Hydrapak Jolla Pack Review

Hydrapak Jolla Pack Review

Sometimes carrying a lot of fluid can get in the way of carrying a lot of stuff.  For all-day hikes or MTB outings, you need a pack that carries both – and Hydrapak’s Jolla is a great way to do it.

Hydrapak Jolla Features

  • Weight: 2lb 6oz.
  • Cargo storage: 1100 cubic inches (18.0 L)
  • Fluid capacity: 100 oz (3L)
  • Material construction: 210D Baby Ripstop Nylon and 420D Double Nylon Ripstop
  • Cavernous main compartment
  • Middle organizer compartment
  • Fleece lined top compartment with key loop
  • Dedicated zippered reservoir pocket on back panel
  • Top or bottom tube routing
  • Media pocket with dedicated audio port
  • Quad Compression strap system
  • Dual side zippered pockets
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Moisture wicking back panel
  • Sliding sternum strap
  • Stowable waist belt
  • Two color options: solid black or black/teal
  • MSRP $144

Hydrapak Jolla Pack Review

Hydrapak has become increasingly prominent in the hydration pack wars, primarily on the strength of their user-friendly and virtually indestructible fluid reservoirs.  Around these reservoirs they’ve build a collection of packs that were originally designed with MTB riding in mind, but have decent carryover potential for hiking as well.

Atop Clouds Rest in Yosemite, overlooking Half Dome

The Jolla is the largest of Hydrapak’s lineup, providing 18L of cargo storage, which is more than enough for you to spend the entire day on the trail, and even carry some provisions for staying out after the sun goes down.  The majority of your gear can be stowed in the large main compartment, which is easily accessed from the top and quickly secured with the pull-down lace fastener.

Storage of smaller gear is a piece of cake, thanks to separate compartments for virtually everything.  There are pockets inside the main compartment, a large pocket on top of the main compartment, a media pocket, and two zippered side pockets which are large enough to hold standard 20-oz water bottles if for some reason the 100-oz reservoir isn’t enough.  In addition, there are pouches inside of pockets, including a bike-tool-specific pouch that folds and secures into the top pocket.  If you can’t find a place for it in this pack, you probably don’t need it.

Whether on the bike or on foot, the pack sits comfortably on your back and shoulders thanks to lightly padded ergonomic straps and air channel ventilation padding against the back.  I wore the pack for some 90-degree hikes in the Sierras this summer, and it stayed as comfortable as I could hope for during full days on the trail.

Adjustability is also very strong, with a sliding sternum strap and four compression straps to secure the pack closer to the body.  There’s a stowable belt that also functions as waist storage, but one drawbacks I found with the pack is that these pockets are somewhat non-functional without zippers or some other sort of secure closure.  I tried tucking my camera in the waist pocket a few times, but I never really trusted that it would stay in place with activity.

As for the reservoir, right now there’s nobody who makes them better than Hydrapak.  They’re super durable, with a wide mouth opening for easy filling, and a sliding clip that securely glides into place.  The whole thing turns completely inside out for easy cleaning.  A Plug-N-Play interface between drink tube and reservoir makes for easy attachment or detachment, and a Quantum Clip that magnetically holds the tube in place on the shoulder strap.  I’d prefer the magnet to be stronger, as the tube comes loose with jostling on the bike sometimes, but for hiking it’s just fine.

Hydrapak fluid reservoir

Another key design feature of the Jolla is that the fluid compartment is completely separated from the cargo compartments, so carrying a full drink supply won’t interfere with the rest of your storage space.

Good Jolla

  • Ample storage
  • Extensive compartmentalization
  • Top of the line fluid reservoir
  • Comfortable even when fully loaded

Bad Jolla

  • Waist pockets should have secure closure
  • Needs stronger Quantum Clip for MTB use

Bottom Line: Hydrapak Jolla Pack

With plenty of storage space and a large fluid capacity, Hydrapak’s Jolla is built for full days on the trail atop your bike or a pair of hiking shoes.

Buy Now: Available at JensonUSA.com

Written By

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.