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Vibrelli 2L Hydration Backpack Review

A versatile pack for lower intensity activities at a solid price point but lacking front access pockets
Vibrelli 2L Hydration Backpack
Photo: Amazon
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Price:  $24 List | $23.98 at Amazon
Pros:  Affordable, carries water and gear well, simple design
Cons:  Lower chest strap isn't placed well, no front pockets, hard to secure properly
Manufacturer:   Vibrelli
By Jeff Colt ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 14, 2021
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40
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 4
  • Features - 25% 4
  • Hydration System - 15% 5
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 3
  • Pockets - 15% 4

Our Verdict

Our hope in testing the Vibrelli 2L Hydration Backpack was to add more affordable options to this review, as running has a very low barrier of entry, but many of these packs are pricy. The Vibrelli is the cheapest vest we tested, and, unfortunately, that was reflected in our impression of the product. With no front access pockets and a lower chest strap that falls right on the diaphragm, this pack is not ideal for high-intensity activities. Limited storage only on the back forces you to fully remove the pack whenever you need anything. Despite these shortcomings, this is a decent entry-level hydration pack with some great features suitable for casual bike rides and hikes.

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Star Rating
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Pros Affordable, carries water and gear well, simple designAmazing pockets in arm's reach, carries a lot of gearComfortable, great fit, tons of easily reachable pockets, versatileMinimalist, lightweight, accessible pocketsAmple storage, simple and successful design, approachable price
Cons Lower chest strap isn't placed well, no front pockets, hard to secure properlySome stiff materials on the chest, pole carry is hard to execute while movingExpensive, must buy hydration bladder separatelyDoesn't carry heavy items well, some unwanted stretchLower quality bladder, minor pain points over longer distances
Bottom Line A versatile pack for lower intensity activities at a solid price point but lacking front access pocketsA comfortable and capable choice for big mileage when gear accessibility is mission-criticalA top-notch running pack, with excellent pockets and a comfortable fitThe best race vest on the market with form fitting stretch so it can store more gear comfortablyAn entry-level hydration pack for trail running with a great price and ample storage
Rating Categories 2L Hydration Backpack Nathan Pinnacle 12L Salomon ADV Skin 12... S/Lab Sense Ultra 8... REI Swiftland Hydro
Comfort (30%)
4.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Features (25%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Hydration System (15%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Volume To Weight Ratio (15%)
3.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
4.0
Pockets (15%)
4.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Specs 2L Hydration Backpack Nathan Pinnacle 12L Salomon ADV Skin 12... S/Lab Sense Ultra 8... REI Swiftland Hydro
Weight (with included hydration vessels) 14.5 oz 13.6 oz 13.4 oz 7.9 oz 13.7 oz
Carrying Capacity 2L 12L 12L 8L 5L
Included Liquid Capacity 2L 1.6L 1L 1L 1.5L
OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better!) 0.14 0.88 0.90 1.01 0.37
External Storage? Yes, mesh storage pockets, bungee Yes, kangaroo pockets Yes, kangaroo pockets Yes, back pouch pocket Yes
Type of Water Storage 2L reservoir 1.6L hourglass reservoir Two 500 mL soft flasks (included), plus reservoir sleeve (reservoir not included) Two 500mL bottles 1.5L reservoir
Pole Holders? No Yes Yes Add on No

Our Analysis and Test Results

As the most affordable hydration pack we reviewed, the Vibrelli has a lot going for it with a simple bladder and bite valve, ample reflective markings, and ample storage. We were disappointed that the lower chest strap strikes directly over the diaphragm, significantly impacting breathing while running. Because of this and the lack of accessible storage pockets, this pack didn't score well. That doesn't mean it isn't a good entry-level hydration pack, though — for the price, it is a great fit for staying hydrated while hiking or biking.

Performance Comparison


For a wildly affordable pack, it carries liquid and gear effectively...
For a wildly affordable pack, it carries liquid and gear effectively and was a valuable companion on a number of adventures. Running was doable, but we preferred using it during lower intensity activities.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Comfort


There are some qualities of the Vibrelli that make it a comfortable option. To highlight the pros, the mesh material along the shoulder straps is stretchy and comfortable and, paired with the cargo design, it carries liquid and gear well. While many hydration packs slim down the thickness of the shoulder straps to create a vest-like feel, this pack has thicker shoulder straps to accommodate more weight in the main storage on the back. The sternum strap and the hydration hose management is effective and not bothersome.

Nylon webbing used for the lower chest strap and the adjustable...
Nylon webbing used for the lower chest strap and the adjustable flank strap make the straps irritating against the ribs and challenging to get a comfortable fit. Some padding or a blend of softer materials against the body would improve the ride dramatically.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Our biggest struggle regarding comfort is the lower chest strap and the single adjustable strap along each flank. Both of these cut into the lower ribcage and don't provide the necessary adjustability for a smooth ride.

The lower chest strap (or is it a waist strap?) strikes directly across the diaphragm, making it difficult to get a comfortable, secure fit without seriously impacting the ability to breathe while moving. This limiting factor makes the vest unacceptable for running, an activity prone to jostling. We often use the word suspension to talk about bounce and designs to remedy it. It's fair to say that this pack has no suspension. We found it best for lower intensity activities such as biking and hiking, and we made sure to keep the lower strap looser.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Features


The Vibrelli has a few great features we look for in hydration packs, including effective reflective banding, easy-access external storage, an emergency whistle, and great hydration hose management. While there isn't a designated pole carry, collapsable poles can store and cinch tight in the external pocket.

A full feature set makes this a great entry level hydration pack...
A full feature set makes this a great entry level hydration pack, despite lacking easily accessible pockets while moving.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Hydration System


Simplicity is the name of the game with the design of the Vibrelli hydration system. Some of the more expensive competitors have quick-release clamps that allow the hose to separate from the bladder, adding ease to filling the bladder. This hydration system is merely a bladder with an attached hose and a turn top cover. We appreciate the plastic loop at the top of the bladder and the loop tape fastener within the pack to keep the bladder in place.

A hydration sleeve against the back keeps the bladder secured and...
A hydration sleeve against the back keeps the bladder secured and separate from gear storage. The turn top cover is not the easiest to fill, but the handle makes it doable.
Photo: Jeff Colt

The 2L bladder is the extent of the water storage as there are no front pockets for soft flasks. We were delighted with the design of the high-flow bite valve and the locking mechanism that prevents leaking. There is also loop tape and an effective clamp on the front of the pack that keeps the hose stored neatly and makes it easy to manage. This is no small feat; in fact, plenty of high-end packs we have reviewed don't address this as well as this on does.

A simple slide on the bite valve opens the flow of water with a...
A simple slide on the bite valve opens the flow of water with a slide and locks to prevent leaking with a press of the thumb.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Volume to Weight Ratio


The Vibrelli 2L is neither the largest nor the lightest pack we tested, and thus, it scored amongst the lowest for this category. For a 2L pack, it holds gear comfortably, though not in the most convenient or accessible places. At 14.5 ounces, it is heavier than most of the packs we tested, despite having such a limited carrying capacity. That said, this pack is not designed for high performance or racing, and we didn't expect it to score highly here.

Fully loaded, the pack still carried well despite all of the storage...
Fully loaded, the pack still carried well despite all of the storage being in the back pocket. This pack doesn't target weight or volume, it targets price and hits the bullseye.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Pockets


The design of this pack is more traditionally a backpack that is compatible with a hydration reservoir than it is a hydration pack for running. A simple zippered pocket on the back and an external mesh storage sleeve account for all of the available storage. There are no pockets on the shoulder straps or pockets along the ribcage, limiting the amount of access to gear while on the go. For races or fun longer missions, being able to access nutrients without taking off the pack is one of the main intentions. As the *Vibrelli* does not have any accessible pockets, it scored quite low in this category.

With no accessible pockets, this pack is not suited for those...
With no accessible pockets, this pack is not suited for those wanting to refuel on the move. For a casual hike with the pup, it's just right.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Value


This pack is certainly affordable, but what impact does the low price put on performance? And what does that extremely low price indicate about the quality of the materials? Minor changes to the placement of the lower strap and the addition of accessible pockets along the flanks or on the shoulder straps would make this pack a proper running hydration vest. Where the design stands now positions it as a daypack with a water bladder. That being said, it's a very affordable pack, and if it suits your needs, there is inherent value.

Despite the issues we had with the Vibrelli, it was a great trail...
Despite the issues we had with the Vibrelli, it was a great trail companion for bike adventures and hikes.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Conclusion


While the Vibrelli can't compete with the other hydration packs for running in this roundup, it does have a use and won't break the bank. It works as an entry-level active pack but is better suited for lower-intensity pursuits than running. If you run occasionally and want to bring water and extra supplies with you, this pack will do the trick. We feel that you will quickly recognize the need for accessible pockets and the strain that the lower strap puts on breathing. However, for hiking or biking, this strain won't impose the same restrictions as it does while running. With reflective markers and an effective hydration system, this pack is suited for trail and urban adventures.

An evening bike ride to scramble? This pack is an adequate adventure...
An evening bike ride to scramble? This pack is an adequate adventure companion, but not the best suited for running-specific use.
Photo: Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt