With 1-gallon of fluid capacity and extensive gear storage, this hydration pack is perfect for long rides, day-hikes or backcountry skiing. CoolMax(R) polyester back panel, waistbelt and adjustable shoulder harness wick moisture away from body. Expandable stash pocket for helmet or jacket; vertical pocket for pump or jacket; fleece-lined cell phone/sunglasses pocket. Wallet pocket, tool divider, organizer pocket and exterior key clip. Contoured waist belt and pack body with 6-way compression system to stabilize the load. Drink tube gator clip positions water valve where you want it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Rome, GA
Date Reviewed: June 6, 2003
Strengths: adjustability water bladder opening ability to carry LOTs of stuff external straps position on back size of bladder
Weaknesses: a little big perhaps the bite valve hose seems a bit short
This was my first water pack and I wasn't sure what to expect, but now I feel naked if I ride without it. It is a rather large pack, and perhaps a little heavy but it rides well on you back and can be adjusted in several ways to ensure comfort.
The water bladder is excellent. The opening simply rolls up. It forms a water tight seal, yets open wide enough to fit your hand in it. Simple and very effective. You also don't have to worry about seals or unscrewing anything.
I had some trouble with the bite valve, but I won't hold it against the Ultimate since they may have been my fault. I lost the rubber band required for it to work properly, and used a regular one. After contecting them about it leaking they said I needed to use the proper rubber band and sent out 5 of them free of charge.
It sometimes still leaked but really got messed up when I let my kids take a sip from it. They bit down so hard they cut through the rubber. Ulitmate also said that use of the wrong rubber bands could damage it. At this point I bought bite valve from camelbak and added a little extra hose, well about two feet. Water now pours when I want it and no leaks.
The pack also seems to be able to hold anything. I often use it to carry a change of clothes (includng shoes) when I ride to work. This is on top of the bladder, two pumps, 4 spare tubes (you can never have too many), patch kit (can you tell I have had some flats), hex wrenches, leatherman, oil, cell phone, large wallet (contains palm pilot), keys, U lock and towel. It probably weighs 20+ pounds and sticks out a foot or two from by back, but it remains confortable. I could probably pack more in, but I can't think of anything else to add!
It has 6 straps that can be wrapped around the back to hold virtually anything. They have diagrams on how to carry snow skis, snow shoes, and other large items with it. Again, it's simple and very efficient.
Overall, this is a great pack for the money. Well worth it. I think the new ones even come with a new bite valve. It is a large pack, so if you are looking for something to use in races, this may not be for you. Otherwise, I highly recommend it.
a Cross Country Rider
from Buckley, Wa usa
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2002
Strengths: Pack rides low on your back feeling like a lot less is there. Good storage capacity. Great price! Put a camelbak bladder in it...like CB bite valve better.
Weaknesses: I did'nt like the bladder and bite valve that came with it. Had an x-tra CB bladder and used it.
This is my favorite pack now. The reason is how it rides on your back. This is a good sized pack but because it rides low on your back it does'nt feel like it. With the CB bladder and bite valve it is perfect. I carry x-tra tubes, tools, carbs, spare parts, and water. After all these items it is heavy. Then I put it on and ride and it does'nt bother me. I forget about it until I need something out of it. Really. Great price...get one Yah because I did. Who cares?
Similar Products Used: Camelbak Mule, Topeak Vert- like both of these
Bike Setup: Fatty HT's
Date Reviewed: November 19, 2002
Strengths: Price! for 50 bucks it cant be beat. Looks good and holds alot. Stays put and has plenty of adjustments.
At first I thought this will be to big. Who wants to carry around a gallon of water? After using it a few times it started growing on me. I started putting more and more things in there, tools, cell phone, tire patch, Co2 pumps,etc... Although with more things comes more weight. I hardly fill the water pouch up. Most of my rides are only a couple of hours at a time and I don't use that much water, but its nice to know that its there if needed. . The pack carries the weight well and there are plenty of adjustments(However it looks bad with all the excess straps hanging down. Have to cut them).This would be a great all day pack but for shorter rides it might be a bit much. It gets 5 chilis for value(that's alot of pack for $50). 4 chilis overall because at times it seems overkill.
a Cross Country Rider
from Aliso Viejo, CA
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2002
Strengths: Fits any body well, lots of water capacity, comfortable to wear, lots of storage, paying for all but the name. Listed for $100, can always be found on sale for under $60. Feeder hose great lenght, no leakage at the mouth piece.
Weaknesses: Like any hydaration pack, you gotta carry the weight.
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