Platypus Origin 3 Review
New for Spring 2011, Platypus introduces the Origin 3.0 hydration pack. The Origin 3.0 is a 2 liter hydration pack with intended uses of mountain biking, trail running, and other activities where you bring along only the necessary. The hydration bladder that comes with the Origin 3 is 2 liters, which you can typically get 3-4 hours of heart racing activity. The capacity for other gear in the Origin is 3 liters, big enough to fit a bar, small windbreaker, and a few other small items.
Compared to similar hydration packs, the Platypus Origin 3 is much wider than other bags we have tested in the past. For example, the Camelbak Fairfax is about 3 inches more narrow than the Platypus Origin 3 near the center of the bag if you are looking at it vertically. While running in this pack, I could definitely feel that the pack was much wider/bigger than previous hydration packs I have worn and tested. My personal preference between the two would be to have something more narrow sitting on my back because when I am running, I would like to forget that I have a backpack on except for when I need water. The Platypus Origin 3 has a little stiffer backpanel than its competitors which seems to keep the bag from sitting flush on your back. This design may have been on purpose to allow more ventilation and less sweat, but it feels a little awkward to be honest. There are two foam pads that sit on the back and help give the backpanel some rigidity, but in the future, I think it would be best to cut out half of the foam padding and allow the backpack to sit a little better on the back. The same foam padding is used in the shoulder straps keeping you from getting the perfect fit.
Aside from the fit, the Platypus Origin 3 has some really nice features worth talking about. There are 4 areas from which you can run the hydration hose from. Two areas coming out of the top of the pack where you can run the hose down from either shoulder strap. There are also 2 hose outlets in the hip belt if you prefer to run the hose up from the bottom. In the hip belt, there is a pocket on each side where you can stash small items like a gel or an energy bar. These aren’t zippered, so I advise you not to put anything valuable in these pockets. There are two areas to feed your hose through on each shoulder strap to keep it from flopping around. One thing I would have asked for on these straps is for both of them to be elastic so it is easy to slip the mouthpiece through. One thing that I haven’t seen much on other hydration packs is a hose hold in the middle of the sternum strap. This way, your hose doesn’t go flopping around when you are in the middle of your activity. Good thinking! While the sternum strap doesn’t have a whistle on the clip, it does have an added whistle stashed away in the shoulder strap. Whistles aren’t something that I like to use a lot, but in case of an emergency, I like to have one.
On the outside of the Platypus Origin 3, there is a vertical pocket with an internal zippered pocket for keys or other items you want secured. This pocket is big enough to fit a smart phone, camera, or other like sized items. For someone using this pack for commuting, there are two locations on the outside of the pack in which you can clip in a light for safety. The design of the Platypus Origin 3 hydration pack is sleek and looks pretty sharp, but unfortunately can’t outweigh some of the functional flaws. As this is the first iteration of the hydration pack line for Platypus, I feel there are too many things that need to be fixed in this bag for me to recommend the Origin 3 by Platypus. While the Platypus hydration pack line didn’t impress me this season, they make a number of other great quality products. For more information on the Platypus Origin 3 or other Platypus products, please visit https://www.platy.com/