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Osprey Duro 6 review: a marvellous hydration pack for your long wilderness runs

Run free and run far with Osprey’s Duro 6 hydration pack, designed with the exacting needs of adventurous trail runners – and the environment – in mind

Osprey Duro 6
(Image: © Osprey)

Our Verdict

A seriously superb running backpack: well thought out, 100% recycled, comfortable, and with smart storage pockets, it won’t let you down on the backcountry trails

For

  • Multiple storage pockets
  • Soft flasks included
  • Customized fit
  • Elasticated fabrics

Against

  • Not as light as some

Californian backpack extraordinaires Osprey have brought their considerable expertise to the trail running world with some of the best hydration packs available today. Their Duro (unisex) and Dyna (women-specific) packs come in a range of sizes and are designed to allow you to carry everything needed to run further in comfort.

There are four sizes in the Duro range, the LT (0.5 litres), the 1.5, the 6 and the 15. While the two smaller packs only have space for the bare essentials – and the 15 pretty much masquerades as a daypack – the Duro 6 is perfectly sized to hold everything you need for a long, adventurous run without weighing you down. It’s multiple storage solutions, customisable fit and trail-ready hydration flasks make it a great option.

Osprey Duro 6: First impressions

Speaking of pockets, there are no less than twelve compartments – I think, I keep discovering more – for your various bits and bobs, which is ample to say the least. The two main zippered compartments cross the pack diagonally and there’s enough space for your running jacket and waterproof pants, as well as for other items like your wallet, keys and headlamp.

Specifications

RRP: £120 (UK) / €140 (EUR)

Weight (without bottles): 400g / 14.1oz

Fabric: 320Gr Nylon Stretch Mesh

Colors: Blue Sky, Dark Charcoal Grey

Fit: Unisex

Sizes: Small (75-90cm / 29.5-35.4in), Medium (90-105cm (35.4-41.3in) and Large (105-120cm (41.3-47.2in)

Compatibility: Whole day runs and multi-day outings in the hills and mountains

Fabric wise, Osprey gets a tick in the sustainability stakes thanks to the fact that the Duro is made entirely from recycled materials. The elastic quality of its Nylon Stretch Mesh is apparent from the off. This stretchiness, in effect, enhances the capacity of each pocket, while keeping them tight to the main body of the pack, giving you confidence that the non-zippered ones will keep hold of your items as you bound along the trails.

A zippered slash pocket is handily phone-sized and sits on the chest strap, making your device easy to reach should you need consult a navigation app or quickly take advantage of a photo opportunity. There’s also an integrated little whistle in here, should you need to attract attention in an emergency.

Osprey Duro 6: front of pack

There are a total of nine pockets that you can access without taking the pack off (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

Okay, let’s round up all the other storage solutions here – we may be a while... There’s a large, stretchy front pocket for storing extra gear; the soft flasks sit in two large harness pockets on either side, complete with elasticated leashes that wrap around their lids so there’s no chance of them falling out; there are four lower harness pockets for food storage; and finally there are two open side panel pockets for whatever else you could conceivably take on a run. Phew!

The chest straps are fully customisable, allowing you to tighten things to your desired fit and you can even move the attachment points up and down. There’s also a trekking pole / ice axe attachment system on either side, with elasticated cinches that are quick and easy to manipulate and elasticated straps that hold the shafts off to the side.

Osprey Duro 6: trail runners at night

Osprey's Duro and Dyna packs are designed to allow you to carry everything needed to run further in comfort. (Image credit: Osprey)

Of course, all this mesh and the pack’s lightweight qualities means everything will get wet in a deluge, so you may want to consider packing a couple of dry bags for your valuables if serious rain is on the cards.

On the trails

Having clipped the chest straps and tightened them with ease, the Duro 6 was immediately comfortable. One of the signs of a great hydration pack is a distinct lack of bounce. Basically, a runner should be one with their pack and their pack should be one with the runner. My experience of the Duro was exactly this, it felt like a part of me for the duration. It certainly gets my vote in terms of comfort.

As well as this, the Duro’s clever design means you rarely have to remove it. Both soft flasks are easy to drink from on the go, while the number of pockets that sit around the chest mean that I had easy access to my gels, bars, sweets, Kendal mint cake or whatever else I might have wanted to consume during my adventure.

Osprey Duro 6: close up of back compartments

The large, open mesh pocket at the back was useful for storing things that I could access quickly with the help of my running buddies (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

The large, open mesh pocket at the back was useful for storing things that I didn’t necessarily need to hand but could access quickly with the help of my running buddies. Over a long, seven-hour running adventure, I only had to take the pack off twice to grab my water filter bottle and refill at a stream.

Having two main zippered compartments is also useful, as I was able to sort the items into items I hoped not to use – such as my waterproof – and items I planned to use, which meant less time rummaging and more time running. In the grand scheme of things, this is only a small advantage, but when so many little design features come together so well, it makes a difference. 

Osprey Duro 6: wearing the pack in woodland

The Duro is a marvellous pack that’s thoughtfully designed and is one I will undoubtedly use time and time again on long running missions (Image credit: Alex Foxfield)

All in all, the Duro is a marvellous pack that’s thoughtfully designed and is one I will undoubtedly use time and time again on long running missions.

When refilling and replacing the left soft flask, it’s a good idea to remove items from the zippered slash pocket, as otherwise the flask can sit too high and wobble around as you run. This isn’t a criticism but, like all good packs, it’s worth getting to know it to develop your systems.

Where I tested the Osprey Duro 6 hydration pack

To really test the Duro 6 to its fullest, I needed a lengthy run across rugged terrain – the kind if run where I’d need every feature and storage solution this excellent hydration pack has to offer. With this in mind, I set out on a 30-mile traverse of the Dartmoor National Park from north to south.

Alex is a freelance adventure writer and content creator with an insatiable passion for the mountains. A Cumbrian born and bred, his native English Lake District has a special place in his heart, though he is at least equally happy in North Wales, the Scottish Highlands or the European Alps. Through his hiking, mountaineering, climbing and trail running adventures, Alex aims to inspire others to get outdoors. He is currently the President of the London Mountaineering Club, training to become a qualified mountain leader, looking to finally finish bagging all the Wainwright fells of the Lake District and hoping to scale more Alpine 4000ers when circumstances allow. Find out more at www.alexfoxfield.com (opens in new tab)