Posts Tagged Hydrapak
Big backpacks are optimal for hauling a lot of gear around, but completely useless when you want to go out for a day hike, run, or biking excursion. For a great, pared-down pack complete with a hydration bladder bonus, check out the Hydrapak Tamarack Pack.
The pack has 7 liters of gear storage space—enough to fit your phone, necessary clothing items and a few food items. A friend and I have a “sandwich rating” for smaller packs, which amounts to the number of sandwiches (and of what size) you can fit in the pack once you’ve placed your other gear and water inside. For me, this pack has a three-medium-sandwich rating. That’s larger than a puny PB&J (which are tasty, nonetheless), but smaller than a hero.
Sandwiches aside, the pack weighs 1.1 pounds before you get everything in there. There are ample pockets—from smaller front- and top-zip pockets that will fit smaller items like keys and phones to the larger main compartment and front stash pocket for the rest of your gear.
On top of all that, there’s a dedicated zippered reservoir pocket in the back panel, which fits a full 3-liter bladder. The bladder itself has a slide-open top that makes it easy to fill but also seals tightly. Best of all, it’s PVC free. The hydration sleeve has 360 degrees of insulation, allowing your water to keep its temperature longer (even protecting it from body heat) than with many other packs.
There’s ample padding for your back, as well as padding on the shoulder straps. The waist belt is removable, in case it gets in your way. Even loaded up with gear and water, the pack is comfortable for hours on the trail. I’ve used it out hiking and biking on the California coast, and it’s my go-to bike pack at home.
Is your one-liter water bottle coming up short? Need to carry more than what will fit into the pocket on the back of your cycling jersey? Hydrapak has the solution.
I’ve never been sold on the need for hydration packs when hiking. It’s not like it’s hard to pull a water bottle (or two) out of a pocket when you take a break beside the trail and those pouches are no fun to clean. But when you’re on the back of a bicycle, maybe trying to avoid traffic or watch for potholes, it can make sense. This is especially true for long rides, times where even two bottle carriers mounted on the frame are not going to cut it.
This Jolla bag is the largest one from Hydrapak, a company that lets you put three liters of water inside your bag and still have plenty of room to spare. I’ve gone on a few overnight or multi-night rides where I was carrying everything I needed on my back and this Jolla one would be perfect for that. With 1,100 cubic inches of space (18 liters) it’s not going to cut it for days on end, but enough for a couple changes of clothes and some toiletries.
For this company it all starts with the hydration pack and this one solves a lot of problems people complain about with these things in general. The way it’s designed, you can fold the whole thing inside-out to clean it (picture a dry bag construction with a plastic zip-up mechanism for good measure). Plus there’s a clip-and-magnet system that allows you to mount the hose end anywhere on the strap and keep it in place. No need to tuck it into a strap or to clip it in an awkward place that doesn’t fit your body type and pack placement. (See a video on how it works here.) In my tests the high-flow drinking valve rarely leaked much, but there’s a twist control on it to shut it off completely if you want.
The pack itself is well-designed and comfortable, with ergonomic straps and ventilation foam in the right places to keep the sweat from building up on your back. I’ve been using this while baking in the hot Florida sun the past couple months and it has performed well in the heat. It’s got loads of pockets in multiple compartments, plus the obligatory MP3 set-up with a headphone port—though use that at your own risk in traffic. There are compression straps, plenty of places to hook things on, and straps for your waist and sternum if you want. There’s a handle on the top for picking it up, with I always appreciate. All made from rugged ripstop nylon.
The place where you stow all your gadgets inside is attached by a Velcro strap and is a removable pouch. That means you can leave your pack one place and take all the things that are really worth a lot with you.
This pack has a thin profile and with all the compression straps you can keep it more narrow than your body. So it shouldn’t create much drag if you’re biking through wine country or doing a daily commute.
This pack lists for $150, which isn’t exactly a screaming bargain, but you can probably find it discounted by following these direct links for Department of Goods, or Amazon. Or you can just get the Hydrapak hydration pouch from Amazon and stick it in your own streamlined backpack.
See other smaller pack sizes at Hydrapak.com.