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Archives for the day Monday, June 27th, 2011

I am not a fan of wearing extra stuff while exercising.  The Hydrapak has changed my view of things for long bike rides.  I do wish the bag came with cleaning instructions for first-time use, but that’s something that can be fixed in the future.

Hydrapak sent us a 70 ounce back pack hydration system for review.  Since I despise wearing backpacks, I decided to review this product.  It is amazing how negative I was when I started out the review process for this thing.  A back pack is not like a water bottle where you wash it out and then simply use it.  With a backpack, you have to disassemble the thing then figure out how to wash it.  I did not have any hydrogen peroxide in my cabinet so I cleaned the bag out with bleach.  I cleaned it a few times to make sure it was clean.  It may have been clean but the water still tasted terrible.

My first trial was a 50 mile ride through the hills, in the wine country, to give the Hydrapak a real test.  It took me a couple of minutes to figure out how to adjust all of the straps.  There are shoulder straps, a waist strap and a chest strap.

I filled the bag about 2/3 of the way full, adjusted the straps to snug and was on my way.  Wearing the backpack was a bit odd at first, but I soon forgot about it.  The water tasted like plastic so I did not drink much of it.  At about mile 25, I noticed my shoulders creeping up to keep the pack in place.  I stopped to adjust the straps and all was good.  It was comfortable wearing the Hydrapak for a 3 hour bike ride.  I could not drink the water but I had no complaints about the bag.

I cleaned the bag out a few more times and gave it another try.  This time the water was drinkable and it stayed cool for the whole ride.  I drink cold tap water so I am surprised the water stayed cool for 4 hours in the sun and on my back.

The bag has a pouch for the water bag and 3 other pouches.    The way the Hydrapak hangs, I put a lot of stuff in the pouches and was quite comfortable.  The big pouch is big enough to hold 2 wine bottles.  You will have to keep some water in the bag for it to stay comfortable while carrying wine.

The Hydrapak has changed my view of carrying water in a backpack.  I will continue to use it for my long rides.  I don’t have a lot of experience with water backpacks so I grabbed one from the garage for comparison.  Here are some things I like about the Hydrapak that stand out.

  • The quick disconnect hose
  • The extra front straps
  • The holders for excess strap ends
  • The way the bag fits on my back
  • The size and organization of the additional pouches