Monday, December 13, 2010

Review; Nathan Magda 1.5L (aka HPL #008)

Way back in the Summer I started to review hydration packs…well Summer never really arrived and I never really finished so with Christmas and the end of the year in sight I am making an effort to wrap up all my outstanding reviews this is probably the penultimate one on hydration packs. So I present the Nathan HPL #008 also known as the Magda named after the Olympic marathoner Magda Lewy-Boulet for whom it was designed. From Nathan’s website, the features include:


  • 2-way Propulsion Harness
  • 1.5 liter Hydration Bladder with bite valve
  • Dual front pockets – one mesh holster, one zippered
  • Power Stretch Mesh back pocket for jacket or gloves
  • Vertically adjustable sternum strap with tube clip
  • Lightweight, breathable Wall Mesh with soft perimeter binding feels great against skin and won’t damage technical apparel
  • Weight: 5.5 oz.

So how does it stack up, well first of all it is really light, even when filled you don’t really notice the weight, the pack also includes the new and improved Platypus bladder which has a wide mouth screw lid, previous versions had a slide closure which had sealant issues, it’s easy to fill and is definitely one of the less plastic tasting bladders I have used. It contains 70oz or 1.5l so it’s plenty big enough a long run in the hills. The hose has a bite valve which also has a locking mechanism…it’s so simple it took me 10 minutes to figure it out and a really simple but nice feature is a clip on the front strap that the hose locks into to stop it from floating about.

The pack storage is pretty stripped down, there is not a lot of room left in the pack once the bladder is full, there is a second pouch in which you could get a pair of gloves or armwarmers but not much more. On the front of the vest you have the choice of two pouches; one zipped, one laced, both have a mesh fabric. Both are a good size, big enough for 4-5 gels or a camera, an iPhone or Blackberry easy fits in. They are mounted on a more solid breathable mesh fabric which is also the same on the back pack section, it’s not hot and seems to breath easily enough. The front fastening buckle has plenty of give and to allow you to get a really comfortable fit it also slides up and down up and down your stenum. In a similar way the straps to the rear are adjustable and affix to a large rubber figure of 8, this allows you to dial in the fit and also absorbs the bumping around.

So how does it fit, well it’s, to be honest it’s ok, not great just ok, had I not been spoilt by my UD Wasp I would hold it in higher opinion. Why well it’s just a bit small - I think that this is a much better pack for a smaller person, I am 6’1” and this is just a but too dainty for me. The strap at the front and the side straps were a bit high and I found myself fiddling with them while running on a 10-12 mile run which is usually a bad sign for a 25, 30 or 50 mile run.


Now don’t let this put you off, I really do believe that for a smaller frame this would be a really good pack. The pack is usually listed for between $65-85. The good folks at WRC have an end of year sale and it is listed at $60, click here and use quad10 at the check out will get you another 10% off. There a bunch more photos below:

You can read my other Hydration product reviews here:

This pack was provided free of charge by the good folks at WRC. See previous gear reviews in the sidebar on the right. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at


  1. I am starting to think that you have so much gear that you have a special room where you store it all. Sweet pack. One I would love to add to my trail runs.... after the Ironman of course :). Never a big fan of having anything around my waist.

  2. You know - I've been having trouble with my bite valve on my Nathan pack. ometimes it's difficult to get open, and then sometimes it sticks open. Or else I'm sweating a lot more that I normally do!

    And I agree with your assessment of the space inside the pack once the bladder is full. Tough to put any gear inside...


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