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Hydrapak Jolla

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Hydrapak Jolla hydration pack

This pack is lightweight, comfortable, and spacious enough to hold a full day of gear.


  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple pockets for organization of gear
  • Great hydration bladder desing
  • Magnet on hydration tube

My son took over my old hydration pack, so although I needed a replacement, I had not started looking yet. I won this pack through Trailspace, and took it on a 10-mile hike the day after I received it.  Winter is fast approaching in northern MI, so it was loaded with an extra jacket as well as the usual 10 essentials.  So far I can't find anything I don't like about it.

The shoulder straps are comfortable, even with a moderate load. They are easily adjusted, don't slip, and seem to work well for my size 44-46.  The sternum strap was handy, as without it the straps seemed to wander a little wider than I prefer. The hip belt is very adjustable as well, and once it was sized properly, was totally forgotten. In fact, once I started to take the pack off and forgot to unbuckle it!

Hydrapak lists this as their largest pack, and it doesn't disappoint. It easily held all of my gear, plus a jacket as I mentioned before. The tool pouch appears to be designed with mountain biking in mind, but seemed to work well keeping my miscellaneous small items organized better than if I just dumped them into the top pocket. 

The small side pockets worked great for a bandana and sunglasses, but I don't see them working for my Nalgene. The main compartment has a sleeve that works great for additional organization and the side entry to the main compartment reminds me of my Osprey backpack — a great feature.

The compression straps and top strap both adjust easily.  The top strap goes through a rubberish guide which I don't see as necessary, but didn't seem to give me any problems.  Each of the straps on this pack have elastic "keepers" for the extra strap once cinched down. It keeps the whole thing looking neater, but again something I probably won't use much.

The hydration bladder is a cool design — different from the Camel systems I've used in the past. I really like the "plug and play" feature, which looks like a great way to keep from making a mess while filling the bag. It also has a "zip top" design which makes filling and dumping much easier. I'll use this a few more times before I brag too much, but the initial test was a success.

Once on my back, this pack was REALLY comfortable. I had it a little "overstuffed", so it took on a slight football shape which usually is irritating.  The corrugated foam back molded well to my back and, although the temperature hovered right around the freezing mark all day, I expect that it would breath very well on a warm day.

I look forward to many more outings with this pack, and will report back when I get some durability results.

Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Trailspace)

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Price MSRP: $149.99
Historic Range: $59.98-$65.00
Weight 2 lb 6 oz
Volume 1100 cu in / 18.0 L
Product Details from Hydrapak »