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The North Face Hydra 26L Backpack

Temporarily Out Of Stock

Don't get too bummed. This item is on the way and will be available for purchase as soon as it rolls into the warehouse.

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Hydra 26L Backpack

Head off on your day-long missions with the Hydra 26L Backpack from The North Face. Its minimalist design reduces weight while still allowing quick access to the contents of the pack when you're traveling long distances. This lightweight design is enhanced by the patent-pending Dyno Lift System that doesn't add any weight and features a self-equalizing, on-the-fly, adjustable load lifters for a comfortable carry through the miles. A FlashDry back panel provides you with quick-drying, breathable performance for strenuous ascents while the T6 aluminum frame allows you to have total freedom of movement when scrambling up to the summit.

  • Backpack with a minimalist design to tackle your day-long missions
  • 26L accommodates tools, extra layers, hydration system, and snacks
  • Lightweight design helps to keep you fast and nimble on the trails
  • Dyno Lift System features self-equalizing, on-the-fly load lifters
  • FlashDry, trampoline back panel is breathable and quick-drying
  • Easily accessible pockets allow you to quickly get to your gear
  • Reflective webbing provides visibility in low light conditions
  • Two tool keepers stash your poles or ice axes when not needed
  • Item #TNF05CF

Dyno Lift System
Shoulder Straps
Waist Belt
Hydration Compatible
[external] 1 zippered front, 2 stretch side, 2 zippered waist, , [internal] 1 hydration sleeve
Gear Loops
adjustable straps
[small/medium] 21.3 x 12.2 x 8.7in, [large/x-large] 23.2 x 13.2 x 8.7in
Claimed Weight
[small/medium] 1lb 15oz, [large/x-large] 2lb
Recommended Use
hiking, travel
Manufacturer Warranty

Tech Specs

What do you think about this product?


>Rating: 5

Supremely Comfortable

I've put it through the wringer
True to size
Size Bought
-165 lbs

Carry comfort is the primary criterion for judging any pack. And the Hydra 26 carries beautifully. It sits high and tight on my back, like a Kentucky-Derby jockey. Load-lifter straps are extraneous on most daypacks, because the short pack frames prevent them from actually working. In this regard, the Hydra is unusual. The frame extends high enough that my load-lifter straps angle up and back at nearly a text-book 45° angle. That's common on backpacks, but almost unheard of on daypacks. And it makes a difference, allowing you to tighten the load-lifters, bow the frame slightly, and create a sensation that the pack is levitating slightly rather than dragging down on your butt. Also noteworthy: the back panel is not straight, as it is on most packs. At the bottom, it curves sharply out (away from your back), thus taking advantage of your anatomy (specifically your lumbar shelf) to keep the pack riding high rather than sliding down. This seems minor but significantly increases the pack's carry comfort. The shoulder straps are fine on the men's Hydra. (Though they're far too broad, stiff and heavy on the women's version.) Ventilation is very good, though not quite as complete as those few packs with trampoline-mesh back panels that are open on the sides and bottom. A very welcome innovation is how the main compartment opens with a two-handed tug, and closes with a one-handed pull. No need to fuss with a toggle or buckles. The pack fabric dries as fast as the "FlashDry" name suggests, but it's thin and abrades easily. Even if you treat it with care, this pack won't last years, but—in my opinion—the carry comfort is worth the reduced durability. Finally, the gold color is refreshingly different. In summary, the Hydra 26 has exceeded even my high expectations of TNF packs. I believe TNF has long made the world's most innovative daypacks and backpacks. Guiding in Utah canyon country is my business, and all my packs are TNF.