Back when we put together our feature on the Best Hydration Packs for Running, we gave the distinction of #1 best hydration pack option for running to the DolfinPack, a super light weight hydration pack with a minimalist design ideal for athletics. Now the folks behind the original DolfinPack have taken back to the drawing board to bring the DolfinPack 2 to the market, hoping to iterate on the success of the original while responding to some critiques from users.
I got a chance to try out a DolfinPack 2 and wanted to take this chance to provide a short review of the new DolfinPack and highlight some of the ways it differs from its predecessor.
Whats New in the DolfinPack 2 – A Short Review
There are certainly more similarities than differences between the DolfinPack and the DolfinPack 2, but this is probably one of the most enticing facts about the new model. Just like the original, it is water proof, made from durable and weather-resistant neoprene, includes bite valve and on/off toggle for reservoir, and is designed not to restrict movement. This makes the DolfinPack ideal for all kinds of sports, from running to kayaking to hunting to surfing.
I’ve only had the chance to try out the DolfinPack 2 briefly – just long enough to strap it on and jog a little bit. From my brief encounter, I definitely think they have made some improvements from the original, but overall it is fairly subtle. A few adjustments have been made to improve the comfort of the straps and to address a chafing issue some users experienced with the original straps. The straps are now made from an elastic material with a neoprene coating for optimal comfort.
The DolfinPack 2 still uses an adjustable strap system with a “one size fits most” approach to sizing. I think the DolfinPack 2 is a little more comfortable than the original DolfinPack, and the straps felt easier to adjust, letting me get the pack into comfortable position a bit sooner. Once I had it fitted properly, the DolfinPack 2 did not move against my back as I was running, which is the major concern for most hydration packs.
Other than these changes to the strap, the amount of space available in the DolfinPack 2 has increased in two ways. The first way is more water: the original DolfinPack had only 1 liter of storage in its hydration bladder, whereas the DolfinPack 2 ups the amount of water to 1.5 liters. This does mean a bit of extra weight if the bladder is full, but the DolfinPack 2 is still super light weight with the pack itself weighing just 5.6 ounces.
Although the design of the DolfinPack does away with all of the extra compartments and often unnecessary storage space usually found on hydration packs, the DolfinPack 2 has decided to offer a bit of extra roominess for bringing along a phone or wallet. There are no pockets on the DolfinPack 2, but rather there is some extra space left inside the one pouch on the pack which also includes the hydration bladder itself. Although the DolfinPack is designed for use underwater, the compartment might not keep your things entirely dry, so the manufacturer recommends putting any items you’ll be storing in the pack inside a water-proof container before bringing it out.
Better Than the Original?
Not a whole lot has changed from the DolfinPack to the DolfinPack 2, which might actually be a good thing. The DolpinPack 2 represents a more mature and capable evolution of the original product. Since the original already introduced some great stuff, it is nice to see it improved upon and some consumer issues addressed with a new product.
I will keep wearing my old DolfinPack for awhile, but when I decided it is time for something new, I’m definitely going to grab the DolfinPack 2. 5/5 stars.
Super Tiny and Portable
Comfortable To Wear
No Extra Stroage – Only Space For Hydration Bag
- Editor Rating
- Rated 5 stars
- DolfinPack 2 Hydration Pack
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We take a look at the slim, stream-lined DolfinPack 2 Hydration Pack, the second generation of the popular, super-minimalist DolfinPack.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.