Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Review

The Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir is a hydration bladder with a few tweaks and features that sets this bladder apart from some of the other models on the market. It’s available in two or three-liter sizes, and if you’re in the market for a new bladder you should take a closer look at this model from Osprey.

Setup and Design Features

The test of a good bladder comes down to two three major factors: how easy it is to fill, how easy it is to clean, and how easy it is to use. I will look at these three areas in more detail:

Filling – The Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir has a large screw cap at the top of the bladder. The cap is on the side, so you can hold the bladder upright under a tap and fill it this way, or if you’re using bottle the opening is more than wide enough to avoid spilling. There are also markers on the side showing you how much fluid is in the bladder.

Cleaning – The material is Metallocene PE high-strength and taste-free. So you don’t get that chemical-like taste the first few times you use it. It’s also made with an anti-microbial formula to prevent bacteria and mold. Obviously, you still have to clean the bladder after each use, but the material makes it as easy, and as hygienic as it gets.

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Use – This bladder is designed with a low-profile, this keeps the water weight close to the body and minimizes movement when you’re hiking or running. The hose is flexible and wider than some of the other models on the market giving it a faster flow. It has a bite valve, so you can shut off the water with a bite or by twisting the end. A nice little touch is the magnetic bite valve that allows quick and easy detaching and re-attaching to the strap.

Comparison InformationOsprey Hydraulics Reservoir Review

A similar priced hydration bladder is the Platypus Big Zip Hydration System. The main difference between these two is the way they are filled. The Platypus has a slidelock system on the top making it one of the easiest bladders to fill.

I mention this because one of the small complaints about the Osprey is the size of the filling hole. It’s large enough for most, but if you really want to open up your bladder so you can put large ice cubes in, or just fill it easily without spilling, check out the Platypus.


  • Responsive bite valve
  • Good construction and keeps shape when full
  • Wide opening for ease of filling


  • Some people don’t like how rigid the bladder is when full
  • Can be hard to screw the cap tight with wet hands

Insider Tip

If you use your bladder in cold conditions you may have noticed the reservoir can freeze or the suction can be reduced. Osprey offer a really good solution to this problem, they something they call a Hydraulics Insulated Delivery System, and  you can pick this up directly from Osprey.

This is basically a sleeve made from material that insulates the reservoir and tubing so the frost can’t get in and lower the temperature. Worth considering for the winter months or if you use your bladder in extreme conditions.

Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir Summary

The hydration bladder market is always growing, and with new technology and upgraded models there are plenty to choose from. The Osprey Reservoir is an upgrade over a previous model, and with it comes some nice little touches.

The only real drawbacks are some particular features that you may not want personally. As mentioned in the companion section above, there are options out there for bladders with larger filling capacity. There are bladders available in larger sizes, and there are less expensive options.

However, as an all round package the Osprey is one of the best choices on the market. It’s great if you don’t have a secure pocket in a backpack too. When full it’s solid, so it doesn’t move much when strapped close to your body. Pretty decent for runners too.


The Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir is a smart choice if you’re in the market for a new hydration bladder. It’s easy to fill, easy to clean, works a treat while hiking or running, and coming from Osprey it has a stamp of quality.

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