Osprey Packs: SKARAB 30 Review

Grab a seat and let’s talk about this Osprey Skarab 30 in our feature Review.

It’s hot out. You need to hydrate, but you’ve also got some gear, some snacks, and your COVID facemask to pack with you. We took out the Osprey Packs, SKARAB 30 Hiking Pack for an 8,000ft hike above Colorado Springs on a hot August day to see how this pack delivers on an Off-Grid Adventure.

Osprey Packs SKARAB 30 Review

Osprey SKARAB Quick Facts:

  • Price: $130 on the Osprey Packs Website, here.Opens in a new tab.
  • Or you can Check Amazons Price HereOpens in a new tab.
  • Weight: 1.54lbs (or about 0.69 Kg)
  • Dimensions: 21.7H X 12.6W X 10.8D IN
  • Hydration Capacity: 30 Liters or 1831 IN3 
  • Load Range: 10-25 Lbs
  • Available Colors: Deep Blue, Red and Black

Our Osprey SKARAB Background:

We recently had some close friends (and fellow Off-Grid Essential staff, CJ) move out to Colorado with the military. Coming from South Carolina they were used to the heat, however, elevation always presents a slight learning curve for your body upon arrival to a location upwards of 6,000ft.

Colorado Springs sits at an elevation of around 6,000ft and depending on your outdoor plans, a quick drive to the mountains will have you recreating anywhere from 8000 to 1200ft above sea level.

Mountain adventures at elevation require your body to work with fewer resources to exert the same amount of effort. Hydration is a key component to keeping your body moving at elevation and reducing your threshold for altitude sickness.

While I already had a hydration pack, it was old, cheap and I was in need of a quality outdoor hydration pack. My wife is an endurance runner and has used the Osprey packs for many endurance events, she has always seemed happy with Osprey as well. Due to this, I picked up the Osprey SKARAB 30 and decided to take it out on its first test run at a modest 8,000ft elevation day hike with CJ and our families.

Key Features:

The Osprey SKARAB 30Opens in a new tab. features:
* Wide-mouth, bucket-style main compartment opening
* Dedicated hydration compartment with included Osprey Hydraulics® LT 2.5L Reservoir by Hydrapak
* Adjustable sternum strap with magnetic bite valve attachment
* Front panel daisy chain attachment points
* Heat-embossed, scratch-free zippered slash pocket
* Dual zippered large side panel pockets
* Dual zippered hip-belt pockets
* Dual upper and lower compression straps
* Dual trekking pole loop attachment points
* Ice ax loop attachment
* Front shove-it pocket
* Under lid zip pocket

Osprey SKARAB 30L Unboxing:

Upon unboxing the SKARAB 30, you are quickly greeted with a quality feel. Zippers, straps, and buckles all feel of good quality and the surrounding stitching appears to be strong. No loose ends, frays, or straggling threads to worry you from the beginning like many cheaper packs. Osprey uses a 210D Nylon Dobby Fabric for the main fabric and a 420HD Nylon Oxford for the accent fabrics giving this pack a quality look and feel.

One thing I noticed quickly was the buckles at the chest level were made of a strong magnetic clip that allowed for easy, one-handed, no looking removal if needed. Additionally, there are several pouches at the waist level straps, the sides and the top, all offering quick access to smaller grab and go items rather than taking the bag off to reach the main inside compartment.

The back panel where the pack lays against your back has a nice, separated mesh breathable space allowing a draft to pass between you and the pack. Osprey refers to this as the “Airscape Backpanel” and describes it as an Open mesh over contoured EVA foam that ensures ventilation and comfort. I’m a sweater, I mean I sweat A-LOT, so this feature is a really nice way to avoid the wet t-shirt on my back when hiking or mountain biking.

Osprey SKARAB Hydraulics (Blader)

Tucked nicely away behind the main compartment is the Osprey Hydraulics Bladder. Now, if you have never used an Osprey packs bladder, there is a tiny learning curve as many people (myself included) get a bit perplexed when its time to open the bladder for the first fill. Osprey uses a sliding clamp styled divide to secure the mouth of the bladder. See below:

Overall the Osprey SKARAB 30L Hydraulics Bladder is a good design, lays flat and does what its supposed to do, hold your water securely.

OSPREY SKARAB Size and Feel:

The pack fits well, is balanced, and feels as it should. There were no noticeable issues on how it felt while hiking the rugged foothills in Colorado. Temps were in the low 90’s on this hike and there was no area of the pack that smothered me or lead to excessive sweating which was great. This fits both me and my wife well and could be suited as the proper size for any body type.

I’ve added a pic here from the hike for reference. I am 5’11 and about 180lbs give or take (depending on pizza and beer intake).

osprey packs review

Who Is this for?

The Osprey SKARAB 30L Opens in a new tab.is a good combination of fit and function. Whether you are headed to the mountains for a hike, mountain bike ride, or just headed to a festival and need something good to keep you hydrated and snacks handy. This option from Osprey packs is really versatile and fits almost all applications.

Osprey SKARAB 30 Final Verdict

There are several options these days for outdoor hydration options from Osprey packs. The Osprey SKARAB 30L is a quality choice that balances an affordable price with a lengthy list of premium features to compliment it. We have only had this pack a week but have taken it on many adventures already. So far, so good and recommended. If that changes, we will be sure to update this post.

For a better look at some essential gear for any level hiker, check out this helpful guide.Opens in a new tab.


It’s hot out. You need to hydrate, but you’ve also got some gear, some snacks, and your COVID facemask to pack with you. We took out the Osprey SKARAB 30 Hiking Pack for an 8,000ft hike above Colorado Springs on a hot August day to see how this pack delivers on an Off-Grid Adventure. Grab a seat and let’s review the Osprey SKRARAb 30 Hiking Pack.

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