What does your ideal hydration backpack look like?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2015

    New question here. What does your ideal hydration backpack look like?

    If you were making your own hydration backpack (especially just for you) what would it look like?

    - color
    - size
    - chest strap / waist strap (both?)
    - water capacity
    - storage pockets (what for / how many?)

    There are some good ones on the market but I want to hear what you would make, customized just for you!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: watts888's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Bright colored
    XL size
    chest strap and shoulder straps. No waist strap
    breathable back spacing/ridges
    minimum 2L capacity, would like option to unzip a panel to "expand" the carrier and put in a 3L bag.
    Easier access to storage pockets. multiple pockets instead of one large pocket. water proof interior, but breathable exterior pockets. One of two pockets that are easy access for food.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Hey, sounds awesome. Especially the expandable bladder compartment!

    No waist strap?

    I find the backpacks with only a chest strap move around and was going to give one with a waist belt a try. You're not a fan though?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AE Beej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    i love having the waist strap on it and would not buy a hydration pack if it didnt come with one. the pack would move around way to much, IMO.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Nubster's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I really liked the Osprey Raptor 14 I looked at this past weekend. It hit many marks for me...I do wish it was slightly larger, like maybe an 18 - 20L rather than 14. I liked the pockets, the layout, the hydration bladder design (not sure how big it was), the tool rollout pouch was pretty cool....I like the brighter colors on the bike and when hiking. Chest strap mandatory, waist belt is nice too as long as it is expandable enough for those of us that have some girth.
    Super snowflake = when an avatar offends you so much you have to cry about it and report it to admin. Life must suck for you.

  6. #6
    Epic eater
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Only thing I'll add is for it to have sleeves of some sort to hold bottles semi-upright when you have those instead of a bladder and for some pocket somewhere that you can actually get to while riding. Like a jersey pocket for gels/snacks but accessing the jersey under a pack sucks. Some backpacking packs have a small pocket on the waist belt but of course the belt on those is huge.

  7. #7
    DLd is offline
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Waist belt for sure. Otherwise it moves up too much on drops. Unless you're running a really light one for racing. I'll sometimes run a small 50oz camelback half full for night laps of endurance races, just switching them out (I have two, one that was my kids, and my snowboarding one...). Otherwise for longer rides I prefer one with the lumbar reservoir like a Camelback Octane. I have a 100oz version of that. Much less movement, lower center of gravity. All upsides. The first gen the hoses were too short, but they've corrected that. I like the pocket they had on the shoulder strap on the first one though. I could just stuff used gel packets in there without having to open any zippers. It was like my little garbage can. The new one doesn't have that, and I have to unzip the waist pockets to put empty gel packets in, which makes it more of a pain on rapidly changing terrain.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Color and size don't matter to me, so long as it's not ugly and it fits.

    Compartmented storage is the most important to me. I have an Osprey Raptor 14 and i hate it, they just expect you to throw everything into one little pocket. Whenever i need a tool i have to pull ALL of them out.

    Water capacity should be ~2L. Any more than that and i'll carry a bottle too.

    External storage is important to me. I don't want to have to switch packs or carry a huge pack all the time just because i might need a rain jacket one day or a spare shirt the next.

    Straps - i thought i liked a waist strap until i tried the new Shimano strap system, and now i don't think i need one.

  9. #9
    Always in the wrong gear
    Reputation: Impetus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Starting this thread with 2 total posts on your account, I'm thinking this might be market research, but I like it anyway.
    I'll play. Us Phoenicians live and die by the hydration pack. I can't remember the last time I rode without it, particularly now that AZ is coming into summer. It was over 110 here today.

    I'd prefer something light, and neutral. Maybe light grey? dark will just heat up my ice faster. Bright and flashy is 'Enduro' but I'm OCD and can't rock a red pack with my favorite 'acid green' Fox jersey. Some reflective patches for nighttime would be sweet.

    I'd like 12-16L capacity. That might be a squeeze for a Colorado all-day Epic ride, but I'm not a pack mule, either. let's keep it sensible.

    Chest strap/Waist strap.
    Yes, please. both. Wide and well-vented shoulder and waist preferably. Padded mesh? Mositure wicking. Maybe some Clif-Bar sized hip pockets? Adjustable height chest strap, obv.

    Water capacity:
    Room for a 3L bladder. Easy to get the bladder in and out. Especially full of ice (or frozen solid half-full. )
    let it be carried low in the pack, not suspended at the very top with 4 inches of empty space at the bottom of the sleeve.
    Insulate the bladder pouch, both for ice retention, and to prevent sweating though to the adjacent pocket.

    Storage pockets:
    3 main pockets- 1 big empty for general stuff, maybe even a hook to hang a second bladder for 'those days'.
    1 pocket with a couple smaller mesh pockets to hold multi-tools, Co2, etc. No rattling allowed.
    1 small pocket for small stuff that might get lost in the bottom of the other 2. Keys, etc.
    Again- energy bar sized hip pockets. small magnet closures? one-handed opening.
    Cinch straps on the outside to either collapse down a small load, or lash down big unusual things.

    Make the corners out of something that'll withstand a crash or two. I have a pack that is made of rip-stop nylon and is now as much Tenacious tape as it is fabric.

    This was fun, daydreaming.
    So are you trying to bring something to market OP? If you need a tester, I volunteer as tribute!

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