Product Review: Hydrapak Reversible Elite Reservoir w/ Shape Shift Technology

After seeing a video showing the unorthodox, real world testing of the Hydrapak Reversable Elite Reservoir with Shape Shift Technology, I had to try it out for myself.  Now I knew I would never put it through the rigorous testing that the Hydrapak guys did, but I figured with this kind of durability it would easily withstand the toughest mountain biking terrain without leaking.

Right out of the package I knew I was going to like this product.  It is full of features and had many of them I was looking for in a reservoir:

  • Reservoir, connectors and drink tube are all BPA and PVC free. 
  • Reservoir is completely reversible for easy cleaning and drying.
  • Plug & Play connection for fast tube attachment and removal with the reservoir remaining sealed.
  • Large opening for easy filling/emptying and adding ice cubes.
  • Secure top slider design for sealing the reservoir opening.
  • Shape Shift baffle to reduce jostling and to maintain a slim profile that stays engaged in rough terrain.
  • High flow bite valve with twist shut off.

I chose the 2 Liter Hydrapak Elite Reversible Reservoir for use with a custom frame bag handcrafted for me by Neil over at Gup Gum Gear.  Because of the small front triangle of my frame, the 2 L (70 oz.) model with dimensions of 6 ¾” x 12 ¼” would fit perfectly into my frame bag.  There is also a 3 L (100 oz.) model with dimensions of 6 ¾” x 16 ½” for larger frame bags, backpacks or hydration packs.

The reservoir comes with a 36 inch Hydraflex drink tube that works great for backpacks and hydration packs, but I would need something a little longer for use with a frame bag.  Hydrapak was kind enough to send out a 48 inch Elite Extended Tube for this review.  It was the perfect length for hydrating while riding, not too short or too long.   

Fully filled, the Hydrapak Elite Reservoir easily fit into my frame bag and the top slider closure could be maneuvered into position to zip the bag closed.  The Shape Shift baffle can be engaged before filling the reservoir to slim down its profile.

Next, I had to find a way to secure the Hydraflex tubing w/ bite valve in a way that was convenient and didn't interfere with riding.  The drink tube comes with a magnetic fastener which will work for attachment to a backpack strap on your chest, but since I was using it with a frame bag I attached it to the handlebars for quick access.  This was done by affixing a strip of Velcro to the bars and the tubing.  I took it for a 30 mile test run through the Minnesota River Bottoms to see if it would jostle free and it held securely for the full ride, even with all of the roots, rocks and log crossings.

The 2 L (70 oz.) capacity will provide me with enough water to stay hydrated on those longer rides, two to four hours depending on the temperature.  No more carrying multiple water bottles along and having to switch them out when they are empty and I can drink while both hands remain on the bars.

In conclusion, I found the Hydrapak Reversible Elite Reservoir to be quite durable, easy to use and best of all, it doesn't leak.  The slider top design seal makes it easy to fill and allows the reservoir to be completely turned inside out for cleaning and fast drying.  I really like the plug & play connection for the drink tube.  I can store the filled reservoir in the refrigerator or a cooler and connect the drink tube when I'm ready to ride.  The price points of $32.99 (2 L/70 oz.) and $34.99 (3 L/100 oz.) are in line with other popular reservoirs that don't have the features that Hydrapak has.  Overall, I am very happy with the performance and quality of the Hydrapak Reversible Elite Reservoir and I'll continue using it on all my rides to stay hydrated. 

Hydrapak stands behind all of their reservoirs with a lifetime warranty against defects that cause leaking, including the drink tube and bite valve.  For cyclists without a frame bag, consider this product for use in a backpack or to upgrade your current hydration pack. 

Disclosure:  Hydrapak provided the review sample for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.

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