Product Review: Osprey Hydration Vest

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In 2015 I began running with a hydration vest for the first time. Specifically the Osprey Hydration Vest. It would be my first time training for a full marathon so I knew I needed something to help me get through those long runs.

Positives:

  • Storage Pockets
    I really enjoy how much storage the actual vest offers. There is a pocket for my phone on the shoulder harness as well as two pockets on the back of the vest. The bigger of the two is so large that I can carry at least 2 extra bottles of water while the bladder is full of water. The smaller pocket has enough space for me to carry my energy chews.

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  • Fit While Running
    The one thing I was nervous about was how a hydration vest would feel while running. I am not one who likes having to make adjustments with gear while I am running, so I was afraid of a vest jostling around and disrupting my run. This vest does not do that. Sometimes I barely notice it is on. While I run it sits tight to my body and does not give me any issues.

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Negatives:

  • The Bladder Seal
    There are not enough words to describe how negatively I feel about the seal of the bladder inside the vest that holds the water. The closing on the bladder has no seal at all, so if it gets turned on it’s side or gets overfilled it starts to overflow. I filled it way below the max level recently but as soon as I put it on the water levels rose above the seal because the bladder was being squeezed and it began to overflow. Once it starts overflowing it wont stop until enough water is out of the bladder. When it overflows the water runs down my back and the water just sits in the bottom of the larger back pocket until it seeps through the fabric.

Overall Impression:

My only negative for this vest is the bladder seal. However it is a big enough negative for me to not recommend this vest. In fact if anyone would ever ask me, I would campaign actively for them to not get this vest. The seal is just inconvenient and it ruins the vest completely. When your one job is to hold water how can you make a product that doesn’t successfully accomplish that? I enjoy the vest outside of this one area, but that is equivalent to buying a car with a faulty engine because you like the paint job.

As a result below is the image that best sums up my experience with this vest. Originally I was going to throw away the whole vest but then I realized I only dislike the inside bladder. As I mentioned above I really enjoy how light weight it is and the storage it provides me. However the bladder must go. So I have decided to buy another bladder (most likely from another brand) that will fit inside the vest and do it’s job.

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What kind of hydration vests have you had success with?

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2 thoughts on “Product Review: Osprey Hydration Vest

  1. oh no! sorry to hear that you are having such a bad experience with the hydration bladder. i have the Osprey Rev 6 Hydration Pack and haven’t had any issues with leaking. maybe yours was just faulty?? i wonder if Osprey (or the retailer where you bought your pack) would possibly replace your bladder free of charge? Good luck!

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