I’ve been an ultra runner for a few years now and I like to think my gear has been dialed in. I have my favorite socks, trusty shoes, lucky shorts, and the perfect sized pack for the rest of the necessities, whether on a long run, day hike, or race day. Lately, I’ve swapped out my go-to pack for the Osprey Dyna 6 and it quickly moved into first place.
Osprey is one of my favorite brands for outdoor gear – my best day pack, my husband’s all-around perfect-sized pack, and my backpacking pack all bear the iconic logo. I was stoked to try out their line of trail running packs to round out our collection. One thing I’ve always loved about the brand is their attention to women’s-specific needs. Simply buying a Men’s Small doesn’t cut it for most ladies and Osprey has really dialed it in for their women’s gear. I’m happy to support any brands who are investing in that distinction.
That being said, the Dyna is the women’s-specific line (for the men, they have the Duro). The Dyna/Duro series each come in 1.5L, 6L, and 15L options, so you can pick your adventure style and (literally) run with it. Each comes with a hydration bladder and hose (1.5 L for the smaller sizes and 2.5 L for the large size). The hose features QuickConnect, which is a novel feature, especially given that the hose attaches near the top of the bladder, rather than the bottom. This makes sliding the bladder (either empty or full) into the pack super easy. No more stuffing / shaking / cursing / rearranging to make the bladder fit in. Aid station volunteers and my own early morning self are forever grateful!
Pockets. When it comes to packs, opinions could go either way. Some people like the simplicity of one compartment for the big stuff and just a few little ones for the extras. Others prefer many medium-sized pockets for organizing. I fall into the latter camp, especially when it comes to my running gear. I like knowing where exactly my gloves are, where I’ve stuffed my headband, which pocket my chapstick is in, and having easy access to my phone (both for safety reasons and adventure documenting). The Dyna perfected my preferences. Two mesh-y pockets up front provide storage for soft flasks, trekking poles, my phone, cold weather accessories, GPS device, etc. I ran a half marathon with my phone up front and never once questioned it’s security. There is also a zippered pocket on the left, where I stored my ID and car key. There are two smaller mesh pockets on the outside of the larger ones and I stuffed my empty gel wrappers in here. All were accounted for at the finish line, no problem.
The back of the pack is (obviously) not as accessible as the front, but just as organized. At the top, the bladder pocket (which features a clip for securing the bladder, always a plus), next is a smaller pocket (with smaller pockets inside!), perfect for a wallet, extra granola bars, a headlamp, etc. Finally, the big pocket where jackets, sandwiches, extra socks, or a dog leash might go. On the outermost part of the pack, a stretchy mesh compression pocket clips at the top. I have a love-hate relationship with this pocket. It’s perfect for stuffing an ultralight jacket into, as it’s easily the most accessible outer pocket. However, the straps seemed to like to slip to their longest length, even after adjusting. Ideally, this pocket would be adjusted to provide some compression and stability to the pack, but I found it didn’t make much of a difference. Also, it’s difficult to access the zippered back pockets without unclipping the mesh, so it’s risky that everything might come tumbling out once those clips are released.
This pack is pretty customizable, size-wise. Osprey recommends the above video for measuring / choosing your size pack, which I found to be spot on and am extremely happy with my size. I have a very small upper body and torso and have always had trouble finding a pack that sized down small enough to eliminate any bounce. The Dyna’s fit has won me over, easily. The pack seems to ride higher up on my back than my other packs, even when the bladder has all 1.5 L of water, saving my shoulders from the ache that inevitably ensues. Combined with the adjustable sternum straps, which have a built-in whistle and a magnet for the hose, I barely knew the pack was back there. Speaking of the sternum straps, I first thought the hard plastic “buckles” were a bit chintzy and was annoyed that it definitely takes two hands, but after a few runs, I came to appreciate their role. Each snap also has a loop for easily releasing the straps, as well.
My final complaint about the pack is that when I’m not running and my arms are at my side, the adjustable side strap rubs the inside of my bicep and can be incredibly bothersome! I was on a particularly hot hike in California with this pack and was constantly asking my hiking partner to tuck the ends of the strap under the pack itself because my arm was so chafed! I’ll have to sort that out, but it was a poor placement choice for the rough edge of the strap to land.
Besides a few minor cons, this bag receives a rave review from me and I look forward to many hundreds of miles with it on my back!
Specs (from website):
- Volume: WXS/S: 5L / 305 in3 | WS/M: 6L / 366 in3
- Weight: WXS/S: 0.761 lbs | WS/M: 0.81 lbs
- Dimensions: WXS/S: 13.78H x 7.48W x 5.12D ” | WS/M: 15.35H x 7.48W x 5.12 D “
Materials (from website):
- Main: 70D x 140D Nylon Triangle Ripstop
- Accent: 320Gr Nylon Stretch Mesh
- Bottom: 200Gr Nylon Stretch Mesh
More about Osprey:
“Our mission is to create innovative high performance gear that reflects our love of adventure and our devotion to the outdoors. We succeed when we meet the demanding expectation of our most discerning customers and they are proud to use our packs.”
Thank you to Osprey for providing us with a sample pack. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.