The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
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  ⋅  Jul 13, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
43
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 5
  • 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 testing. 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. A main pocket and a quick-stow pocket on the back limit storage options and force 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $23.98 at AmazonCheck Price on REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price on REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$103.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price on REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
43
85
82
81
74
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Affordable, carries water and gear well, simple designComfortable, great fit, tons of easily reachable pockets, very versatileComfortable, lots of storage, great pocketsTons of storage, comfortable, expandableExcellent hydration system, great storage and pockets
Cons Lower chest strap isn't placed well, no front pockets, hard to secure properlyExpensive, must buy hydration bladder separatelyNo trekking pole attachment, expensiveBulkyItchy material, tight fit
Bottom Line Functionally carries water and gear but with no front access pockets and some points of discomfort, this is not our favoriteA comfortable fit and exceptional pockets make this model our favorite pack on the marketNo matter what the mission entails, this large, comfortable vest has you coveredThe highest expandable capacity for gear and water among the running packs we testedOur favorite hydration system with tons of storage, but lacking in comfort
Rating Categories 2L Hydration Backpack Salomon ADV Skin 12 Set Nathan VaporHowe 2.0 12L Ultimate Direction FKT Salomon ADV Skin 8 Set
Comfort (30%)
5
9
9
7
6
Features (25%)
4
8
7
9
8
Hydration System (15%)
5
8
8
7
9
Volume To Weight Ratio (15%)
3
8
8
9
6
Pockets (15%)
4
9
9
9
9
Specs 2L Hydration... Salomon ADV Skin... Nathan VaporHowe... Ultimate Direction... Salomon ADV Skin 8...
Weight (ounces) 14.5 13.3 13.2 14.5 12
Carrying Capacity (liters) 2 12 12 18 8
Included Liquid Capacity (liters) 2 1 1.6 0.6 1
OGL Volume to Weight Ratio (Bigger is Better!) 0.14 0.90 0.91 1.24 0.67
External Storage? Yes, mesh storage pockets, zip pocket Yes, "Kangaroo Pockets" Large rear pocket Yes, bungees, many external zip pockets Two 0.5 L soft flasks
Type of Water Storage 2L reservoir Two 0.5L soft flasks (included), plus bladder sleeve (bladder not included) 1.6 liters One 0.6L bottle included 1 liter
Pole Holders? No Yes No Yes Yes

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 biking, hiking, and staying hydrated.

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 features 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. 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 struggles 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, where the pack is more subject to jostling. We found it best for lower intensity activities such as biking and hiking, keeping 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.

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 or 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, at its price, this pack is not designed for high performance or racing, and we didn't expect it to score highly in this category.

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 than a hydration vest, with a simple pocket on the back and an external mesh storage sleeve. There are no pockets on the shoulder straps or pockets along the ribcage, limiting the amount of accessible storage. For races or fun longer adventures, 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 more than a good deal, but what impact does the low price put on performance? Minor changes to the placement of the lower strap and the addition of accessible pockets along the ribcage or on the shoulder straps would make this pack a proper running hydration vest. Where the design stands now positions it as a backpack with a water bladder. That being said, it's a very affordable hydration pack, and if it suits your needs, it definitely is valuable.

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 vests in this roundup as a running pack, it does have a use and won't break the bank. It works as an entry-level running pack but is better suited for lower intensity pursuits. 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. But, 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