn't pack easily into backpack sleevesSomewhat difficult to clean, harder to fill in trickling streams
Bottom Line This lightweight reservoir has a lot of fun features.This favorite offers burly and reliable construction best for hiking and backpacking.A lightweight and slim bladder for any on-the-go athlete.This reservoir is lightweight and durable with many functions.This high value winner features stellar performance for a decent price.
Rating Categories Hydraulics LT Reservoir Platypus Big Zip EVO Shape-Shift Reservoir MSR DromLite Bags CamelBak Crux Reservoir
Ease Of Use (25%)
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8
10
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9
10
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9
10
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9
10
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8
Ease Of Care (25%)
10
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6
10
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8
10
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9
10
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6
10
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7
Ease Of Filling (20%)
10
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8
10
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9
10
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8
10
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6
10
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9
Quality And Durability (15%)
10
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7
10
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9
10
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6
10
0
9
10
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7
Weight And Packability (15%)
10
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6
10
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7
10
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9
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10
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7
Specs Hydraulics LT... Platypus Big Zip EVO Shape-Shift... MSR DromLite Bags CamelBak Crux...
Weight of Bladder & Tube (3L, *2.5L system,**4L system) 6.15 oz* 6.90 oz 5.40 oz 5.20 oz** 8.0 oz
Bladder Capacity Options (liters) 1.5L, 2.5L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 2L, 3L 2L, 4L, 6L 1.5L, 2L, 3L
Dishwasher Friendly? Yes Not specified Yes No No
Plastic Taste Yes No Yes 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 shutoff twist valve None (Bite valve with lock arm shutoff valve in separate attachment kit) Bite valve with HydroLock shutoff valve
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 (no swivel) At the mouth of the screw top Quick release hose (no swivel)
Closure Type Slide top Zip top Slide top Screw top (3 in 1 spouts) Screw top
Warranty 1-year limited guarantee Limited warranty Lifetime warranty Limited warranty Lifetime Guarantee

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, 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