Osprey’s Hydraulics reservoir has become a favourite for two main reasons. Firstly, it has a contoured hard back that eliminates a bulge when filled – something that can become uncomfortable with some backpacks. Secondly, I have been using the optional insulated hose and bite valve (£20), something essential once the temperature drops. It also has a handle on the front that serves three purposes. It is easier to handle and fill (others can be slippery), it gives the tube some protection against being pulled out, and finally, combined with the hard back, it is the easiest to squeeze into a backpack if it is full. 

The bite valve is also the best tried here. A simple twist with one hand or teeth cuts the water off, and the flow is excellent. A strong magnet can be fixed to a sternum strap – an good solution (£9), but I did lose one. One issue is that the cap isn’t wide enough to get a hand in to clean, a brush would suffice though. Osprey do sell a cleaning kit for £20. There is a mild ‘plastic’ taste to the water, especially at first.

First published: July 2013