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Osprey Dyna 6 - Women's Review

An affordable running partner with a great design, built for the grittiest trails you can find
Osprey Dyna 6 - Women's
Photo: Osprey
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Price:  $110 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Rugged, affordable, comfortable, intelligent hydration system, solid pole holders
Cons:  Poor volume to weight ratio, less soft
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Ally Meller ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 20, 2021
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 9
  • Comfort - 30% 7
  • Features - 25% 8
  • Hydration System - 15% 8
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 3
  • Pockets - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Osprey Dyna 6 is a rugged trail-running specific vest that wears like a mini backpack. We found a lot to love about its hydration pack. If you are on the hunt for a durable everyday trail pack that can carry a bit more than just the basics, this one is perfect. It offers a bit more framework than others we tested, and the nylon exterior isn't as soft as the bodies of its competitors. Even so, this vest is a real winner if you want a sidekick that's as tough as you are.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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86
85
79
73
Star Rating
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Pros Rugged, affordable, comfortable, intelligent hydration system, solid pole holdersComfortable, huge storage capacity, great pockets, lots of size options, durableUltra comfortable, stretchy, breathable, simple yet precise pocketsIncredibly comfortable, great pockets, breathableAffordable, ample water storage, user-friendly, durable
Cons Poor volume to weight ratio, less softExpensiveNo trekking pole attachment, slight sloshing, priceyStrange hydration straws, average storage capacityLess gear storage, less frills
Bottom Line An affordable running partner with a great design, built for the grittiest trails you can findThe most comfortable and spacious hydration pack that we have tested to dateA super comfortable and brilliantly designed hydration pack for long days on your feetA storage-oriented hydration vest that wears like a silky-smooth second skin and packs all of the essentials with easeThis is an affordable pack that offers ample storage with enough room for your trail running essentials
Rating Categories Osprey Dyna 6 - Women's Pinnacle 12L Nathan VaporHowe 2.0 12L Salomon ADV Skin 8 Set Nathan TrailMix 7L - Women's
Comfort (30%)
7
9
9
9
8
Features (25%)
8
8
8
8
7
Hydration System (15%)
8
7
7
7
7
Volume To Weight Ratio (15%)
3
9
9
6
7
Pockets (15%)
7
10
9
8
7
Specs Osprey Dyna 6 -... Pinnacle 12L Nathan VaporHowe... Salomon ADV Skin 8... Nathan TrailMix 7L...
Weight (without hydration system) 10.69 oz 7.20 oz 7.09 oz 10.16 oz 7.13 oz
Carrying Capacity (liters) 5L 12L 12L 8L 7L
Included Liquid Capacity (liters) 1.5L 1.6L 1.6L 1L 2L
OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better!) 0.46 1.6 1.69 0.79 0.98
External Storage? Yes- back flap pouch, front external pockets, zipper pulls are bungee loops, plus a bottom loop that runs horizontally Yes- large rear kangaroo pocket, front nutrition or soft flask accomodations. Yes- Nutrition pouches on the front Yes- many bungees and one kangaroo-esque pockey Yes- rear daisy chain, pole holder loops, and nutrition pockets.
Type of Water Storage 1.5 liter reservoir 1.6 liter hourglass, insulated reservoir 1.6 liter hourglass, insulated reservoir 2 soft 500mL bottles 2 liter reservoir
Pole Holders? Yes Yes No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Dyna 6 stands out amongst the crowd. Its techy hydration bladder, rugged yet breathable body, and well-placed features are some of the things we love about this hydration pack. Most notably, though, you can have it all for a comparatively low price.

Performance Comparison


We love the snug fit and sleek front-body design of the Dyna 6.
We love the snug fit and sleek front-body design of the Dyna 6.
Photo: Ally Meller

Comfort


We had our doubts about the comfort of the Dyna 6 when we originally unboxed it. Generally speaking, this vest is significantly more rigid than some of our favorites. The ribbing in the front is stiff, and the whole vest is far less silky and floppy than others in our review. Our maiden voyage with the Dyna showed us how utterly wrong we were. The nylon body is ultra-breathable but not prone to snagging or tearing, and the armholes offer plenty of space to prevent feeling restricted. The thicker material might weigh slightly more than the ultralight options, but its tough exterior and breathability make up for this.

Not as soft as others we've tried, but certainly tough.
Not as soft as others we've tried, but certainly tough.
Photo: Ally Meller

Osprey offers two size options for this hydration pack, XS/S and S/M. In addition to those two options, the multiple cinch straps help ensure a customized fit. The under-arm straps are basic in their function, but we love having the option to snuggle the vest a little tighter on days when we are wearing fewer layers. The front closures are also cinch straps, and they are highly customizable with a small caveat — you have to know how to use them. Each chest panel of the vest has a super tough plastic piece of ribbing with seven teeth on it. There are two straps, and each has bilateral clips that hug the spaces between the teeth on the ribbing. The teeth ensure that the clips do not move while in motion, which helps keep the vest in place while running extremely technical terrain. Fear not, this oddly designed yet profoundly functional ribbing is thoughtfully secured an inch from the front edges of the vest. This precise placement prevents the stiff pieces from rubbing. Since the closures are mirror images of each other, you can choose if you'd like to open and close on the left or right side. It's so seamless that you can decide on the go if that's what makes you happy.

The tough plastic ribbing doesn't cut in, even when you're wearing...
The tough plastic ribbing doesn't cut in, even when you're wearing only a thin moisture-wicking top.
Photo: Ally Meller

Features


The Dyna 6 has a minimal number of bungees and loops, but each one offered is well-placed and functional. The loops mounted atop the shoulders secure the tops of your collapsed trekking poles, and the bases can slip into the bilateral kangaroo-esque pockets on the lower back panel. This trekking pole securing configuration is one of the better ones we've tested. The poles we used don't collapse to be super tiny, but we found they were still easy to stash in this pack. Osprey also included a safety whistle that lives inside the right breast pocket for easy access.

We love that most of the hydration vests on the market come with a...
We love that most of the hydration vests on the market come with a lightweight safety whistle, just in case.
Photo: Ally Meller

The Dyna 6 has reflective racing stripes on the back outward-facing panel to ensure visibility in low-light situations. Amid the group of organized back pockets lives a small, plastic carabiner above two mesh pill pockets. This is an excellent spot to secure your car keys, and it strikes us as an extremely thoughtful touch. We love that the most superficial panel has two clip closures that connect to the shoulder panels. This makes storing an extra layer within arm's reach very accessible.

The reflective embellishments are a nice added safety feature.
The reflective embellishments are a nice added safety feature.
Photo: Ally Meller

Hydration System


In case the above praise wasn't enough, this is where the Dyna 6 goes above and beyond. This hydration pack comes with a Hydraulics LT 1.5L bladder that fits seamlessly into the back pocket. The bladder pocket is mildly insulated, which is always a nice touch. The hydration bladder has a removable hose and bite valve, which makes cleaning a breeze. We love to see a bladder with a fold-over top as this further decreases frustration on cleaning day (you caught us; we don't do it after every run — please don't judge us). Furthermore, the bladder has two vertical fins that reduce sloshing and prevent the water bladder from turning into a ball against your back. This sexy bladder can be secured by a clip that slips through the upper portion of the bladder. As per usual, the hose is then fed through a two-part panel atop the shoulder plate and then through a loop on the chest panel. The cherry on top of this hydration system is a movable magnet on the hose that adheres to your horizontal chest strap, further securing your hose where you want it.

There are so many things to love about this state-of-the-art...
There are so many things to love about this state-of-the-art hydration bladder.
Photo: Ally Meller

The chest panels each have a long but narrow pocket. These pockets can accommodate soft bottles, but we much preferred stashing other things in these pouches. That said, since the back portion of this pack can only hold a 1.5L bladder, it certainly is helpful to have the option to haul more water. Especially because this is the pack we often want to take on our grittiest runs.

Deep into the forest we go, never stopping because we have a pack...
Deep into the forest we go, never stopping because we have a pack full of water to keep us hydrated.
Photo: Ally Meller

Volume to Weight Ratio


This is the only metric in which the Dyna 6 let us down. This small but mighty trail-running sidekick weighs in at a hefty 10.69 oz. This is more than double some of the other hydration vests we tested. Furthermore, the Dyna can only hold 5L or 6L of gear, including water, depending on which size you opt to buy. Our testers tested a size XS/S, so they could only haul 5L of gear, which leaves the volume to weight ratio pitifully low. Ultimately, we loved so many of this pack's smart and techy features that we are willing to overlook this sad ratio. We also have to give kudos to the fact that this svelte and well-fitting vest is made of super burly nylon, which we believe to be stronger than many other materials we've come across.

Nice and quick, despite the heavy weight of the Dyna 6.
Nice and quick, despite the heavy weight of the Dyna 6.
Photo: Ally Meller

Pockets


We love the placement of the pockets on the Dyna 6. Though we couldn't find any proof, it seems to us that each pocket was placed and designed by someone who truly knows what it is like to be rummaging through your pack with trail fatigue. As mentioned above, the hydration bladder pocket is large, accommodating, and slightly insulated. Just beyond that, there is a wide, 5-inch deep pocket with mesh pill pockets for added organization. The main pocket on the back takes up the entire back of the pack. This pocket is large and can hold most anything you wish to bring with you into the mountains. Atop that is a clip closure pouch that we found perfect for storing layers that we might want readily available. Two mesh kangaroo-style pockets on each side of the main back body act as a base for trekking pole storage. If you choose to run without poles, though, these pockets are great for keeping additional items that you want quick access to.

There are plenty of pockets to choose from.
There are plenty of pockets to choose from.
Photo: Ally Meller

Each breast panel has a long, vertical pocket for holding soft flasks if you choose to use them. The left panel has an additional vertically zipped pocket with a zippered closure for securing gear. On top of the breast pockets are bilateral mesh pockets that are surprisingly secure for having only a mild elastic top. We found that these pockets were the perfect place for stashing on-the-go nutrition and even our smartphones. Other runners may prefer to stash their gear elsewhere, but we loved being able to access our iPhones for our downloaded maps without even stopping. Overall, the pocket situation is exceptional. We truly never felt like this hydration pack had a smaller storage capacity than others we tested due to the intelligence behind the design.

The front zippered pocket is a great place to stash valuable items.
The front zippered pocket is a great place to stash valuable items.
Photo: Ally Meller

Value


The Dyna 6 delivers all of the things we truly want in a running vest for a lower price than most of its competition. If your budget is tight and you want a long-lasting and tough running buddy, the Dyna is the way to go.

Conclusion


We loved running with the Osprey Dyna 6 on our dirtiest trail runs. It may not have the best volume to weight ratio, but its other comfortable and well-engineered features propel this hydration pack towards the front of the pack, pun intended. This no-nonsense running pack offers plenty of space for trail day accouterments and even a few extras, and we love its female-specific and customizable fit. If you are looking to find a running buddy that will show up day after day for an affordable price, we think that the Dyna 6 is a great choice.

What can we say, we love this pack.
What can we say, we love this pack.
Photo: Ally Meller

Ally Meller