Tag Archives: hydration pack reviews
By Michael Lanza
If you’re super fit and strong, young, hike with a pack of any weight 50 or 100 days a year, and have never known any sort of injury or ache in your body, then don’t bother reading this article. But for everyone else, knowing how to find the right backpack for your activities and your body will make a world of difference in your enjoyment when carrying that pack for hours a day on a trail or up and down a mountain. The following tips reflect what I’ve learned about finding the right pack from hundreds of days testing all manner of daypacks, backpacks, climbing packs, and ski packs for more than two decades. Continue reading →
Osprey Talon 18/Tempest 16
$90, 1 lb. 5 oz. (S/M Talon 18)
Men’s Talon 18 sizes:
S/M 16L/976 c.i., fits torsos 41-51cm/16-20 ins.
M/L 18L/1,098 c.i., fits torsos 48-58.5cm/19-23 ins.
Women’s Tempest 16 sizes:
XS/S 14L/854 c.i., fits torsos 33-43cm/13-17 ins.
S/M 16L/976 c.i., fits torsos 40.5-51cm/16-20 ins.
I’ve used enough daypacks over the years to notice the little differences between the many models out there—and to be very picky about them. Not only do I favor lighter, simpler daypacks for everything from dayhikes with my family to ultra-dayhikes, but I expect comfort, good access, and versatility, and I know what I like in features. With those requirements in mind, I took Osprey’s Talon 18 out on several dayhikes of varying lengths—including a 27-mile, 12-hour day—during a six-day rafting trip down Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. Continue reading →
Marmot Aquifer 24
$129, 24L/1,465 c.i., 1 lb. 11 oz. (without Hydrapak reservoir, included)
Wear a daypack for enough hours and you will know—maybe better than you want to—whether you love it, like it, or might chuck it off a cliff. I hauled Marmot’s Aquifer 24 hydration pack on a couple of ultra-hikes on opposite ends of the country, in very different terrain and climates: a 17-mile, 6,800-foot, 15-hour, June dayhike over four summits in the Northern Presidential Range in New Hampshire, and a 25-mile, roughly 4,000-foot, 12-hour, late-May dayhike off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, to take a full measure of the Aquifer’s comfort and functionality. Continue reading →
L.L. Bean Day Trekker 25 with Boa
$100, 2 lbs. 2 oz. (M/L)
Sizes: S/M (1,422 c.i./23L) and M/L (1,620 c.i./27L)
Tradition meets modern technology in Bean’s Trekker 25 with Boa compression. On dayhikes from Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve to the Needles District of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, the Trekker 25 gave me plenty of space for extra clothing and food for my kids and me, carried quite comfortably with up to 15 pounds, and offered the kind of organization that makes an obsessive-compulsion person like me feel all warm and fuzzy. But the deal closer is the pack’s two Boa compression systems, with internal wires that are cranked tight and released with an external knob (think: ski and snowboard boots), that snug undersized loads against your back so well that the pack never shifts, even when scrambling rugged, off-trail terrain. Continue reading →
Mammut MTR 201 10+2L
$90, 10-12L/610-732 c.i., 9.5 oz.
How can the lightest hydration pack on the market be stable enough for trail running and mountain biking, yet have the capacity for a big dayhike? When that pack morphs into a different animal with the pull of a zipper. From mountain bike rides of up to five hours and numerous trail runs of up to 20 miles and 3,600 vertical feet in the Boise Foothills, to dayhikes in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, the MTR 201 10+2L proved unusually versatile and carried surprisingly well for being lighter than any hydration pack I’ve reviewed. Continue reading →