The cool version of the Moab mule - as in AEROFLEX cool. A narrow profile bike pack built to haul your favorite water tank or two, including our BIG DRIP 2L reservoir, without baking your back and soaking your shirt. The front pocket sports a tool organizer and pump holder, and the 2 bottom compartments hide a helmet holder and built-in raincover. A clever, around-the-pack zipper increases the volume when you need it. And our patented F.L.A.S.H. system lets you dial the perfect fit. Available WET or DRY. That's with or without our BIG DRIP 2L hydrations system.
Volume: 15-25 L (900-1350 in3
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2004
Strengths: Comfort, weight distribution, hidden rain cover, rigging, storage capacity,... everything you'll ever need and maybe even more.
Weaknesses: water bladder was a little low-end (but I'm still using it after 5 yrs, and the bite valve is very nice).
I have owned my Vaude Splash 25 for about 5 years now. I've since bought one for my wife too. This pack will do it all, and it looks good doing it too! It is, BY FAR, the most comfortable pack ever... barring none. The pack can be cinched down to almost flat when empty so it does not seem like overkill on rides where you want to travel light. It distributes weight amazingly well when full too. I've been on long rides with the bag packed tight with gear, clothes, etc. It's never failed me. The rain cover has saved my clothes a few times well. The helmet holder seemed like overkill when I got the bag, but it's proven usefull from time to time. My tools are always organized thanks to the pockets' well thought out dividers. I can honestly say that this pack is worth $100, but it sells for even less! Of all the gear I've owned over the years, this was my best purchase and biggest score.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 1, 2004
Strengths: comfert function, rain cover, function
I have been useing this pack for years. maybe 4? it is the most veristal pack I have ever used. it wooks good for everything. I use it for day hikes, travle, bikibg, nordic skiing, motorcycling. the best pack I have ever used! a bit pricy but it is a great pack. after 4 years of heavy use it is finally starting to fall apart. the zipper is broke, and the velcro stiching is cumming loose, but I feel I got my money worth. and will be buying another one.
Strengths: The Vaude Splash 25 is the most comfortable pack I have ever owned or tried. Their Aeroflex technology blows every other company's packs out of the water. It is the only pack that does not feel like a cinder block on yr back. The Splash 25 has better features than anything out there including an expansion bellows, tool pocket, helmet holder, built in rain cover, outer mesh pocket for quick access stuff, and a very sturdy holder for the biggest of bladders. I use a 100 oz, but you can fit an additional 70 oz bladder in there too as I have on a few occasions. This pack is also super durable; I have used it routinely for over two years and nothing has worn out. I have ridden with it in all conditions from desert to snow and plenty of rain and mud without any trouble. I have a small pack from a popular competitor that I bought as alternative to the Splash for short local rides when I did not need such a beheamoth. The little pack has less mileage and less storage space, however it has already fallen apart(broken clasps/strap stitching unraveling/kinked zipper/bladder leaking). To top it off, it is not as comfortable as the monsterous Splash. I will soon replace it with a Vaude Dash model. Their simple color combos are refreshing compared to some of tacky offerings available. The cost of the Splash 25 was $20+ less than similar products from their competitors.
Weaknesses: The bladder that it came with was a piece, but I never wanted to use it anyway. I just put a Camelbak bladder in and forgot about it.
I can wear this pack for hours and not have back pain. Comfort is king with the Vaude. It's durability and value are also second to none. The people I have met that do serious long rides(previous IMBA trailcare crews) all swear by Vaude. It is the best kept secret in the world of biking hydration packs.
Similar Products Used: Camelbak(4), Blackburn(2), Trek(1)
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Bullit; heavy everything, Spot single speed; a little less heavy; Surly Instigator; somewhere in the middle.
a Weekend Warrior
from Berkeley, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2002
Strengths: Air flow, quality constuction, ability to hold my stuff, rain fly, helment holder, intelligent pocket layout.
Weaknesses: Curved design of the entire pack could be somewhat limiting, although it has not been an issue for me at all. I would like a small pocket somewhere on the waist belt that is accessible from the front w/out taking off the pack, big enough for a Cliff bar and car keys. Same retail price as a MULE, but can't find bargains on Vaude online. Could use some straps for a pump on the inside.
I checked this out based on a tip from a fellow bike industry professional. They were definitely right. I compared it directly to the MULE in the store, this one is more expensive but I went with it anyway. It just feels nicer to hold in your hand, and much better when on the bike. I'm really happy with it, and I hope to add another review in 6 mos or so.
Don't think my long list of suggestions under Weaknesses means that I don't like the pack, I do. Those are details that could take it from excellence to perfection.