Hydration packs aren’t always the most exciting subject. They have a reservoir to hold your drink, they stash your tools and food and your gear. They often have straps that, sure, can draw your load in toward your body, but they sometimes flap and snap and sting when you’re maching downhill.
Platypus’ new cross-country cycling hydration packs are a different breed. Ultralight storage for minimalist MTB rides, these sport-specific packs have superior ventilation, fit, and good gear organization. And they’re cleaner than other packs—bullet shaped with nothing to flap or snap.
PLATYPUS TOKUL X.C. 3.0 is the smallest and most minimalist pack in the line, just the ticket for riders who’d rather not carry a pack. If all you need is hydration, fuel, and tools for basic trail-side triage, this is the bag for you. It comes with one liter of gear storage, a liter reservoir, an external tool pocket, and an internal pump sleeve. Available in five-liter and eight-liter versions, January 2013, $70-$90.
If ultralight XC isn’t your gig, not to worry. The XC packs are just one piece of Platypus’ new hydration pack line, which also include all-mountain, biking, and hiking packs.
PLATYPUS DUTHIE A.M. 12.0 is the best choice for mid-range rides and big descents, with a three-liter reservoir and external body armor attachments. Padded suspension supports your water plus nine liters of gear, and the shoulder straps and removable waist belt have perforated foam padding for breathable comfort. Also available in a 17-liter size, which carries a full face helmet. Available January 2013, $120-$130.
PLATYPUS SPRINTER X.T. 25.0 is the ultimate day tripper for hikers. A panel loader, the Sprinter X.T. 25.0 opens wide for easy access and has the same ventilated, padded mesh suspension as the Duthie. Three liters of hydration, and external attachments for a helmet, ice axe, and trekking poles make this an all-season hauler. With 22 liters of gear storage. Also available in a top loading 35-liter version, $140-$160.
Available January 2013; www.platy.com.