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Which Osprey hydration packs are best?

Hydration packs are the perfect companion to any outdoor adventure. These convenient backpacks contain a reservoir that you can fill with ice-cold water to keep you hydrated all day long. The reservoir comes complete with an attached hose that lets you quickly drink without removing your pack. 

Osprey is one of the best and most well-known manufacturers of hydration packs. Their best hydration pack is the Manta 24. This versatile backpack can house up to 2.5-liters of water and store plenty of other belongings in various internal and external compartments.

What to know before you buy an Osprey hydration pack

Ways to use

There are plenty of ways to use an Osprey hydration pack. The most common way is during a multi-hour day hike. Some of the larger hydration packs not only include space for plenty of water, but they act as a standard backpack as well, with added room for extra clothing, snacks and hiking accessories like walking poles. Osprey hydration packs are also good for bike rides, long-distance runs and camping trips. If you take a trip to an outdoor music festival, you’ll find many concertgoers wearing Osprey hydration packs so they can stay hydrated without skipping a beat. 

Storage space

Osprey’s water reservoirs, known as “Hydraulics,” range from 1 to 3 liters. The most common size is 2.5-liters because it allows for plenty of storage while leaving room in your pack for other items. Osprey is a preeminent backpack maker, which means their hydration packs are for more than drinking. If you’re looking for a multifaceted backpack, you can find some perfect overnight bags for camping that also include hydration packs. These bags have external pockets, inner pockets and large central compartment openings.

Pack types

Osprey is known for having a pack for all occasions. Their most popular packs are a combination of hydration packs and hiking backpacks. These innovative packs use extra storage space along with hydration reservoirs to make them ultra-versatile. They also make much smaller hydration packs that only hold the reservoir with very little space for other items. These are ideal for running, where your main priority is to have a lightweight and convenient way to stay hydrated. Osprey also makes biking hydration packs that act like fanny packs with small storage compartments and a waist strap meant to sit just above the hip while riding. 

What to look for in a quality Osprey hydration pack

Keeping cool

Hydration packs are for outdoor activities, which means staying cool during the summer months is crucial. High-quality Osprey packs have various ways to keep you cool, aside from the convenient water reservoir. Their packs primarily use nylon, a synthetic fiber that’s durable and repels water. This helps to keep your pack from absorbing the sweat from your back or waist. Osprey has a trademarked technology known as “Airscape,” which utilizes a combination of mesh lining and foam padding to keep the air flowing between your body and the pack itself.

Removable reservoir 

Depending on the activity you’re involved in, a hydration pack may not be necessary. This would severely limit the pack’s available space for some other brands because the hydration pack isn’t removable. Thankfully, most high-quality Osprey packs offer removable reservoirs. This allows you to pick and choose when to install the bladder. If you just need an overnight bag for a stay in a hotel, or perhaps you’re taking your pack on a plane and prefer to carry a water bottle, you can simply remove the reservoir and use your pack as a standard backpack. 


Osprey packs have nailed down the little details that keep a pack comfortable during long, arduous treks. One of the most important aspects of a hiking pack is its adjustability. Osprey hydration packs are no different. The most straightforward packs use soft-edged straps which are adjustable and won’t cause discomfort on your skin. Their “ErgoPull” design lets you adjust waist straps by pulling them forward instead of traditional packs, which require you to pull the straps away from your body. 

How much you can expect to spend on an Osprey hydration pack

Osprey hydration packs cost anywhere from $75-$159.

Osprey hydration pack FAQ

How do I clean the reservoir in my hydration pack?

A. The easiest way to clean your reservoir is to use warm water to rinse the pack after each use. This is especially important when cleaning sugary drinks with flavoring. Don’t forget to rinse out the hose as well. You can also purchase Bottle Bright tablets, which use natural ingredients and effervescence to clean your reservoir. 

Can I use my hydration pack in freezing weather?

A. It’s best not to use your hydration pack in frigid weather. If the water in your reservoir freezes, it can cause damage to the pack or the hose. However, you can use it if you insulate your reservoir and drinking hose first and use special covers for the valve.

What’s the best Osprey hydration pack to buy?

Top Osprey hydration pack

Osprey Manta 24 Hydration Pack

Osprey Manta 24 Hydration Pack

What you need to know: The Manta 24 is an ideal pack for those looking to carry extra items while still leaving room for a 2.5-liter hydration reservoir. 

What you’ll love: This full-fledged backpack is roomy with its main storage compartment, easy-access outer compartments and hip belt pockets. There’s also an integrated rain cover.

What you should consider: This pack does not feature the largest reservoir Osprey offers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Osprey hydration pack for the money

Osprey Katari 7 Hydration Pack

Osprey Katari 7 Hydration Pack

What you need to know: This pack is great for minimalist outdoor adventurers looking for more hydration and less storage. 

What you’ll love: While there are small storage compartments, this pack is primarily reserved for the 2.5-liter Hydraulic. The Katari is great for biking due to its lightweight design and added slot for a blinker light. 

What you should consider: The mouth of the reservoir can sometimes be challenging to open.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Osprey Seral 7 Hydration Pack

Osprey Seral 7 Hydration Pack

What you need to know: Osprey’s Seral 7 is ideal for cycling or quick day hikes because of its unique waist strap design.

What you’ll love: This isn’t your ordinary hydration pack. Think of the Seral as an advanced fanny pack that features a 1.5-liter reservoir and versatile strap that can be placed around the waist or over the shoulder for quick hydration while still allowing your body to move freely. 

What you should consider: This is one of the smallest hydration packs from Osprey.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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