Osprey backpack – what bladder?

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  • Osprey backpack – what bladder?
  • matthew_h

    The Osprey bladders are miles better than the Camelbak ones imo. The stiffener makes putting the bladder into the bag really easy and also helps the sack keep its shape. The bite valve comes with a magnet mount for attaching to the chest strap which keeps it all tidy


    ^ he’s right you know.


    Good choice of backpack 🙂


    I’m just about to buy an Osprey zealot 16 pack, but do I get a matching osprey bladder or a camelbak one? I know they both fit but what about hose retention? I don’t want it flapping about and I don’t want it getting in the way of a go – pro chest mount.

    Premier Icon yoshimi

    ^^^I concur, the Osprey bladder is far better than the Camelbak. I can have my Raptor 18 stuffed to bursting and I can still slide a full 3l bladder in easily.

    I ‘ve got a few issues with the shape of the pack itself, personally would prefer it a little wider, but the bladder can’t be faulted.

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    The only downside to the Osprey kit is the availability of spares. Everything can be ordered but not many shops have them on the shelf. Every bike shop has Camelbak spares.

    I’d still buy the Osprey over a Camelbak though.

    *Says the man with a Dakine. 🙄

    Premier Icon Shackleton

    Platypus bladders are also great. Much better than camelbak. Very easy to clean and fill as the whole end opens up rather than using a screw port and the plastic feels much tougher.

    Premier Icon sam_underhill

    I’ve just replaced an old Osprey bladder with an Hydrapak (the one with the centre baffle), Miles easier to fill and clean. Looses out on the “easy to slip in” stakes, but the quick release tube is a welcome addition and is compatible with camelbak tubes

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog

    I killed three of the original Osprey bladders, they have a tendency to leak under pressure where the stiffener plate is stitched on, to be fair, Osprey replaced them FOC. They’ve completely redesigned them for this spring, so try and get a new one if you do go for Osprey.

    Also, in some packs, the stiffened Osprey reservoir can dig into your lower back, which is uncomfortable, the Raptors had a tendency to do this ime, my Escapist is fine though, depends on the pack design and how it sits on your back.

    I like the Source reservoirs with the massive opening at the top, but with an Osprey bite valve with the magnetic gubbins, which you can buy separately. Or a Camelbak valve, though they’re stupidly expensive.

    The Platypus reservoir is decent, but the flow rate from the Platy bite-valve is lamentable, just sort of trickles out. Anyway…

    Premier Icon doug_basqueMTB.com

    I love the osprey bladders. They’re the only ones I’ve ever had that don’t leak. The new camelback ones are good but occasionally leak and are a pain to fix when they do as you can’t just tighten the lid more. Ospreys also slip in so easily and the new zealot has a great zip to hold the tube which also makes removing the bladder really easy.


    I’ve got an Osprey Raptor and while the pack itself has plenty of room for all day rides and some great features, I think you’ll either love or hate the stiff back of the osprey bladders. It’s a heavy bladder compared to others and I find it a lot more noticeable on my back and can feel it rubbing a more than the Hydrapak pack I also use. I also have had some issues with the nozzle leaking. In time I’ll buy a 3L camelbak bladder to put in there.


    I have a Zealot and raptor and use an Osprey bladder between them both but bear in mind that the Zealot doesn’t have a corresponding magnet on the bag itself so the tube one has nothing to attach to-well mine doesn’t anyway!!!
    It’s no big deal I just zip tied a brake pad backing plate to the chest strap and its fine

    Premier Icon bigblackshed

    Further to above. The bladder on the Dakine is the soft type with the one end opening for easy cleaning and a detachable hose that seals off so you can remove the bladder and leave the hose routed through the bag.

    I’ve just ordered an Osprey bite valve to replace the leaking Dakine one. The Dakine does seal if in the off position but requires 2 hands to turn it on or off. Not much good on a bike! If left on then it dribbles down your leg.


    Would the magnetic Osprey bite valve work with the tube on an Omega bladder? Anyone tried this?


    The newer Osprey Hydraulics bladders are better than the old Hydraform ones. They don’t have such a hard back to them now.

    I would also consider Source bladders – they are excellent quality and you can get a magnetic clip that fits on the hose. Not sure if they are still selling them but they had Giant branded Source 3 litre bladders on Sportpursuit for £12 instead of £30.

    I would consider a Raptor over a Zealot. I got a Zealot and even in the smaller back size found it too long and wide and fairly heavy. I returned it and got a Raptor which has better storage – the Zealot completely opens wide so things fall out when you open it. Also the Raptor has more separate sections – the Zealot would be perfect for something like Alps uplifts to stow body armour etc but is simply too much for most riding. I’m very happy with the Raptor.


    I’ve junked my Osprey pack because of the bladder. Camelbaks taste foul, but Osprey’s aren’t much better. They’re also very difficult to keep clean thanks to the semi-closed design. Even worse, the packs tend to be designed to specifically fit the bladder.

    For me, by far and away the best bladder design is Source’s. It’s a cinch to clean (so important) and is almost completely tasteless. Once you try one you won’t go back. Next day delivery too.

    Source Hydration


    i’ve gone for the exact same combo as you’re looking at, zealot 16 and osprey 3l bladder.
    first ride i thought b*gger what have i done, pressure points and nigglingly uncomfortable. as i drank out of the bladder (great hose retention by the way) the pack became more comfortable.
    second ride didn’t fill the bladder quite as full and released any air from it before putting into the pack, ensured the pump i carry ran parallel tot he bladder handle and happy days. really comfy, all day comfy and loads of carrying capacity. really happy now.
    the magnet is brilliant unless you have a pacemaker which could react badly to it’s influence!

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