Hydrapak Contour 3L Overview: 3D Welded to Match Like a Glove in Any Pack

Arising within the woods of New England within the Nineties, the hikers and campers had been the water bottle folks. However the mountain bikers had been hitting the paths carrying hydration reservoirs. The blue or opaque white baggage regarded like they’d escaped a lab, however made it so bikers might hydrate with out loosening their grip on the handlebars.

Finally, paths crossed and the walkers and riders shared suggestions and methods. And hydration reservoirs and packs turned common to anybody and everybody who took to the outside. We’ve all been benefitting from the crossover ever since.

The place it could possibly be argued that CamelBak launched the world to water reservoirs, it’s HydraPak that’s saved its eye on the prize and has targeted its efforts on making the perfect reservoirs on the planet. It has partnered with manufacturers like Osprey and Salomon through the years, at all times decided to design higher reservoirs. The model created new methods to hold the reservoirs and new methods to scrub them. It made them common, to slot in any present pack, and made them largely impervious to regardless of the path might throw at them.

And HydraPak is nonetheless upgrading its hydration programs. For 2023, not solely has it improved present traces of reservoirs, it has additionally expanded its improvements, introducing an entire new line of reservoirs referred to as the Contour. I examined certainly one of these new reservoirs to see what HydraPak upgraded, and the way it carried out.

In brief: The Contour is the kind of water reservoir designed to remain outdoors longer and to be restricted upkeep. That is Hydrapack’s first 3D-welded reservoir and features a host of options like Form-Loc and a aspect tube exit port that makes the HydraPak Contour line of water reservoirs certainly one of its most versatile, but. It matches universally in any pack and retains a low profile even when it’s crammed to the brim.

  • 3L weight
    155 g
  • 3L dimensions
    429 x 190 mm
  • Supplies
    TPU, ABS, POM, PP, EPDM, silicone, 304SS, TPU-coated nylon cloth

  • Retains a low profile in your pack

  • Permits for interchanging tubes

  • Is appropriate with a filter system

  • 3D-welded to suit ergonomically into any pack

  • Common hanger

  • Chunk valve rubber may want eventual substitute

HydraPak Contour Reservoir Overview

HydraPak Contour; (photo/Nick LeFort)
(Picture/Nick LeFort)


I spent per week treating the HydraPak Contour horribly — or at the very least attempting to. I left the identical water within the reservoir for 4 days to see if it will decide up any off-tastes. It didn’t. Actually, the water tasted the identical because it did on day one by day 4.

I additionally threw my pack round as a lot as I might to see if I might get the hose to disconnect or the closure to open, and I failed at that as nicely. So, so far as sturdiness is worried, it’s not a priority.

HydraPak has been utilizing Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) for its reservoirs for 20 years. TPU is wildly sturdy (in a position to stretch as much as eight instances its unique measurement), and it’s three to 6 instances lighter than plastic or stainless-steel. And it’s 100% BPA- and PVC-free.

Slimmer Form

The one factor that basically stands out, nonetheless, is that the slim profile of the HydraPak Contour permits you to slide a full reservoir into your pack sleeve with ease. Most different reservoirs balloon out and primarily flip right into a tube. However on this case, the HydraPak Contour flattens out extra, taking on more room from left to proper as an alternative of entrance to again.

That’s largely because of the 3D-welded building HydraPak used on the underside panel. I can’t let you know how a lot of a deal with it’s to have the ability to refill a reservoir and never empty your pack to get it again in.

One Reservation

There’s one factor I really feel I must carry up (and it very nicely might simply be me). I really feel that, over time, I’ll ultimately minimize by the chunk valve’s rubber. I’m not involved about it failing in the midst of the following few journeys. However it may not be a nasty concept to maintain a spare in your pack.

(Picture/Nick LeFort)

The Contour Hydration System: What’s New?

3D-Welded Backside, Slimmer Form

The 2L and 3L Contour Reservoirs are the primary the model has ever made utilizing a 3D welding approach on the underside and aspect tube exit port. That improves the slim form of the reservoir. The underside panel is seamlessly welded to the remainder of the TPU elements. That retains it from bulging and distorting your pack and impacting the space for storing inside.

The innovation is aided by two blue Form Loc baffles baked into the face of the reservoir. These divert the water into empty areas as an alternative of permitting it to bulge out and switch right into a tube, like many different reservoirs available on the market will.

No Extra Drips and Magnetic Clips

The idea of a hands-free chunk valve isn’t new. However the concept of a chunk valve that truly seals again up if you’re finished biting down on it’s what the brand new Comet, self-sealing chunk valve is all about. It locks after each sip and may be opened/closed with a single hand.

You will get a substantial sip of water out of the Comet Chunk Valve and never have to fret about it dripping down your arm, pack, or behind your car on the trip residence. That retains issues from getting messy. However it additionally signifies that you don’t unintentionally lose water. That’s an enormous deal. Leaky chunk valves aren’t simply annoying, they are often harmful — particularly in case you’re out on the path and don’t have a way of refilling.

The tube additionally has a brand new magnet clip. It really works with any pack and simplifies managing the hose when you’re on the path.

Seize and Go

The brand new gentle and versatile seize tab makes putting in, adjusting, and eradicating the Contour out of your pack a breeze. It’s a deal with in your reservoir. You simply snag the seize tab, or slide your hand by it and seize the pouch.

HydraPak Countour; (photo/Nick LeFort)
(Picture/Nick LeFort)

The Contour Hydration System: What’s the Similar?


Like its Velocity and Drive traces, the HydraPak Contour line brings over its Slide-Seal opening which permits for straightforward filling. And much more importantly, it makes cleansing and drying a cinch. As an alternative of attempting to drive open a screw prime that’s been locked in place with suction, you simply slide the plastic crimp off to fill or clear the reservoir. Then slide it again on to seal it up.

This technique additionally makes HydraPak’s reservoirs lighter than a whole lot of opponents. In line with the model, its system makes use of 4 instances much less injected molded plastic, considerably decreasing weight.

Common Carry

This will not look like a ground-shaking development, however the Slide-Seal prime was designed with a common hanger. That enables it to adapt to a majority of the baked-in hangers in at the moment’s packs. So it hangs as nicely in a Gregory backpack as it should in a North Face, Salomon, or Osprey backpack. And it’ll cling as simply in a daypack as it should in a backpacking pack. (It even has a 1.5L Contour reservoir that matches in lumbar packs.)

This little characteristic makes the Contour a really versatile reservoir. Irrespective of what number of backpacks you personal, you solely want one Contour. It should seemingly slot in all of them.


Moreover, HydraPak has ported over its Plug-N-Play join system. So, you’ll be able to swap from a typical tube to certainly one of HydraPak’s insulated tubes relying on what you’re doing outdoors. It can be used to exchange a damaged tube or one which’s simply previous.

In-Line Filter Compatibility

The Contour line may also retain the power from HydraPak’s different reservoir traces to make use of its inline 28mm filter package. That may can help you refill your water from streams, wells, or springs safely. It removes 99.99% of all pathogens and micro organism per EPA Information Requirements.

Flip It Inside Out to Dry

To me, the considered flipping a hydration reservoir inside out to scrub it’s like organising a tent within the rain and hoping for the within to be dry: not possible. However as a result of Contour’s inside drying tab, you’ll be able to attain down inside and flip the reservoir utterly inside out with ease. That makes cleansing and drying the bag a breeze. (Word: This characteristic is just on the 3L and 2L fashions, not the 1.5L lumbar mannequin.)


(Picture/Nick LeFort)

After utilizing completely different manufacturers of reservoirs and watching how they’ve modified and improved over the past 20 years, I’m overly impressed with the shape and performance of the Contour. By way of sturdiness, ease of use, and — oh, man — ease of cleansing, I’m depraved impressed.

I examined the 3L contour. However the HydraPak Contour line additionally is available in 2L sizes for packs and a 1.5L measurement for lumbar baggage. Any of those new hydration reservoirs will work nice on the path, in boots, on two wheels, in excessive heels, or no matter you’ve obtained happening.