Reviews You Can Rely On

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 for women hydration pack for running review
The snug fit and rugged exterior of the Dyna 6 make it a great vest for short-ish trail runs.
Credit: Ally Arcuri
Price:  $120 List
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 1, 2022
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 7.0
  • Features - 25% 8.0
  • Hydration System - 15% 8.0
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 4.0
  • Pockets - 15% 7.0

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. For our long, gritty adventures, the Dyna 6 is typically the pack we reach for, thus earning it its title as our top choice for rugged adventures.
REASONS TO BUY
Rugged
Affordable
Comfortable
Intelligent hydration system
Solid pole holders
REASONS TO AVOID
Poor volume to weight ratio
Less soft
Editor's Note: This review was updated on December 1, 2022, after testing the updated and most recent version of the Dyna 6.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Rugged, affordable, comfortable, intelligent hydration system, solid pole holdersAccessible pockets, comfortable, intelligent features, great carrying capacity, waterproof pocketsAffordable, ample water storage, user-friendly, durableWell-featured, comfortable design, breathable, useful bungeesSimple, compact, easily navigated pockets, affordable
Cons Poor volume to weight ratio, less softLess soft to the touch, not the best for minimalist runnersLess gear storage, less frillsVolume to weight ratio isn't great, no hydration system includedPoor volume to weight ratio, less comfortable
Bottom Line An affordable running partner with a great design, built for the grittiest trails you can findA well-featured and comfortable pack that is designed to haul everything you need on ultra-distance running excursionsThis is an affordable pack that offers ample storage with enough room for your trail running essentialsThis well-featured vest offers thoughtful pocket placement and a comfortable fit but is sold without a compatible vessel for toting liquidThis is a rugged and affordable pack that can stash all of your goodies for shorter mountain excursions
Rating Categories Osprey Dyna 6 - Wom... Ultimate Direction... Nathan TrailMix 7L... UltrAspire Momentum... REI Co-op Swiftland 5
Comfort (30%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Features (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Hydration System (15%)
8.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
7.0
Volume to Weight Ratio (15%)
4.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
Pockets (15%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Osprey Dyna 6 - Wom... Ultimate Direction... Nathan TrailMix 7L... UltrAspire Momentum... REI Co-op Swiftland 5
Weight (without hydration system) 10.7 oz 7.8 oz 7.1 oz 8.0 oz 8.5 oz
Carrying Capacity (liters) 6L 10.1L 7L 6L 5L
Included Liquid Capacity (liters) 1.5L 1L 2L 0L 1.5 L
OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better!) 0.56 1.29 0.98 0.75 0.58
External Storage Back flap pouch, front external pockets, zipper pulls are bungee loops water resistant chest pocket, rear compartment, , zippered main pocket, waterproof shoulder stash pocket Rear daisy chain, pole holder loops, and nutrition pockets Shoulder pocket, shockchord Zippered main pocket, Exterior mesh pocket, 4 Chest mesh pockets, Lash points
Type of Water Storage 1.5L reservoir 2 500ml bottles
2L reservoir compatible (Not included)
2L reservoir 4 500 ml bottles (not included) 1.5L reservoir
Pole Holders? Yes Yes Yes Yes No

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, you can have it all for a comparatively low price.

Performance Comparison


osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - with a modest capacity, strong textiles, and a comfortable fit, the...
With a modest capacity, strong textiles, and a comfortable fit, the Dyna is one of our favorite packs for rugged coastal adventures.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

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.


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 the option to snuggle the vest a little tighter on days when we wear fewer layers. The front closures are cinch straps and 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, each with 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.

osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - the rails on the front side of the dyna 6 are stiff, but once you...
The rails on the front side of the Dyna 6 are stiff, but once you place them properly and understand how they work, they provide excellent comfort and an unmoving fit during your runs.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

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.


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

osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - a look at the underarm storage space on the dyna 6.
A look at the underarm storage space on the Dyna 6.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

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 usual, the hose is fed through a two-part panel atop the shoulder plate and then through a loop on the chest panel. 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.

osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - the fins in the hydration bladder help keep the water from sloshing...
The fins in the hydration bladder help keep the water from sloshing as you run. Of all of the things we love about the Dyna, this might be our favorite.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

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 ounces. This is more than double some of the other hydration vests we tested.


The Dyna can only hold 5-6 liters of gear, including water, depending on which size you choose. Our testers tested a size XS/S, so they could only haul 5 liters 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 will overlook this underperforming 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 materials we've come across in other hydration vests.

osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - the slim fit of this rugged nylon vest make it feel like a part of...
The slim fit of this rugged nylon vest make it feel like a part of your body as you tear up the trails.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Pockets


We love the placement of the pockets on the Dyna 6. Though we couldn't find any proof, it seems that each pocket was placed and designed by someone who truly knows what it is like to rummage 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 almost anything you wish to bring 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, these pockets are great for keeping additional items you want quick access to.

osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - these easy-to-access underarm pockets are a great place for keeping...
These easy-to-access underarm pockets are a great place for keeping items that you might need on the fly.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

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.

osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - the front zippered pocket is our favorite place for keeping our...
The front zippered pocket is our favorite place for keeping our smartphones. The zipper secures it and the pocket's location ensures a bounce-free run.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Should You Buy the Osprey Dyna 6?


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. This vest is our top contender for intense days on the trail. The materials hold up, and the rugged strength is second to none.

osprey dyna 6 for women hydration pack for running review - the moderate capacity and rugged prowess of the dyna 6 make it a...
The moderate capacity and rugged prowess of the Dyna 6 make it a great vest for moderate length trail excursions.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Running Hydration Vests Should You Consider?


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 toward the front of the pack, pun intended. The Ultimate Direction Mountain Vesta 5.0 is another mountain running favorite with just over double the carrying capacity. If a minimalistic vest is more your style, you won't go wrong with the comfortable Naked HC, a 3-liter pack with only enough space for your most necessary items.

Ally Arcuri
 
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