Historic Range: $56.93-$126.00
Reviewers Paid: $20.00
A tough little hydro pack with lots of cool features, perfect for mountain biking, xc skiing, trail running, or any quick high output outdoor pursuit. Is it worth the steep price tag? Not convinced.
- Hydration system is incomparable
- Tons of little pockets
- A bit heavy for intended use?
- Superfluous back panel
- Too many features?
A good word for this bag is "trick". It's full of little tricks, some of which I was still discovering a year later. I've had it for about two years now and it looks completely unscathed, having very robust materials. The inside hydration sleeve pocket is a bit stretched out, that's about it.
The 700 refers to the pack size which is 700 ci or 11.5 L. This is a bit smallish for a day pack, but plenty for a biking hydration pack. The water reservoir is 70 oz or 2 L, which is not bad for a few hours on the trail. Pack weight is 2.7 lbs or 1220 gm all in (!) though the pack by itself without the hydration system or back reinforcement is a more reasonable 738 gm or 1.6 lbs.
The hydration system is the super cool feature of the pack. There are two hoses, one for drinking which routes cleverly down the right shoulder strap, and a pressure pump tube running down the left side. This tube has a rubber bulb on it that you can pump to put pressure in the bag, which allows you to spray water from the right side. You can either spray in your mouth, spray your head and neck to cool off, or spray your competition in the face during the final climb (not recommended). Have I ever used the pump system? Not once. I removed it the day I got the pack.
There are many other features that I like: 2 zipped interior mesh pockets, 2 exterior zipped pockets, 2 compression straps that make excellent gear holders, Daisy chains which are quite strong, very well padded shoulder straps and back area which also has deep air flow channels, waist and chest straps for a secure fit, a very strong carry handle, and 2 top zippers to access the main pocket...a bit unnecessary but does make it easier to access gear. There's also a rigid plastic back panel insert that, to me, serves no purpose and was also removed the day I got the pack.
I'm 6'1" and would say this bag is just a hair short for me, but nonetheless is extremely comfortable. It's excellent for mountain biking of course, with great airflow over the back, and with all the little pockets you can put gear in it and not have it rattling around. I've used it for xc skiing for which it's also awesome, having enough volume for half day excursion's worth of food, extra layers, and wax.
I got this pack from a friend who won it in a mountain bike race. She wins almost every race she enters and practically gives stuff like this away...I paid her $20 for it. So, it's hard to be critical. However, I can tell you now that I would have never paid retail price for this pack. Yes, it's a heck of a good pack, but I'd put it more in the $80 range.
Update, after 4 years I'm still using the pack regularly for cycling and skiing, and occasionally motorcycling. One of the main compartment zippers failed. I can't fix it but at least there are two access zippers so I just sewed the failed one shut. Works OK. I find the water bladder a bit tricky to clean, but otherwise it's still a robust pack.
Price Paid: $20