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  1. #1
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    Hydration Pack Questions

    I tried giving this one a search but couldn't quite find what I was looking for. Anyway, I was wondering, is there anything I should be specifically looking for in a hydration pack for XC riding?

    Does it help/hurt to have a strap around the waist? Is it necessary for a smaller pack? What size is good (currently for roughly 2-hour treks) in the summer? What do I need to be able to carry with me on the trail?

    I'm sure a lot of it doesn't matter, but I just wanted to get your opinions before I make my purchase. The one I'm looking at right now is the Camelbak Rogue 70oz model. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I actually have 2. One is a 70oz and the other is a 100oz.

    The 70oz (classic) doesn't have a waist strap, doesn't really need it since it's pretty small. The downside is you can't really pack a whole lot in it. I like it for shorter rides. Maybe around 2 hours? It holds my thin wallet and cell phone and that's about it.

    The 100oz (capo) has a waist strap and I can fit a whole bunch of stuff in it. Pump, tubes, tools, snacks and a whole lot of water. I use that on longer rides or if I'm riding somewhere new just in case I need all that stuff. I find it holds enough water for 3+ hour rides on a hot day. It's heavy when I start out but you get used to it.

    If you get the smaller camelbak, you can always get a bag that goes under the seat for tubes and tools and a frame mounted pump. And then carry a 24oz water bottle on the bike with sports drinks if you need a little pick-me-up as an alternative to just water.
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  3. #3
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    I spent $50 on a 2 LTR setup.

    Cabellas has a 2 LTR antibacterial for $19.00.
    Walmart has a camelback like backpack for $29.99.

    $50 you have a nice 2 LTR camelback setup with about the same capability as you would spend alot more.

    This has both chest and waist straps - I don't generally use the waist strap but do use the chest strap.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    I tried giving this one a search but couldn't quite find what I was looking for. Anyway, I was wondering, is there anything I should be specifically looking for in a hydration pack for XC riding?

    Does it help/hurt to have a strap around the waist? Is it necessary for a smaller pack? What size is good (currently for roughly 2-hour treks) in the summer? What do I need to be able to carry with me on the trail?

    I'm sure a lot of it doesn't matter, but I just wanted to get your opinions before I make my purchase. The one I'm looking at right now is the Camelbak Rogue 70oz model. Thanks in advance!
    I would suggest getting a 100oz pack at a minimum, Having run out of water on a hot ride with heat stroke results, I hope to never ever do it again. As for brand and model, its really up to you and your budget. I have had both camelback and osprey and LOVE my osprey raptor. For short rides I use a water bottle and shove the necessities in my jersey pocket; but 95% of the time I role with a pack.

    Waist straps help substantially on rough terrain. This helps keep the bottom of the pack glued to your back rather than flying all over the place. These straps can be left loose for comfort.

    There are plenty of threads on what to pack:
    Mountain Bike Ride Packing List

    In my pack I have: pump, tube/patches, tire tools, multi tool, basic first aid (pain killer, bandages, bandanna, bit of mole skin) , duct tape, small knife, food/bars, salt pills, cell phone, SPOT beacon, Shock Pump, Power Links, spare cleat.

    I ride alone quite a bit so need everything to get me out of the woods if something breaks.
    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the tips. After considering a few things, I think I'm going to go with either the 100 oz M.U.L.E. or 100 oz Lobo. I'm leaning towards the Lobo since that should meet most of my needs while still keeping a pretty low profile. I would consider assembling one, but I found the Lobo for $66.00, and it seems like less hassle.

    Also, I appreciate the packing list as I'm still pretty new to all of this. Now I'll have to determine if the Lobo will fit everything I intend to carry.

    Thanks again for the input!

  6. #6
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    I just ordered the Osprey Viper 10 for $59 shipped from here:
    Osprey Viper 10 Hydration Pack ( 600 cu in) :: CampSaver.com

    It seems like the Osprey gets a lot of good reviews and a lot of people say that they are better made than Camelbak. So I figured I would give one a try. I can't comment on it yet though because it is still on its way.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by xceebeex View Post
    I just ordered the Osprey Viper 10 for $59 shipped from here:
    Osprey Viper 10 Hydration Pack ( 600 cu in) :: CampSaver.com

    It seems like the Osprey gets a lot of good reviews and a lot of people say that they are better made than Camelbak. So I figured I would give one a try. I can't comment on it yet though because it is still on its way.
    Good choice. To give ospray a digital high five, I broke a part on my pack when i hit a tree, got a customer service reply within hours of my request for a new one, stating they are shiping a replacment!

    Way to go Osprey
    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  8. #8
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    The most important part of any hydration pack is the bladder. That being said, the best bladders I have found are Camelback. Their bite valves are superior to any others I have tried. You do not need to spend a lot of money. I have a great pack that I bought at Costco some years ago and they usually have them this time of year, for about $10-15. The bladders that come with them suck, but throw a Camelback in there and you're set. I would go for the 100oz version my self. I have both 70 and 100 and I always use the 100 during the summer. You can never carry too much water!!

  9. #9
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    i like my army issued pack

  10. #10
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    I just bought this one from Sam's Club. In blue not red. I can't post links yet, but this is it.

    Sawnee Ridgeway by Kelty 2 Liter Ultralight Hydration Pack

    It's not bad at all for $20. 2L plenty of room for other stuff. The reviews were not too good on the Sam's site, but mine has worked great so far. The lid does need to be pretty tight to not leak, but over all I think it has been well worth $20.

  11. #11
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    I agree on getting the 100 oz version of anything - you can always fill it less.
    I like using the waist strap to keep everything stable (don't rush the fitment, take some time to get
    the pack adjusted properly) especially when full of water.

    Don't be surprised if you go through a pack or two finding out what works for you.
    It should really integrate well, and everyone is shaped a little different.

  12. #12
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    We have fox racing ones. Mine is the 3 L with waist strap and chest strap. I would never have anything smaller and we will be replacing or adding to our collection another 3 L for my husband. It holds lots of gear plus the water. It is heavy to begin with, but then it gets lighter as you drink. We will keep the smaller ones for son and around the hood rides. I don't like the holders that hook to the bike. They make bad bruises on my legs.

  13. #13
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    good info for sure

    mattyj

  14. #14
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    Camelbak Rogue with water, one tube, multitool, keys, wallet, cell phone, and a power bar works great.

    I throw gatorade in the bottle on the bike for a boost.

    90 oz of fluid total works great for me on two hour rides. I also hydrate well before the ride.

  15. #15
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    I've had good experience with Dakine (Nomad???) an older version I found on sale for like $45. What I like about the bladder is the opening on top has a slider and the whole top opens wide for easy filling, cleaning and drying. The hose completely comes off with a quick release connector that is secure. I've used it hard since spring and is holding up well.

  16. #16
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    A waist strap is pretty helpful, in my opinion, it keeps the pack from moving and distracting you. Same with the chest strap. I tie the bladder's tube to the chest strap with a piece of elastic, which proved to be very convenient. Anyway, if you are not a weight wheenie, you'd better carry a large backpack with large bladder. If you get injured on a ride, you may need as much water as you can get, just to keep yourself conscious, to wash the wound, etc.
    Look for a long narrow backpack (as opposed to a short and wide one), it is more convenient and allows better ventilation.

  17. #17
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    Assuming you aren't a weight weenie remember - you'll never have too much water. I got a 70oz as a gift and there have been plenty of times where I wished I had more water in there.

  18. #18
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    I highly recommend Osprey. I just bought the verve 4 (70 oz), and love it! The water doesn't move around while riding like I've heard other packs do. I also love the bite valve and magnetic holder.

  19. #19
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    ospreys are the business...my next pack will be an osprey. better back airflow system, i really like the pockets up on the straps. very popular around these parts... and go 100oz for sure. just fill less for short rides.

  20. #20
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    I currently have the camelbak mule nv and have no issues. I currenlty have medication conditions in my intestines that I need surgery for and it doesn't bother it. The waist strap is also for lateral movement.

    Also recommend "Camelbak Fresh Reservoir Filter" , my medical condition gives me really sensistive stomach. Every ride I was vomitting from the chemical taste from the camelbak, added the filter and now I don't get sick.

    Also the mule nv vs the mule , the mule nv newer , they remade the padding in the back to vent better.

  21. #21
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    Personally unless your a serious xc racer and or a huge weight weenie 3l for a 2 hour ride. I was recently on a long hard up and down knarly trail and ran out of water with 5mi to go. My pack is only 2l. Not only did the rest of ther ride really suck but now I'm going to go spend another $100 on a 3l pack. Hope my hard lesson helps your decision.

  22. #22
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    I bought a rouge as well. I'm happy with it but I wish I got a MULE. I will eventually get a MULE when I find a good deal, the rouge with a 25 oz Podium Chill bottle is doing the job for me. You can actually stuff quite a bit of stuff in the Rouge I'm have no complaints just didn't know about the MULE before I made the purchase.

  23. #23
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    Nathan HPL #020

    After trying nearly a dozen different packs, this is the best so far. It's more of a vest than a pack. It has two side tension straps and a chest strap. There's a clip for the drinking tube. When properly cinched, you can't get it to slosh around. The bladder itself is one of the most convenient for filling and drying on the market.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau44 View Post
    Personally unless your a serious xc racer and or a huge weight weenie 3l for a 2 hour ride. I was recently on a long hard up and down knarly trail and ran out of water with 5mi to go. My pack is only 2l. Not only did the rest of ther ride really suck but now I'm going to go spend another $100 on a 3l pack. Hope my hard lesson helps your decision.
    No need to spend $100...how about $50?

    Camelbak The Capo Hydration Pack '11 > Accessories > Hydration > Hydration Packs | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  25. #25
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    I have the Hydrapak Reyes and love it. Got it off Amazon for around 50 bucks. The nice thing is it has a lot of room for stuff and a 100 oz water capacity.

  26. #26
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    +1 on the army issue pack. They are meant to go over a lot of gear and for that reason they fit my wide shoulders well. It only holds water (tools and tubes under the saddle) but for that reason its the most comfortable. I donít use waist and sternum straps, however I pull the shoulder straps a little tighter every 12 oz or so to compensate for the lost volume inside. It holds 100oz and I fill about a liter per planed hour of riding. On a 1 hour or less ride I use a water bottle.

  27. #27
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    Another vote for Osprey, I just picked up the Raptor 10 last week. I have only used it once but is a very nice pack with great features. 100 oz water bladder and enough room for a days worth or stuff, not too small and not too big. Osprey offers tons of different models and sizes too so I am sure you can find something you like. The lifetime warranty is also nice too.

  28. #28
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    I'll have second the choice on Nathan HPL #020. Nathan makes good equipment...not the cheapest but a quality product that you can depend on.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    Does it help/hurt to have a strap around the waist? Is it necessary for a smaller pack?
    I use a camebak Mule, but it is an older one so it more the size of a Lobo they sell today. For a time I removed the waist strap and it was fine except for certain climbs where the rear the wheel would catch rock and kick up my hardtail. That would cuase the pack to fly up making an already unpleasent event worse. I added back the waist strap on my last ride and it seemed to be much less of an issue. My rear wheel still can kick up of course, but now the pack holds to my body more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    What size is good (currently for roughly 2-hour treks) in the summer? What do I need to be able to carry with me on the trail?
    I carry the 100oz unit. I live in the desert never want to run out of water. Most of my rides are 2 to 3 hrs, but when it cools down I will probalby try a few 4hr rides too. Since I am not racing I would rather carry too much water that not enough.

    As for in the pack I carry all my tools and kit for riding. Spare tube, mini-pump, multi tool, clif bar incase I get hungy, car keys, cell phone (with active GPS to log the ride) and a sweat towel (wash cloth size). I also can carry a trail map. I am about 80% full on most rides with this gear, but it works. I do plan to do a race later this year and when I do I will probalby remove some stuff and simply put less water in the pack. I also have another camelbak I got for day hikes that I can use if want to do some bike packing etc and carry alot more kit with me.

    I got a camelbak rouge earlier this year for my father in law. He mostly bikes around town and needs just enough tube, tire lever and the occasional item like wallet etc. I figured the Rogue would be perfect since he is not going to go on super long ride.

    I think the Lobo is best for Mtn biking as it has good water capacity and just right levels of storage for most riding. The only difference between the Rouge and Lobo is water capacity and I would always opt for more water. I have finished rides with less than 30 oz of water left and have even given water to other riders who have run out.


    As for which pack? I have an Ospery backpack for backpacking. I love the thing and how it is made. Very very nice. Foy hydration packs I have 5 camelbacks between me and my wife.

    Camelbak classic 70oz from 1998 (This before they were called classic)
    Camelbak Peakbagger 100oz from 1999 - Perfect day pack for hiking or skiing
    Camelbak Mule 100oz from 2002 or so
    Camelbak blowfish 100ox from 2004 - For the wife and sort of the size of a current Mule
    Camelbak unbag 70oz (just an insulation sleeve) I use this on 2-3 day backpacking trips. I remember one trip that was dry I carried two camelbak bladders in my Osprey backpack. 5 liters of water at the ready.

    Anyway I like the camelbak products as the hydration packs work very well and work well for years of use.
    Last edited by JoePAz; 08-01-2012 at 02:49 PM.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", '06 Rocky Mtn Switch 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  30. #30
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    I use a katmahndu (aussie adventure store not sure if the us has it) stealth 2L (67 floz), just enough to do 2-2.5 hours with a 24oz bottle of the GU sports drink on the bike, with room for phone wallet keys tube multy pump and some conveniently sized pockets for my gels, still on sits out about 6in from my back fully loaded ( halfs in size when empty)

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by xceebeex View Post
    I just ordered the Osprey Viper 10 for $59 shipped from here:
    Osprey Viper 10 Hydration Pack ( 600 cu in) :: CampSaver.com

    It seems like the Osprey gets a lot of good reviews and a lot of people say that they are better made than Camelbak. So I figured I would give one a try. I can't comment on it yet though because it is still on its way.
    Thanks for the link. I ordered one and it came today. Seems well made, can't wait to try it out.

  32. #32
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    eBags.com has the Dakine Amp for $52.49 with free shipping. I picked one up last week

  33. #33
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    I've got a CamelBak 2012 HydroBak 50oz and keep all my stuff in a small-ish bike seat-pack... keeps me going just fine for up to 2hrs and really keeps the weight down and off my back... I really like it because it's small and light and hardly notice it, and with the other stuff under the seat it's less to lug on my back... but, anything much over 2hrs would definitely need more H2O than this.

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