Platypus has long been the guts of many hydration packs, but until recently, they haven’t had their own pack line. This year, they have introduced their Origin line of packs consisting of a variety of sizes for many different outdoor activities. I’ve been testing the smallest one, the Platypus Origin 3 and it’s time to lay out the good news.
Platypus Origin 3 Hydration Pack Features:
- Weatherproof Construction: Waterproof, 10,000mm-coated fabrics, welded, all-weather zippers and heat-taped seams.
- Integrated Hydration: Dedicated, easy-access compartment for included 2.0L Big Zip™ SL reservoir, options for top, bottom, left or right hose routing, lightweight reservoir suspension toggles, and locking hose clips.
- Clean Design: Precisely what you need and nothing you don’t to keep things light and simple.
- Refined Fit: BioCurve™ back panel, plus ergonomic shoulder straps with soft, stretch-woven surfaces and high and low shoulder strap attachment points for long and short torsos, respectively.
- Essential Features: On the go waist pockets – internal organizer – welded light loop/lash points – reflective detailing.
- Colors: Green, Blue, Black (tested)
- MSRP: $79.95
Platypus Origin 3 Hydration Pack Review
I’ve long used Platypus water bladders and have been impressed by their ease-of-use and function, so it seemed natural to me that they would produce a pack line to carry their bladders. But, this is not just any hydration pack line, the Origin series offers a much more streamlined approach to hydration packs that’s really refreshing, I think.
Many hydration packs are loaded with straps, clips, bungees, pockets and the like, but the Origin series is simple and functional. As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” That’s true in life and, I think, true in hydration packs.
The heart of the Origin 3 is the bladder. The Big Zip 2.0L bladder has a commercial-grade zipper and sliding closure that makes filling, emptying and cleaning a cinch. The large handle also makes it super-easy to transport from sink to pack without feeling like you’re handling a giant squid. Add on top of that the one-button hose removal and you’ve got yourself one of the easiest-to-use water bladders on the market.
Inserting the bladder into the Origin 3 is also easy, but the only gripe is with the two button-style hooks that keep the top of the bladder in place. I found it a little awkward to slip them through the holes in the handle and sometimes had to try multiple times before getting them set just right. Once inserted, it lays flat and comfortable for demanding mountain bike rides. I did have to shorten the hose by about 6 inches, but that’s an easy task and is typical of most hydration packs.
The low profile of the pack stays put and the BioCurve back panel is comfortable to wear. The center channel aids in moisture management as this pack seems to breathe a little better than most packs I’ve tested. I can wear it on hot days and it stays comfortable under use. The curved straps seem to hug my chest well and also provide a solid platform for the pack. I think the straps could be minimized a little to add to the Summertime comfort, but as-is they did work well.
The interior of the Origin 3 is pretty simplistic with a bladder sleeve and an open area in the main compartment and a zippered back pocket that contains a key clip and a small mesh zippered pocket inside. This simple design keeps me from bringing along the kitchen sink and really provides just the right amount of storage for the following:
- Full bladder
- Lightweight jacket or vest
- Extra tube
- Mini pump
- Tire irons
- Digital camera
- A couple of bars, gels or chews
Everything seems to fit in place and rides well in all conditions. Speaking of all conditions, the Origin 3 is a champ when it comes to foul weather. The weatherproof design and waterproof zippers keeps the elements at bay. Again, the simple design leaves no seams to attract puddles and makes this one of the best all-weather hydration packs on the market.
Good Origin 3
- All-weather protection
- Simple design is sleek and comfortable
- BigZip bladder is very easy-to-use and carry
- Carries well while mountain biking
- Just the right amount of pockets to carry the necessities
- Simple helmet loops do the trick
Bad Origin 3
- Button hooks to secure the bladder can be fussy
- Bite valve flow could be a little better
Bottom Line: Platypus Origin 3 Hydration Pack
I love the simple design of the Origin 3 and have found it to be just the right size for most of the rides I do. Yeah, you may not be able to stash all kinds of gear in or on the pack, but that’s what makes this pack unique. The weatherproof design makes this pack one of the best all-weather hydration packs available.