Osprey Syncro 12 Hydration Pack: Rider Review

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for.

Tons of brands have hydration pack options but Osprey has been making a serious run the last few years. Our customer Leo was looking to upgrade his current pack and knew Osprey was the way to go. Check out his thoughts on the Syncro 12 hydration pack!

Osprey Syncro 12 Hydration Pack


I’ve been riding with a Camelbak Rogue for years. It’s a very minimalist hydration pack with a 2 liter bladder and a small zippered pocket for a couple of tools and some Cliff bars. It was a great setup for hot SoCal rides, but, if I started a ride when it was cold, or damp, or both, I had nowhere to stash a couple of layers, once the weather, or me, or both, got hot. Bombing down a fireroad, with a fleece layer flapping from the pack and another layer tied around my waist looked really lame.

Osprey Syncro 12 Hydration Pack review

First Impressions

So I got the Osprey Syncro 12 pack and I’m really happy with the upgrade in size and functionality. First the bladder is 2.5 liters, so I don’t experienced the dreaded gurgling sound when I’ve sucked a bladder dry on long, hot, rides. And the Osprey bladders open completely at the top, which is handy for filling, adding any performance enhancing additives (I’m a big fan of Tailwind), and cleaning. (I removed the tether from sliding clip that closes the bladder, as it banged around every time I filled and emptied the bladder.)

The tubing has a quick-connect feature, so you can disconnect the tubing and pull the bladder from the pack. The disconnect at the bladder has a one-way valve, which is activated when the tubing is disconnected, so the bladder won’t leak at the disconnect. (No more completely removing the pack and tubing from the old Camelbak for cleaning and drying.) The mouthpiece works fine, and doesn’t leak like the Camelbak ones. There’s also a cool magnet at the mouthpiece, and a matching one on the chest strap, to keep the tubing in place making it easy to find while riding.

Osprey Syncro hydration pack review

Additional Features

This Osprey has an “Airspeed Tensioned” back panel which lifts the pack away from your back. It’s certainly conformable and maybe it’s providing better ventilation than the old-school Camelbak, but my shirt it still wet when I take off the back. The shoulder straps are so much better than the old Camelbak, with wider, ventilated fabric. This pack has a lightweight, narrow, waist strap, which I’ve never had on my other hydration packs, but it’s comfortable and seems to help stabilize this larger pack.

The storage options are great. My backpacking pack is an Osprey, so I’m familiar with their attention to detail. The main zippered storage compartment is large enough that I can eliminate my old saddle bag and put all my tools and pump inside. The main compartment also has a dedicated interior zippered pocket with a key clip, which is really handy to store a key and a phone, without having to dig through the main compartment. There’s a larger zippered compartment with yet another dedicated zippered pocket lined with some fancy scratch resistant material for storing glasses. The pack also has an outside mesh stretch pocket. And like the Osprey hiking packs, this pack has upper and lower side compression straps to snug up the entire pack. I’m not sure I need all the storage, including the mesh side pockets, but it could be useful as a hiking day pack.

A couple of other features include a clip to secure a helmet to the pack. Not sure I’ll ever use that. With some of my weird crashes, my helmet stays on when I’m on the bike. But maybe for some folks, it’s handy when travelling. There’s also an integrated removable rain cover and an attachment for a rear light.

Osprey Syncro 12 Hydration Pack review

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m really pleased with this new pack and all the new features.

Shop Osprey Syncro Hydration Pack

July 13, 2020

hydration pack › osprey › rider review › Syncro 12 ›

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