Hydration pack. A vital component in every endurance athletes arsenal. Especially as we are now in the middle of a relative heatwave. Keeping on top of this, will keep you trucking for longer.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Finding the right equipment apart from the hydration formula can be an absolute minefield. We went looking to see what was out there and after much market research, we noticed the guys at Osprey are hitting our markets hard with their challenging solutions. We grabbed the Osprey Duro 6 Hydration pack and put it through its paces.
Soft, well, ventilated areas
Chest straps: Both side adjustments for left/right-handed application
6 Litre storage compacity
4 stretch pockets
Easy access zipper pocket
2 Trekking pole attachments
As you can see from the outlined stats there are plenty of features to this back pack. Initially when purchasing the back, it was a toss up between the Duro 1.5 litre bag and the Duro 6 litre. The only difference after trying both on were the 3 additional compartments on the back. Other than they felt pretty much the same, fitting wise.
So, one of the pro’s of this pack was actually the fit. I stand at 6ft4, 85kg on a good day, so in other words, very tall and thin. Not an easy build to find a good fit for. I opted for the M/L (94-112cm) pack which fitted seamlessly. It has multiple straps around the pack to ensure a comfortable experience.
Next up were the soft flasks. Or the engineering/functionality behind them. They are excellent. As run, I struggle with breathing consuming liquids either through flasks or bladders. This is very little effort expelled whilst using them. They house within each strap very tidily unlike some other hydration packs where they flap around out of control as the vessels empty out.
There is a very cool and accessible hidden zip compartment behind one of the said flask compartments. Perfect for a quick stop and selfie along the trails moment.
I carried light loads and heavy loads whilst out on the trails and with the latter, experienced little jumping around of stored content through rough terrains. So nice compact storage.
After purchasing the hydration pack, I noticed there was one strap missing or possibly I had lost it somewhere along the way. I contacted Osprey directly, no letting them know who I was, requesting a replace strap. Within 48hours, they delivered a set of them to my doorstep, without hesitation. A big well done. It’s sometimes hard to get any sort of customer service without giving your life story.
One of it’s strongest points, is actually one of it’s weakest. The 500ml soft flasks. While they are functionally brilliant, that lingering taste was prevelant in one of the two bottles. No matter what I tried, i could not get rid of it. It may have just been a faulty bottle itself, as the other one was perfect. No such dramatic after-tastes.
No inner bladder provided. Which means you are limited to 2x500ml soft flasks. Not ideal for longer runs/hikes. There is a compartment provided for a bladder along with a neat area to feed the tubes through but bladder needs to be purchased separately.
As quoted by one of Ireland’s top endurance athletes John O’Regan, “I’m using the Duro 6. It’s a lot of pack for 320 grams…Didn’t need a new bag until I tried it”.
And I would have to agree. It’s a great hydration back pack. It does everything a hydration pack should and is very competitively priced too.
RRP: Eur 85.00.
OVERALL RATING: 9/10