Which hydration pack does double duty for hiking and biking?
My husband is interested in a hydration pack for dayhikes and bike rides. Which size will best suit his needs? Also, can you recommend one for kids (ages five and eight)? Melody Fircrest, Washington
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One wag has noted that Camelbak represents one of the most successful marketing efforts in history, having convinced millions of people that a $75 hydration pack” is superior to an $8 Nalgene bottle.
Ultimate Direction TeocalliTeocalli Hydration Pack
Im pretty ambivalent about Camelbaks and other bladder-based watering systems (what a funny phrase: bladder-based”). I use one occasionally on mountain-biking trips when a couple of water bottles on the bike frame arent enough (plus my dualie has practical space for only one bottle). That way I can carry fluids plus a jacket and lunch. Once in a while Ill use a bladder with a backpack, but Im usually happier with a water bottle. I just like the ritual of stopping, taking off the pack, flopping on the ground, and having a nice drink. Sipping through a tube while marching along makes it all seem too much like Im racing in The Raid (www.theraid.org) or something.
That said, a pretty good hike/bike hydration pack is the Ultimate Direction Teocalli ($100; www.ultimatedirection.com), which can be configured to carry about 600 cubic inches of gearbarely enough for a minimalist day hike, but its something. Camelbaks H.A.W.G. ($100; www.camelbak.com) has a little more capacity, although you risk too big a load to bicycle comfortably. But its the better choice for day-hiking. The North Faces Megamouth ($95; www.thenorthface.com) is a little larger yet (1,100 cubic inches).
I simply wouldnt recommend a hydration pack for youngsters. I think trying to manage a bike is challenging enough, without giving a child something else to do, like trying to get a drink while riding. In any event, I just cant imagine a trip thats arduous enough for an 8-year-old to require constant fluid replenishment. A water bottle in a small daypackbetter yet, in dads pack!should be fine for nearly any outing.
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