Low-profile design creates minimal air-resistance while carrying large quantities of gear and water. Big Zip 3 100-fluid ounce reservoir features a wide-opening zip closure that makes it easy to fill, clean and add ice cubes. Yoke shoulder straps plus sternum strap and waist belt keep load stable. Outside zip pocket holds small tools and food; elastic bungee cords hold extra clothing. Efficient tube routing keeps water right where you need it.
a Cross Country Rider
from Nashville, TN, USA
Date Reviewed: April 9, 2008
Strengths: Very lightweight, slim profile on my back, separate compartment for food/maps/tools, padded back, Big-Zip bladders, outside bungee for strapping down extra clothes.
Weaknesses: The shoulder straps are thin and narrow and if I load the pack with a lot of tools and a completely full bladder (which alone can weigh 5 lbs), then after a few hours of riding, the straps dig into my shoulders. I guess this can be expected when carrying a load in any pack.
This is my second Platypus pack. Platypus has been a round for a very long time and it's still not a very well known company. I've had my Thunderhead since 2002 and I've taken it every where (even walking around Las Vegas). It's a great price and the Big Zip design for the bladders makes it very easy to clean and is unbeatable.
Purchased At: Got it on pro-deal when I worked at Blue Ridge Mountain Sports
Similar Products Used: CamelBak
Bike Setup: What does this have to do with hydration packs?
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2003
Strengths: holds lots-o-water, holds lots-o-gear, can hold only a little bit of gear & water comfortably, BigZip
Weaknesses: nylon straps are rougher than the silky stuff used on C-baks
The first thing you'll notice is the price. $40 from Nashbar. DUH! A new bladder will cost more than half that, so why not try a new bag? Unless you're a sucker for dealing with Camel's lame bladder holes, taste, or their oh-so-nice fabrics why get one? Give the Platy a try.
This bag is great because you can use it for big loads or small loads comfortably. It can be used for 50oz. of water a pump and tools for a quick ride, or I can load it up and carry enough stuff for an overnight hike or bike. Right now it's nice for dealing with these 90* plus days, fill the whole bladder with ice then just top it off with a little water. That'll give ya cool sippin' for hours, and you don't have to remeber to put the thing in the freezer the night before.
*sits well on my back *doesn't taste like plastic *easily load ice *easy to clean & dry out *easy to load & organize *expandable\compressable *cheap *Platypus bladder system
BUY THIS if you enjoy using solid well designed gear. DON'T BUY THIS if you just have to have the big names on your stuff, and you like annoying water bladders.
Similar Products Used: Camelbak Cloudwalker, H.A.W.G., & Rogue
from Boise, Idaho
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2003
Strengths: I've always been partial to the Platypus bladder; ZERO plastic taste, easy to dry out overnight, and very durable. I've run into people who hate them, but I have several different sizes/styles and they have always been bomber. This is my first experience with the Big Zip and so far all is well. The pack is great as well, it's made with ripstop nylon and rides well on your back, even with 100oz water, camera, shell, vest, food, tools, first aid kit, compass, knife, matches, etc. Very spacious too, I love the Expand O Zip feature, a la Blowfish, which increases capacity from 825 to 1035 cubic inches. The space is well organized too, with a separate bladder compartment. The external pocket is huge, the mesh expandable pocket is great for food bars, and the compression pocket is great for bulky items. I hate having straps around my chest and waist when I ride, so the sternum and waste strap aren't used but the pack is very stable.
Weaknesses: I notice the sound of water sloshing around in the reservoir more so with this pack than with any other - big deal.
This pack is a raging value at $40.00 for it stacks up right against the venerable H.A.W.G. for less-than half the cost. Anyone looking for a versatile epic-style pack that can compress down small enough for short rides, look no further! You can haul enough gear for near an overnighter very comfortably, yet have enough money left over after buying it to fill it full of goodies.