Nathan HPL #020 Hydration Running Backpack

7.9
7.9 score
[Editors rating (7.9)] = (Garage Gym Ideas - Ultimate Home Gym Design) score (7.9)/10


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Editor rating: 7.9 / 10
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Nathan HPL #020 Hydration Running BackpackReview Facts

Running on trails is relaxing and empowering, but carrying all your valuables in your hands is not! This is the reason why you must bring your backpack with you when you go trail running or trekking, but a heavy backpack that bounces on your back is really not that helpful at all. Many sports brands recognized this, and Nathan is one of them. They created the tight-hugging HPL #020, which sits comfortably around your chest without bouncing at all. It can hold almost all of your valuables, and it has a 2-liter pouch that will be enough to get you through the day. Dive in and discover what makes the Nathan HPL #020 so great!

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Simple and sleek design

Sturdy and durable

A lot of extra pockets

Breathable and moisture-wicking

Extremely easy to access valuables

Wide shoulder straps

Lightweight and doesn't bounce

Cons

Poor bladder clip design

Poor water flow through the valve

Difficult to place hoser into the holder

Materials

Materials

What your backpack is made out of says a lot about it. A flimsy backpack won't be able to survive for a long time, nor will it be comfortable. The Nathan HPL #020 is made out of 10% polyester and 90% nylon, and although that may not sound impressive, believe us when we say that Nathan made all the right choices to create an impressive backpack. The nylon is woven into a mesh, a fabric we're all well familiar with. Mesh is breathable and lightweight, two very important aspects when you're sweating it outdoors. The mesh is placed in strategic places to let your skin breathe as much as possible. The polyester protects the backpack from inclement weather, and it also does a good job at ridding you from moisture and sweat, banishing it to the upper layers where it can evaporate freely. The zippers are well-constructed and metal, and although they may rust a bit over time because of moisture (make sure to keep them clean), they will still do an excellent job at protecting your valuables!
Comfort

Comfort

The comfort of the pack is decided by what it's made out of, what the fit is like, and whether it bounces too much when you run. As we said above, the NPL #020 is constructed out of polyester and nylon, so there should be no issues with comfort there. The shoulder straps and the harness are rather comfortable as well, and you can easily create an excellent fit by fiddling with them. The backpack creates a tight fit, with all your valuables next to you where you can reach them with ease. When you run, the backpack will not bounce, as it hugs you so tightly. But users did report that the harness can rub and chafe the skin slightly when you get into the motions, although it's nothing that can't be fixed with an extra layer of clothing! The backpack is a bit heavier than most, but it's nothing that should seriously affect the quality of your run. All in all, the Nathan NPL #020 is a very comfortable one, so there's no need to lose sleep over that.
Durability

Durability

The Nathan #020 was constructed with durability in mind, and that shows all throughout the backpack. The zippers will last a long time, and the mechanism will hold up no matter how hard you try to pull it out of its place. The nylon and polyester are expertly constructed and will show no signs of wear and tear damage, besides the occasional dirty spot. The stitches are thoroughly inspected before the public gets to see them, and they will hold the pack together no matter how fast and often you run. So there's no need to worry about the backpack falling apart, it was made to last the mile!
Features

Features

Nathan #020 is packed full of features. For starters, the backpack is equipped with a 3-way propulsion harness. This harness does an excellent job at absorbing the shock when you run, and it's what we have to thank for no bouncing. This harness also saves your shoulders from any extra pressure and stress, making using the hydration pack over a prolonged period easy and pain-free. Bungee cords hold the harness in front of the bladder, and they also act as a neat place to put your shirt or jacket through if you start feeling hot.

The bladder is what we should mention next. The hydration bladder of the #020 can hold up to 2 liters of liquids, which is just enough to last you for one run. The bladder is sealed quite well, so don't expect any water to spill out. This bladder is quite unique, as it's held up with a hook mechanism. This hook mechanism clasps the bladder and seals it up. The bladder slides out easily from the clasp, and filling it up or cleaning it is a simple and time-saving task. The pack is not heavy, but the water does tend to slosh around and create loud sounds which can get pretty annoying fast, Users reported that not even the trick where you suck out the excess air from the pack helps, so you're either stuck with the splishy-splashy sounds, or you can use your phone or other devices to listen to music to drown the noise out. The valve is also pretty unique. First, you will need to pull the valve out, and then you will have to bite the valve down to activate it, so to speak. This prevents spillage, but it also makes drinking out of the pack a problem, as many users reported. You will need to suck really hard to get the water to flow! The hose is also a bit difficult to snap back into place. You will need to pause to get it out and back in, which can again become a problem. This might make you want to carry extra bottles, but you can also substitute their bladder with a different one and have zero issues.

Now let's take a look at the pockets. The front of the backpack has dual pockets, with zippers that keep them shut tightly. You can fit most phones in these pockets, along with your necessities, as the pockets have plenty of space. The rear zippered pockets are larger, although one is made specifically for the bladder, so there's not much room for anything else there. The smaller one can fit wallets, keys, phones and such, so there's some extra space there to use. One sternum strap sits at the front, and it has a tube clip. It's super adjustable and it's made to fit people of shapes and sizes.
Size

Size

When a backpack is made to fit the figure, it makes sense that the producer offers different sizes. Well, the Nathan is actually one size fits all, but that shouldn't concern you at all! There are a lot of straps and harnesses, and the handy sternum strap which is vertically adjustable, that allows you to create the best possible fit. You just need to experiment a bit with the straps until you find what suits you the best. The backpack should hug you tightly to prevent any bouncing, so keep that in mind when you're adjusting it!
Style

Style

Truth be told, backpacks made for running are usually not that stylish. The Nathan HPL #020 has a sleek appearance, and it just looks sporty, which is fine because you're not going to be running down the red carpet. It's a simple yet functional backpack, just what you need when you're outdoors and sweating it out. The colorways are good too, and you can either get a gray one with orange bungee cords that pop out or a teal one. We might have wished for more color options, but these two hues are just good enough to match most of what you have hiding in your closet!
Breathability

Breathability

You might connect breathability to socks and sports apparel, but believe us when we say that it matters! A backpack can trap a lot of heat between your body and itself, and it's important to let that heat escape, otherwise, you will become sweaty and annoyed. So that's why incorporating breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics into the backpack is rather important. The Nathan #020 is made out of a polyester and nylon combo. These materials are both breathable and moisture-wicking, so excess heat shouldn't be a problem!
Value

Value

The Nathan NPL #020 is an affordable backpack when all things are considered. It costs about 80 dollars, which is really not that much when you think about what it brings to the table. But for that price, we believe that the bladder and valve design should be a bit better, and Nathan should offer more colorways!
The Final Word

The Final Word

The Nathan HPL #020 performs very well on all kinds of trails. It's comfortable, adjustable, and it has plenty of pockets so you can store all kinds of valuables. The harness is sturdy, as are the stitches, and the backpack will last a long time. The design is simple and not busy, unlike some backpacks which have more pockets than needed. That isn't to say that the Nathan doesn't come with its issues. The bladder is excellent and it holds 2 liters of water, but it does tend to slip from the hook, so you will need to find a way to fasten it. The valve is very secure, but because of that, it's difficult to get a proper sip of water. You can easily replace it, but considering the price, that should have been done a better way. When all things are considered, the #020 is still a great backpack that you should definitely give a chance!