HydraPak Shape-Shift Reservoir Review

Updated: March 30, 2023
Hydrapak Shape-Shift Reservoir

Weighing in at nearly 30g less than the opposition makes the Hydrapak Shape-Shift Reversible Reservoir the lightest of the five we tested which is why it earns the title of Best Lightweight hydration bladder. 

The optimised size and portability of this bladder makes it perfect for racing, trail running or any adventure activity where the size and weight of the equipment you are carrying matters.

We did find the top closure attachment to be a little awkward when opening and closing but this did not dampen our enthusiasm towards the product in any way.

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Hydrapak Bladder

Manufacturer: Hydrapak


  • Slim profile and ultra-lightweight size 
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • Internal zipper that can be used to reduce sloshing and change the size of the bladder
  • Magnetic clip that keeps the hose in place


  • Closure attachment for the fold top is a little awkward
  • O-ring needs to be maintained
  • Turn valve locking mechanism on the bite valve makes it harder to use and clean


We love the attention to the finer details on this Hydrapak hydration pack. Hydrapak Shape-Shift Reversible Reservoir's small and slim profile means that it fits into all shapes and sizes of backpacks and running packs and as an added bonus it has an internal zip lock divider which when zipped up makes the bladder even smaller.  

This internal zip lock divider design also reduces water sloshing around whilst you are moving and there is a magnetic clip on the hose which can be strategically placed to help keep it from moving around.

We were impressed with its quality and though not made out of quite a sturdy material as the MSR DromLite Bags and the CamelBak Crux Reservoir it stood up well against punctures.

We also tested Hydrapak’s quality claim that the Shape-Shift Reservoir can withstand being frozen as well as be filled with warm (not hot) beverages and we found this to be true to its word.  

As with most fold top hydration bladders that sport a large opening this one is easy to clean and is dishwasher safe. Be sure to maintain the O-ring on the hose quick release system as it seems to be a fail point on the Hydrapak Shape-Shift if not maintained properly.    

See Other Hydration Packs

Finding the correct hydration pack for your needs and budget remains a tricky task and sifting through the troves of reviews can be time consuming and confusing. To make things easier, check out our expert review on the top 5 hydration bladders here.

Key Features 

Size and Profile

The Hydrapak Shape-Shift Reservoir is all about size and its small profile makes it a great fit into any backpack.  It is the most lightweight of the hydration bladders tested which makes it the firm favourite for adventure activities where you would like to carry less weight.

The added benefit of the zip lock divider that reduces both sloshing and the size of the bladder contributes to it being the sure pick for the weight conscious outdoor adventurer.

Hydration Pack Opening Type

The Hydrapak Shape-Shift is one of the two bladders in our review that features a fold top opening, the other being the Geigerrig Hydration Engine. Like the Geigerrig, the Hydrapak features a large fold top that can be pressed open to easily refill from a flowing stream or a deep basin.

It also has the same problem when refilling from a shallow basin where if the bladder is not completely vertical, you lose the ability to fill it to capacity due to it folding over.

Bite Valve Size

The smaller bite valve size of the Hydrapak Shape-Shift does not adversely affect the flow of water into the mouth in any way as this can sometimes be the case with the smaller sizes.

We are less impressed with the turn valve locking mechanism used to close it though. Generally we have found the switch lock mechanism that is found on the CamelBak Crux Reservoir, the MSR DromLite Bags and the Platypus Big Zip LP easier to use as it requires a simple flip of the switch from one side over to the other in order to close and seal the valve, whilst the turn valve mechanism requires you to turn the valve in a manner similar to turning a nut over a bolt in order to close it and this can be a little tricky when out on the move.  

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning your Hydrapak Shape-Shift Reservoir is very easy as the large opening allows you to turn the reservoir inside out in order to give it a good scrub inside.  It is also dishwasher safe provided that you use it on a low temperature setting.

Component Compatibility and Interchangeability

The hose, mouth piece and reservoir of the Hydrapak Shape-Shift Reservoir are all easily detached from the bladder, and the hose and mouth piece are compatible with the other brands featured in this review that use a quick release system on the hose.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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