Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hydrapak Big Sur

Always Innovate. Never Compromise.

This phrase represents Hydrapak’s focus on creating the best personal hydration systems available for any activity. Hydrapak is committed to pushing the limits of design and materials to create the easiest-to-use, most functional hydration systems available.


OutsidePR was kind enough to send me a Hydrapak Big Sur to test out and I'm always happy to check out new hydration options. While I've found some dynamite products, the elusive search for hydration perfection is ongoing.

Big Sur Hydration Pack – ready for all occasions, the comfortable go-to pack for all day comfort.

* Quick Access front applied pocket w/multiple internal organizer pockets, Elastic Loops, and Key Clip
* Dual Top applied pocket straps help stabilize items in Stash Pocket
* Tool Garage Pocket w/Zippered Organizer and Elastic Tool Loops
* Stash Pocket behind Front Applied Pocket in Main Body of the pack
* Dedicated Zippered Reservoir Pocket on Back Panel
* Soft AirMesh Panel with Air Chairman Ventilation
* Dedicated Fleece Lined Electronics Pocket w/Cord Port
* Paded Shoulder Straps
* 360 Degree Reservoir Insulation
* Sliky Slider Sternum Strap
* Pump Sleeve in Main Pocket
* Hypalon Light Loop
* Reflective Window
* Removable Waist Belt

The Big Sur is designed for cycling, probably mountain biking, as it would be a terrible faux pas to wear a hydration pack as a roadie (if you didn't know how prescriptive road cycling is, check out the Velominati website, or The Road under Metrosexual Triathlete - triathlon has oodles of rules as well). The pack is very comfortable, with multiple strap options including sternum, waist and shoulder straps - a very nice design addition is a strap keeper for each strap, no more loose ends flapping in the breeze.

Of course, I also need my hydration to do double duty by being effective for running as well. I wanted to dislike the Big Sur because the waist belt is not padded, it's designed for cyclists, etc., but you know what? This is a really great pack for running, as the multiple cinch points allow for a custom fit for lots of body types. The only problem? Sloshing. While the sloshing did not affect my gait nor make it any more difficult to run, it was VERY noisy. Yet not so noisy that cranking up some tunes didn't drown it out.

Pros:
  • Useful for either cycling or running.
  • Multiple adjustable straps.
  • Lots of pockets, of varying shapes and sizes, open and zippered, including a dedicated iPod/music player with cord port.
  • Plug and play hose makes attachment/detachment incredibly simple.
  • Hose guides the full length of the shoulder straps (on both sides) mean no more loose hose flopping around - great idea.
  • Perhaps the best cleanability of any hydration pack - bladder has a wetbag closure, so entire bladder can be turned inside out for cleaning and subsequent drying - awesome!
Cons:
  • Bulky when bladder is completely filled.
  • Very noisy slosh when running.
Is the Big Sur hydration perfection. Unfortunately not. However, I would rate this hydration pack very highly. Its comfort for both running and cycling, its multiple and varied pockets, and the ease of cleaning make this definitely worth checking out. Highly recommended.

Check out the Hydrapak website, like them on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and view on YouTube.

(Disclaimer: I was sent this product for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Hydrapak, via Outside PR. I did not pay for the item, receive payment, or agree to give it a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company's website, the opinions are my own.)

Would you like a product reviewed? 
Contact me at lakotega@yahoo.com!

7 comments:

  1. booo for a noisy bladder. [that was just fun to write]. but the Pro's seem to WAY out weight the cons. !! :)

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  2. That looks like a great pack. I'm wondering, though...aren't they all sloshy/noisy in that way?

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  3. How far did you run in it? I wore a hydration pack (North Face) during my last trail half marathon and the tops of my shoulders and neck were sore towards the end. Maybe just me??

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  4. That looks like a great pack but I don't think I've seen them in SA. I've got three hydration packs and they all make the same noise.

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  5. After filling if you turn the bladder upside down and bleed out the air, all the sloshing goes away. I do it all the time in my two packs. Works 100%.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jennifer...thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the review Kovas. I am still experimenting with different hydration methods so this is helpful.

    Jennifer- Great tip! I will have to try that!

    ReplyDelete

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