a Cross Country Rider
from Blacksburg, VA USA
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2008
Strengths: Its got about everything you could ask for. Good size, plenty of space to stick a lunch, enough water for 4-5 hours of riding, a pump and spare tools, but not so bulky to be cumbersome. The reversible reservoir is ingenious--no more trouble with mildew and no leaks. Although its still new, the seams appear well stitched and durable. The back airflow pads do a good job keeping your back from getting too sweaty. Although I got a particularly good deal on this pack, in general the Hydrapak seem to be a much better value than the standard Camelbaks
Weaknesses: Pretty minor. I'm a little nervous that the mesh and "plether" panels may end up wearing out over time (but even then the 3 main compartments will still be useful). Although its more comfortable to not wear the waist strap, it seems necessary to keep the pack from riding up on my back during long decents (I think this is a trade-off for both the pack's size and the vents, which elevate the pack an inch off your back).
Very happy with the purchase (and still would be even if I paid twice as much). Hydrapak seems to have a lot more innovative features than Camalbak. Although I was reluctant to try an "off-brand", I would definitely recommend this product.