Backpacks

Are hydration bladders more trouble than they’re worth?

Are hydration bladders more trouble than they’re worth?

I hike with a hydration bladder, but I have a couple of issues with the system. When hiking with my friends, I quickly run out of water much faster than they do. Plus, it’s very difficult to gauge how much water remains without pulling out the bladder and then reloading it. Also, when my pack is full, it requires a lot of effort to insert the full bladder. Do bladder-style hydration systems exist with a method to gauge how much water remains? Toby Brussels, Belgium

Is a water-resistant, expandable commuter bag too much to ask for?

Is a water-resistant, expandable commuter bag too much to ask for?

I'm looking for a backpack for commuting (note: I’m not interested in panniers). The ideal pack would have a ventilated back and expandable volume—some days it's just for work clothes, but some days I’ll throw in a book or my computer. Internal pockets would be good, and water resistance is a plus. I'd also like my Eagle Creek clothes organizer to fit inside. Is this too much to ask for? Dave Sierra Vista, Arizona

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