‘Dolfin Pack’ Delivers Hydration on Land and Sea

A new kind of hydration backpack made for water-sports (and even underwater)? A Florida startup saw a hole in the market and built the Dolfin Pack.


Made of neoprene with features similar to a Camelbak, the $40 Dolfin Pack was designed for biking, running, SUP and other water sports.

What started as a Kickstarter campaign, the Florida natives who invented the Dolfin Pack sought a more versatile hydration system. Avid surfers, paddlers and all things Florida, the Dolfin Pack was the result of their inspiration.

Review: Dolfin Hydration Pack

I tested the pack this month on land and in water and was happy with the Dolfin’s functionality and minimal design. At $40, it’s a good deal for a pack and bladder combo.

It weighs only 5.6 ounces empty and is simply made of three materials: neoprene, elastic, and Velcro. The model comes with a standard reservoir, much like a Camelbak, that is BPA-free with a bite valve that locks when not in use.

A neoprene hose cover keeps water cool when exposed to the sun. Drainage holes let ocean water run cleanly out of the base.

Dolfin Pack Water drain
Rust proof drainage holes prevent water pooling in the pack

One caveat: We found the description of the pack, which is dubbed as “waterproof,” a bit confusing. There are no waterproof compartments inside. In fact, there is just one big pocket, in which the reservoir takes up most of the space. (The term waterproof in this case means the pack’s components and materials are not affected by water.)

Its main function is clearly hydration – don’t expect to load this with gear.

In need of hydration during water sports and the occasional long run, the Dolfin Pack performed as expected. Which is exactly what I wanted, no fuss.

How The Dolfin Pack Fits

The pack adjusts with three straps on your shoulders and just below the chest. What results is a low-profile fit on my back that did not slip when running and swimming.

Dolfin Pack front view running
Two shoulder straps and a chest strap made the pack cling tight

The brand has a “Tightest Fit Guarantee” tagline, meaning the pack can be cinched extremely tight for surfing and other sports that could tear a normal pack from your back.

My main concern was chaffing. On a 10-mile run when I tested its worth (with a shirt on) I did not experience any problems with comfort and fit.

However, the bladder was susceptible to a sloshing noise as it emptied like many similar products.

One downside, at 6’1’’ I was nearly out of the size range and could see some difficulty fitting the pack for larger fellows or while wearing bulky jackets.

Dolfin Pack

    • Price: $40
    • Weight: 5.6 oz
    • Material: 1.5 mm neoprene
    • Reservoir: 1.5-liter BPA-free bladder
    • Neoprene hose cover (for hot and freezing conditions)

If you want a pack for all your sports but don’t want to bother buying unique and expensive niche hydration systems, the Dolfin Pack has your back no matter the adventure.

Nate Mitka

Midwest born, Nate Mitka is based in the GearJunkie Denver office. He is an advocate of all outdoor activities and has developed some habits, like running without headphones, eating raw vegetables, and fixing the chain on his ratty old bike.