Sunday, June 2, 2013

Osprey 3L HydraForm Reservoir - Review

Until recently, I did not use a hydration bladder.  The main reason was that all my packs with hydration sleeves needed to be accessed from within the main compartment of the pack, and would be nearly impossible to do without emptying the pack.

Well, I now own an Osprey Talon 44 pack, and Osprey designed the Talon packs with the bladder access located outside the bag, between the main compartment and the back pad.  This means that it is easy to remove, refill, and replace the reservoir.

So, I used my EMS gear bucks to purchase the 3L version of the Osprey HydraForm Reservoir bladder.  It is fairly wide and not too tall, which makes it more stable/rigid when sliding into the pack; and the back of the bladder is sculpted to help form it to the wearers back.

Overall, I'd say it is high quality construction.  It is easy to fill, with its wide mouth.  It slides in and out of my Talon pack easily, even when fully loaded; and the drinking tube with bite valve has a nice magnetic connector that attaches to your pack's sternum strap to keep it handy - a nice feature.

I'm thinking of getting the Sawyer Squeeze adapter to allow me to fill the bladder without even removing it from my pack.  I also noticed that Osprey offers an insulated drinking tube for use it cold weather - that would be a nice add-on, as I already experienced a frozen tube when hiking in February.

All in all, I'd say this is a winner - and not badly priced at around $40.

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