Hike the uphills and Run the downhills with the Nathan Crossover 15L Hydration Pack

nathan crossover3The search for the perfect pack is an exhausting but necessary quest for hikers, runners, cyclists, and all outdoor enthusiasts alike. I get asked constantly as both a runner and as a coach, “what do you recommend?” and like many things, there are several variables one must consider when choosing.

Nathan is a brand I recommend over and over, as their hydration packs have always been my go-to favorite. In my experience, they are sturdy, lightweight, and bounce-free. I was recently introduced to the Nathan Crossover 15 Liter Hydration Pack and this is the gold standard pack for anyone planning to be outside for a good chunk of time.


This pack is currently offered in two colors, the Marine Blue with Hot Red accents, and the Black with Vapor Grey highlights, which is the one I received. You can’t go wrong with basic black and this pack looks pretty slick.


This multipurpose pack has everything you’ll need for a day out on the trails. If storage is what you crave, this has got it in spades. The super accessible 40 degree angled side pockets are marketed for cyclists to reach quickly and easily but as a runner, I feel I will use these quite often for the things I want close but out of my immediate way.

In addition to these pockets and the two front strap pockets that are perfect for a pair of sunglasses or easy-reach nutrition, there are TWO large main back zipper pockets with interior organization pockets so you can stay organized while on the go. There is even a bottom stash pocket that you could slide a lightweight jacket through and the typical bungee system on the outside for additional items. There are also helmet loops on the back plus storage capacity for a whooping 15 liters of your favorite liquids.

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As usual, Nathan comes out on top with the quality and details of this pack. Though you should hand-wash only, (as you should any pack, really,) it’s really pretty easy to clean and the material is sturdy and strong no matter how much you abuse your gear on any given journey. The shoulder straps are super comfortable on skin (a plus if you’re wearing a tank top) and are made with a breathable mesh material. The moisture wicking mesh fabric on the back will help keep you cool and dry when you’re out there all day. Also, there are no “chafe points” that I can see or feel anywhere on this pack.


I stuffed this puppy with several items to “test” it and I felt like there was no pressure on my back or shoulders at all. The sternum straps are adjustable and the waist strap is removable, which help ensure this pack will be the perfect fit for most. Nathan’s packs are known to be lightweight and designed to move with your body, so if adjusted correctly, this will not bounce or move awkwardly. The straps expand and contract to fit with the dimensions of your body, so this should really be like an extension of you.

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There’s no question that Crossover 15 Liter Hydration Pack is perfect for day hikes and ultra distances alike.  This pack is lightweight and comfortable and therefore barely noticeable on your adventures. This is really saying something considering the amount of storage space it contains and the easy access pockets and features. It comes with a 1.5L bladder and hose with a magnetic hydration hose clip, and the quality of this impressive pack is obvious from the second you slide it on to the moment you toss it off.

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Thank you to Nathan for providing us with this test hydration pack. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.

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