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Review: Quest 2L Hydration Pack

From: Amber Galindo

Review: So this was my second hydration pack after another pack didn’t fit me comfortably. I was able to go to a Dick’s Sporting Goods and try it on right in the store. The price point was great for me at $25 and I like that it has nice, thick back pack style straps.

I have now used this at almost every race I’ve run since I got it – even 5Ks simply because it is comfortable and does it’s job. It has extra storage in the front where I can keep gu, keys, phone, etc. for longer runs. It has mesh pockets on both sides, which is an easy place to put empty gu packets when on the course or when you pick up trash discarded by others. The mouth piece is very similar to the camelbak style, which I like. I has lots of adjustments that make it so it should fit just about anyone.

Given the price point of $25, frankly I can’t see how anything else in the price range could even compare. It has really served me well.

Do you own this product? Leave a review below!

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Review: Geigerrig 500 (citrus)

geigerlogo

geiggerrigI’ve had this for some time now, but really wanted to test it in a variety of situations. Here on this site we want to know what works best for OCR’s, and so do I. Yet, the Geigerrig is for much more than that.

One of the first things I did with it was take it camping. We went on numerous hikes and the pack was always on my back. I love that you can pump air into it and pressurize the rig to spray water. This is convenient when hiking with other people, and kids that like to slobber all over stuff. I could just spray the water into their mouths and keep moving on. The bladder I have for it is 70oz and is plenty for a day out on the trails. Not only was it good for drinking, but because of the spray action we could rinse off when we got dirty.

The spray is a big win for OCR’s, especially on long one’s such as the Spartan Beast. I fit enough nutrition into the pack, as there is plenty of room. While on course and wanting a snack, I was able to rinse my muddy hands off so my bars/ gels or whatever else were mud free. I don’t think you could shower all the mud off with this, but for a quick rinse it was fantastic.

Normally, the pack is super durable. I’ve seen video’s of them blowing the rig up. Yeah, with explosives; it still held water afterward. I didn’t notice it, but I think a seam in the bladder had split a bit from the Tri-State Super just two weeks before the VT Beast. I did notice it though once I loaded it up with water and Tailwind in the morning. My right side started feeling damp, low and behold, it had a small leak. It was a must have for the race though and it had to make it through. Alas, it did! I asked this pack to do many things for me in VT. Hold my nutrition, keep me hydrated and even act as a flotation device. Yeah, you heard that right! Pumped up it acted like a flotation device during the swims that were at the race. I didn’t have to take any extra safety gear, this pack was perfect.

beasttraversewallWhen I got back from VT I reached out to the company about the seam split and that day they put a new rig in the mail, no questions asked. In a consumer driven world, customer service is huge. These guys were on it and made me a happy guy that day.

As far as fit goes, I’m on the small side. At a whopping 140lbs and standing at 5′ 5″ this pack was not huge at all. At the Super I left in the stabilizer plate and found it not to be flexible at all. I removed it for the Beast and it conformed perfectly to my back and allowed me to get a nice snug fit. I didn’t notice any chafing from any of the races or any of the multiple runs I have taken this out on.

I did get the inline filter in case I needed to fill this on the fly. I have yet to use it, but they claim it can filter up to 50 gallons of water safely and make it drinkable. Above I mentioned about videos, and there is even one where a guy urinates into the pack, plugs in the filter and heads off for a 3-hour run. Don’t believe me? Check this out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlD2tLemuUE

All in all, I am really satisfied with the product and the company. They stand by what they sell and that is huge. I look forward to testing this out at Winter Death Race and seeing how it handles in the frigid temperatures…

Product info: http://www.geigerrig.com/

Rating: 5 Stars (Excellent)

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Review: Geigerrig 700

geiger700Thanks to Lisa Cullity for the review!

Ok – so before reviewing this pack I wanted to really beat it up.  And I did in Vermont.

This pack was submerged.  Dragged through mud.  Three times.  Sat on.  Fallen on.  Filled with water. Tumbled down a mountain. Once I rinsed it off – It was just like new.  A plus.

This pack has great stability and comfort.  I am a 5’1″ female and it fits (just) on my back, and after the beast – not one chafe mark.  The back padding is fantastic.  The pocket that holds the bladder is great for stabilization. Every buckle, clip, and zipper held up – even though I left one pocket open and it got filled with mud.

Having pressurized water in a mud run is a great asset, for rinsing anything.  The bulb held up fine, and did not come undone. This pack can use a 70oz or 100oz bladder.  Nice to have choices.  I was able to fit a dry long sleeve shirt, four bars, three clif blok packs, many individual aspirin packs, headlamp, glow sticks, gloves, lanicane, hat, beef jerky……and I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff…. but I still had room.

It has compression straps to minimize the size of the pack when it isn’t full.

Side note- there is a plastic plate in it, I took out for comfort.

Only flaws – it rubs the nylon shirts I wear – leaving scuff marks on them on my sides…. I would expect most packs to do that in spots.  The zippers don’t work well when filled with mud.  Imagine that…. again, don’t see how to design around that…
Rating: 5 star (amazing)

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Review: Camelbak H.A.W.G NV

Thanks again to Mike Downey for the review!

The camelbak HAWG nv ( NV for style of back paneling) is their largest bag on the market, storage wise, and thought it would be a great choice for the Beast. I won’t bore you with all the stats you can look and compare for yourself. But if you’re a taller person like me, 6’0, this may be a good bag to look.

The camelbak lobo has a torso length of 15″ and the HAWG has a torso length of 17.5. What does that mean? It means the bag is taller and for taller people it sits a bit better on your back and the straps are in a bit better position than if you were to use the lobo.

Now for the biggest downside to this bag. Unlike the lobo that is made of a lighter more breathable material, the HAWG sucks at shedding water. When I hit the swim portions of the Beast the bag gained a ton of weight and made getting out of the water very hard. I am guessing with 3l of water it must have been close to 40-50lbs and I had to literally open every pocket upside down and let tons of water drain out.

So, on a longer wet race, this may be a hindrance for some with the extra weight and time to drain the bag. Other than that, tons of pockets for storage in the front. The main pocket is split in half for separation of goods, a pocket on each side of the waist strap that can hold 4 gu each.  You then have an open air pouch behind it and then a fleece lined pocket for glasses or something small. Then you have a full length inner pocket with another pouch and then the final pocket for bladder. Also with how this bag is designed, if going long distance, I could easily see a second 3l bladder being added to this rig to make it 6l of total water storage. Also on the bottom it does come with a built-in rain coat for the bag.

Product info: http://www.camelbak.com/en/Canada/Military-Tactical/Packs/Hawg.aspx

Rating: 4 star (good)

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Review: GoRuck Bullet 10l

bullet10Thank you to Paul for the lengthy and in depth review!! Awesome job!

I’ve spent the last few seasons running with a CamelBak Lobo, but felt like it didn’t QUITE have enough storage for me.

So, during a recent sale, I picked up a GoRuck Bullet 10l, and fitted it with a standard Source hydration bladder (3L in size).

I’ve used this as a day pack a bunch of times already – and for being out and about, carrying my sons stuff and a jacket, it’s perfect.

The NJ Super was my first time using it during an OCR. I had high expectations, as GoRuck themselves say it’s designed for OCR use, and having owned a few GoRucks myself, I knew the quality was there. These things are bullet proof.

My biggest concern before I even started out was the lack of waist or sternum support. I’ve had shoulder problems under heavy loads before, and consider extra support a requirement. GoRuck sell color matches sternum straps, which I added, and in the end this was enough for me. There are third party waist belt options, but I haven’t invested (they’re oddly expensive). A 3l bladder, some nutrition, a cap and a GoPro and the pack already felt relatively heavy – but as I drained water off, this became less of an issue. Weight is definitely higher than a similarly equipped Lobo.

Next problem was that due to the nature of the shoulder straps and the material – this picked up gravel and dirt like crazy. I was wearing it with a light weight tank top, and the straps sat on exposed skin – after a few miles, and certainly after throwing this through the dirt and gravel of a barbed wire crawl, this was extremely annoying. I would wash it off at every opportunity, but the process of taking the pack off to get things, then putting it back on wasn’t one I relished. I strongly suspect this will be negated when I wear it over a long sleeved, thicker top – like our drill shirts.

Overall? This is a large pack for OCR, despite being one of the smallest GoRucks. As a result, it is a little on the heavy side – but it has more function than packs I’ve been using before. It will take more of a beating, it can carry more things. I suspect this will be a good long distance pack, and I’ll wear it to the Beast if the weather is cool enough for a thicker shirt underneath, but for hot days with more skin on show, I’ll stick to a smaller hydration options.

Rating: 4 star (good)

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Review: LA Police Gear 3 Day Backpack

pack1Thanks to Mike Hastie for this awesome review!!

Looking for a quality pack but don’t want to break the bank?  Look no further than the LA Police Gear 3 Day Backpack.

I’ve waited over a year to submit this review as to put this pack through its paces.  I’ve used this pack for everything – from my race day pack and weekend trips to training hikes and rucks.  Most recently I put the pack through the ultimate test – a GORUCK Challenge – and I was not disappointed.  I truly believe this pack to be the exception to the “you get what you pay for” rule.

Made from 600 Denier Nylon, this pack is as strong as it is versatile.  It comes equipped with dual compression straps that are great for cinching down your load, as well as plenty of MOLLE for any attachable gear you may have.  Personally, I don’t require the amount of MOLLE provided, so I removed a couple strips on the upper pocket and sewed in some Velcro to accommodate my ever-growing collection of patches (see pic).

The padded shoulder straps are extremely comfortable, even under heavy weight.  The main compartment is plenty big (2590 cubic inches) and the 2 outer compartments are also sizable and perfect for keeping your stuff readily accessible.  There’s also a mesh inner pocket.  Additionally, this pack has a removable 2” waist strap, and is also hydration compatible with an inner compartment for your bladder and slot in both shoulder straps for your tubing (very handy if you’re using a Geiggerig pressurized bladder).

The list of cons for this pack is short, and given the price tag, is easily overlooked.

  • pack2A Team Mike McNeil teammate of mine had this pack, and developed a slight tear in it after a particularly heavy ruck with unwrapped bricks.  One quick call to Customer Service and a new pack was shipped immediately.  This isn’t exactly a con, but worth noting.
  • The zippers – The zippers on this pack are heavy duty, and with that comes a little difficulty of use.  I have found that they do tend to move more freely with use.
  • The waist strap – I (along with several other teammates) have noticed that the waist strap tends to loosen with extended wear.  We found a little duct tape on the clasps before heading out works as a quick fix.

All in all, this is a great pack, and in my estimation, can easily stand up there with the name brand packs.  And at 1/10th the price of a GR1, even if you only get 6-12 months out of it, I’d say you got your money’s worth.

http://www.lapolicegear.com/diplomat-3-day-backpack1.html – $30!

 

 

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Review: Geigerrig “The Rig”

rig

From: Mike Hastie

Category: Pack

Product: Geigerrig “The Rig”

Review: I was first turned on to Geigerrig while asking for recommendations for a hydration pack for my first Spartan Beast. Many Spahtens rattled off their favorites, but when Nele Schulze (elite racer, Winter Death Race winner, and general badass) responded with “Geigerrig from here on out”, I knew my search was over.

I browsed www.geigerrig.com and settled upon “The Rig”. Though one of their smaller packs, The Rig seemed perfect for what I needed it for. I tested it out during a few trainings with Team Mike McNeil and was very pleased. I also put it through the wringer in the 2013 Hurricane Heat in Amesbury, and it stood up wonderfully.

The time came to put The Rig through the real test, through the depths of hell (aka the Spartan Beast in VT). I filled the 2L (70oz) bladder with my Pedialyte/water solution, threw in a couple baggies with glowsticks, wetnaps, and my headlamp, and stuffed the inner pocket with as many GU’s, Chomps, and bars as I could fit.

Through droves of mud, in and out of the water, and under several hundred yards of barbed wire, The Rig held true to Nele’s recommendation. I only had to refill the bladder once during my 8 1/2 hour jaunt through the woods. The Rig was very comfortable in a very uncomfortable race, very lightweight, and with little bounce during the running portions. For a smaller pack, I was amazed at how much stuff I could cram in there without compromising the integrity of the seams/stitching/zipper. The pressurized bladder proved to be a godsend when you need to conserve every last ounce of energy for the task ahead of you. And the chest strap whistle provided some amusement when my battle buddies needed a smile!

Cleaning the pack post-Beast was a cinch. The bladder is dishwasher safe, and the pack and tubing is easily cleaned with a hose.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable, lightweight, durable, and surprisingly spacious pack for your next adventure, The Rig should be on your radar.

Rating: 5 star (amazing)

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Nathan Sport Vapor Wrap Hydration Vest

So after searching all over the internet and reading what felt like hundreds of different reviews, I finally decided on going with the Nathan Sport Vapor Wrap for my hydration vest.

As all of you know, competing in OCR races and navigating some of the obstacles is tough enough to do with just yourself, never mind having some bulky bag on your back moving all around on you and hanging you up.

Specs of the Nathan Vapor Wrap: 

  • UTMB-capable with expandable cargo space
  • Bladder Control System keeps water and gear close to the body for maximum no-bounce comfort
  • Secret center back pocket holds ice pack for added body cooling
  • Strategically-placed Shock Cords with one-pull tension lock offer customizable trekking pole configurations
    • Weight: 23oz
    • Storage Capacity: 8.19 L / 500 cu in without bladder, 6.55 L / 400 cu in with bladder
    • Bladder Volume: 2 Liters

I have used many different packs now over the years and this was my first experience using a vest vs a bag.  I bought this vest to take with me on the beast course in VT and it turned out to be A okay.

First off the pros of the bag.  I was looking for a hydration system that would stay close to my body during racing and not have much bounce to it while I was running.  This vest delivered both of those things and in a very positive way.  This vest has 6 different point of adjustment that seem to all work together in keeping the bag close to the body even when the water starts to diminish.  2 straps on the chest, 2 at the waist, and 2 down along the front sides, all squeeze the vest itself and the bladder tighter and tighter as you continue to drink the water volume.  One great advantage to this system is that you can easily adjust this on the fly and don’t need to waste time stopping to fiddle with it.

Another huge bonus was the amount of storage this bag had and how easy it was to get to everything I needed on the go.  For starters, you have two separate storage compartments one on each side of your waist that are attached to the waist strap.  I was able to store 10 gel packs (5 in each side) and could have pushed a couple more into each side if I wanted to but figured that 10 would be enough for what I needed and a couple extra left over just in case of an emergency.

Besides the two side pouches on the waist, this vest also has a detachable Velcro pocket, two front storage pockets that were made to hold 20 oz water bottles, a left side upper chest zippered pocket, a very little pocket under the Velcro one (not really sure what you can fit in there), a top zippered pocket on the rear of the pack, and a larger storage area on the back of vest as well that serves as a larger compartment for items that are not needed on the go.  Also has multiple points of contact for trekking poles if you were to ever use them, and a bungee system that would hold some xtra layers if this vest was being used for just running and not OCR racing.

So besides my gels, I packed 3 packs of chews along for the ride which sat in one of the front pockets made for a bottle.  I also carried a 20 oz water bottle with Amino Acids in it for the beginning of the race as well as 2 cliff bars in the detachable velcro pocket.  I also had my head lamp and 2 glow sticks in the rear outside compartment of the vest just in case.

The hydration bladder included with this vest is pretty decent.  It is not a snap in bottom like camel-backs are, but all in all it did the job.  One thing I really did appreciate was how easy this bladder was to fill.  Instead of the typical circle opening most have, this bladder opened from the top and has a almost ziplock type opening and closing.  This made things extremely easy when I did stop to refill and only took me honestly what felt like seconds vs minutes.  I know for a fact there were pple  filling before me and I also know they were still there playing around with their packs while I was on my way running again.  +++points for this one!

The vest itself is made of super soft stretchy material and it seemed to literally not hold any unwanted water what so ever.   The positioning of the front water bottle pockets are great and are placed in such a way that there is zero interference with your natural arm swing while running.  +++ points once again!

Now with all good things, there of course has to be some negatives.  Although I would recommend this bag to others and I myself was very happy with it, there are certainly a few spots Nathan left for improvements.

For starters, the vest itself needs to be able to open and expand a little more than it does.  I am 5’8″ 190 lbs with a 43 1/2 inch chest.  I don’t consider myself a huge guy, but I am def not tiny in any way at all.  For this articles sake, I do have an athletic build and my shoulder and upper back area are much wider than normal “runners” who typically have smaller frames.  Keeping in mind this bag was probably made for them, seeing that I ordered a L/XL, I would have thought there would be a little more play room.  I had this bag out to the limits and it just kinda came around me pretty close to the way it should have .  Next time they should not pre-judge and label endurance runners to tiny frames (especially now in the days of Sparta :)).

Although the side pockets are great and do hold plenty of stuff, for some weird reason they have the zippers going from front to back vs back to front.  They also could be moved up just a little bit more closer to the front of the runner.   Typically on the run, you would open from back to front to make things easy.  Although I was still able to access these and didn’t have much trouble, it would have made much more since to face the zippers the opposite way and make life easier.  Not to mention, if you get caught up on some brush, you don’t want your stuff to come flying out.  If zippers are facing back to front, the brush would close your pocket for you not open it wide up for stuff to go flying out.  Thank GOD this did not happen to me, but I did read of it happening to a couple others when I was reading reviews.

The hydration bladder is a tricky one.  Like i mentioned above, the ease of opening and filling this bladder on the go was a pure joy.   They do have a small cheap plastic pc at the top that is supposed to lock your bladder into the loop at the back of the pack.  Apparently this is supposed to hold the bladder in place and not let it fall down into your pack squishing up against your lower back.  I didn’t really have an issue with the bladder falling down, but it definitely  did not stay “locked” in place like it said it would.

The hose of the bladder is way to long in my opinion and kinda gets in the way.  I landed up cutting mine down to the size I wanted and just shoved the mouth piece back inside.  They do have a handy magnetic clip on the hose that does hold it in place on the chest strap, but like mentioned, this create a loop at the bottom of the tube and if left alone would be slapping into you every step you took.  The bite valve on this system was okay and does also have a locking system to prevent water leakage.  +++ points for this again.

One of the last things to point out, is back to the material.  While it did dry and drain water very quickly, it seems that it is almost to thin of material.  My pack already does have a couple tears in it, and some of the reflective tape on the back along with some of the Nathan logo are already starting to fall off.  Trying to keep in mind that  I did run Spartans toughest race of the year with this best, they could put a little more effort into the material to make it a little stronger.  It is great for no chafe and draining, but a little more durable would make this guy happy to not have to keep buying new bags every year.

Overall, I was pretty happy with this purchase and found mine on Amazon for around 30 bucks cheaper than anywhere else which also made me a happier guy.  I gave it a 4 out of 5 due to the couple of fixes that I personally think they should have nailed, especially with them saying that they talked to and worked with some of the top ultra runners in the world to bring this bag together.    I would myself buy another Nathan Product but I am also interested in checking into Saloman racing vests as well as I do have a pair of their trail running shoes and I would not want to race in anything else.

 

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Giegerrig 700

rig700

I first purchased this unit after some slimeball stole my old Army issue Camel at the Tuxedo Sprint. I initially loved the squirt method of the pack because you know what a mouthpiece looks like after a barbwire crawl. Besides the ability to squirt water, this pack has a huge amount of room in easy pockets. So far, squirts and has pockets, sounds like my 10 y/ son. I also liked its comfort factor on  my back. Sturdy, good padding, no sweat buildup. Everything looked great except bladder size. I like 3 liter bladders, I can’t get enough water in the woods and 70 oz is not enough.

My first excursion with this bag was almost its last. The pump inflater would not stay attached. I really hate when my Soldiers have to pickup after me, and when they bring the pump to me like a self inflation device. Also the chest strap failed. Not a great start.

I was going to use this on family only trips as I no longer trusted it. But then I needed a bag system for killington. I needed storage for all the gummies/ jerky ect and water Id be carrying . I just substituted my camel bladder in and Id be happyish. The 700 bag carried 3 packages of Gatorade gummies, 2 lbs of jerky, more crap then I wanted but just enough to get me through.

When I got to Killington, I found the Giegerrig Rep! Expecting nothing, I told him my problems. I got an entire swap out of bag and bladder! I took that bag and “ran” through the Beast. I did not use the pump only because i did not want it to break and leave me hanging. Chest strap and pump bulb stayed secure through out race.

Overall, I have to give product a 4 due to dud I got originally vs superior customer service.

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Osprey Viper 7 Hydration pack

With Spartan Super & Beast fast approaching, hydration packs are something that must be seriously considered by all racers.

As someone who has moved away from Camelback, I wanted to present an alternative company’s offering, in such, the Osprey Viper 7 pack.

Osprey has been making packs for a number of years, and one of the greatest things to say about the company is they stand behind their product. All of their packs have a lifetime warrantee – absolutely no questions asked – be it 20 years old or last season, if it fails, they replace it! How can you argue with that commitment? Even better, they warrantee their bladders for life as well! I have 3 different Osprey packs and a messenger bag, so I feel I can comment well on their quality – every pack has perfect stitching, buckles in places that make absolute sense when using and many small features you might never notice, but for one time when you go ‘oh, wow, that’s absolutely perfect!’.

Onto the Viper 7! It is essentially a 2 pocket pack with an exterior compression strap and a 2L bladder.

osprey1

The pack has a general oval shape, widest across the middle with tapers at top & bottom. There is a thin/firm framesheet – basically a bendable plastic that holds the pack shape whether loaded or not. There is a single eyelet in the bottom for water drainage. The main pocket unzips from the very top of the pack almost halfway down the sides, allowing a larger item to be stuffed in easily. Inside the pocket is a central mesh pocket against the back of the pack as well as 2 larger nylon sleeves that are mostly meant for a bike pump/tire tubes, but I’ve found they work well to shove a pair of trekking poles – as long as you realize they will be sticking up out the top of your pack, but zipped up tightly, they don’t move too much.

Also in the main pocket is a key hook on a short leash.

osprey2

Below the top of the main pocket is a smaller pocket meant for glasses or phones. It is lined with a fabric designed for scratch proof, so glasses in by them selves are no problem.

As far as running, I use this pocket to toss gels in as its quick to get to, and all of the zippers have a nice plasticized loop that’s easily grab-able wearing gloves or bare handed. Also on the front, just above this pocket is a plastic oval designed to hold a helmet, which while not very useful for running, does make it useful if you bike or like me, have used the pack while snowboarding – secures the helmet thru most any vent and a elastic pull to tighten it down. If you have no use for it, it’s an easy scissor snip away to loose an extra 3 ozs.

The last 2 features on the front are the elastic compression webbing and a fabric loop to hook to the bottom of the bag.

The webbing is thin elastic cord which stretches a good deal to accommodate a large variety of items – I’ve kept everything from a large towel found on a trail run (to take to the trash can at base) to a tub of GU brew and just a small towel for sweat mopping, or more frequently an extra rain layer.

The lash points of the elastic are all reflective, as is the logo for night visibility. The loop on the bottom of the pack is meant to hold a brake/marker light for biking, but can hold anything wanted or to hang a carabiner & keep stuff attached for movement to/from racesite (how I use it usually) or, to wrap the waistbelt thru, cinch down and keep out of the way.

The back of the pack is a perforated foam that allows a good deal of air travel with a cut out on the top were the bladder sleeve opens/seals with a Velcro closure.

The bladder pouch is one of the great innovations on Osprey packs. It allows the bladder to be inserted/removed regardless of the load in the pack – an amazing feature when you have to refill the bladder halfway thru a run/race/ride (Spartan Beast anyone?) While here, we might as well discuss the great bladder. The bladder is 2L in capacity is actually made by Nalgene and it incorporates a plastic back/spine to it. This back is what goes against the wearer’s back and means that no matter what the water level, there is no bladder blob against your lower back.

On the front of the bladder is a plastic spine from the drinking valve to the fill opening. This spine lets you put the bladder in & out of the pack under load as it lets you force it down w/out deforming. The closure is a simple twist down. It has yet to leak at all on me, but its not as quick/easy as the Omega ¼ Camelbak bladders. The tube is standard, and the bite valve is similar to Camelbak, bite down & suck – personal preference on which you prefer. Turning the whole bite valve 90 degrees locks or unlocks the flow, and it is moveable in either direction. The most ingenious thing on the valve lies in the magnet on the back of it, more on this in a minute.

osprey6 osprey5

The shoulder straps are open mesh and lightly padded – allow plenty of airflow and even better for us – quickly dry out. Both straps have elastic loops for routing the hydration tube and the left strap has a small elastic mesh pocket – it will fit an Iphone 4 for your tunes when running, but much bigger will stick out a bit.

osprey3

The chest strap provides the reason the magnet on the bite valve is so ingenious – it has a magnet as well on the plastic buckle, which lets the tube loop and have the bite valve ready to grab right below your mouth.

After a few tries, reaching down and grabbing the valve with your teeth is easy – let it go near the chest strap & thwap, the magnet pulls the valve right on, leaving it ready to go again. Never again slow down to grab your hydration tube or have to pull a muddy hand on your tube! So simple & ingenious – how did no one think of this previously?

The waist belt is simple webbing, nothing special, just works if you want it. So, how does it work?

The good: – sits high on back & no lower back rub as I’ve had w/ other packs – does not move much unless really jumping, even without the waistbelt – bite valve/magnet is amazingly easy to use/ingenious – drains well and dries quickly – bladder is bullet proof , has never leaked and lets you slide it in easily – shoulder strap pocket is very useful – unbeatable warranty

The not so good: – bladder is not so easy to clean – have to work a bit to get the last water out of it/dry out – bite valve does not have a readily available cover like Camelbak – umm….if pressed, I guess the back padding could be more anatomically correct for better airflow, but with only a 7l pack, its not a big deal -pricy, but if you watch, they are often on sale at REI or Backcountry & the like – I”ve always found them for ~40% off

Conclusions: The pack has been thru 2 Tough Mudders, Beast, many trail runs, multiple days on the slopes and a kayak trip, but you would be hard pressed to tell its had any wear. And the most telling is, when I have a run or anytime I might need more water w/out weight, this is the pack I’m grabbing first!