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REI Cascade Hydration Pack

rated 4 of 5 stars

The Cascade Hydration Pack has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best hydration packs for 2024.

photo: REI Cascade Hydration Pack hydration pack

This pack is a bit of an anomaly. At first it seems like it doesn't work well until you "learn" how to use it.

The primary opening is fairly small, so it seems like the pack doesn't hold as much as it should. That is untill you get all your stuff past the small opening and it sits on the bottom of the pack. Then it just keeps swallowing up stuff until its full.

The compression straps work well and shapes the pack nicely. It has lots of little pockets that are spaced nicely for all the stuff you need access too. It has a place for an iPod, but I never use that.

The nalgene resevior works fairly well and is easy to fill and clean. No problems there.

The fit is very good and the feature that's supposed to allow the pack to move with you works as advertised, but if you lean forward, expect the pack to feel like its about to slide off your back, even if it doesn't.

The whistle that's built into one of the clips is cute.

About the only thing I have a problem with is that the sleeve for the hydration pack takes up a bit too much room from the other things you want to put in it. I think that the part of the sleeve that actually holds the hydration bladder should be flexible rather than a hard molded shape.

Other than that, a great day pack.

Design: top loading daypack
Size: 1200 cu inches
Number of Pockets: LOTS
Max. Load Carried: 3 l. of water and maybe ten pounds of stuff.
Height of Owner: 5'4"
Price Paid: $85

Great pack. I am using it to train for mountain running; hiking with gear, full water and 30# of weights in it.

Padding is great, and breathes well. Holds more than you expect, so it can be light or really loaded down. Very little jostling, and well balanced. Straps articulated for strong chest. Has an external sleeve that is good for stashing your wet stuff -- even has a drain for it, and taped zipper side pockets at hips accessible on the move. It never leaked- which is good when carrying a phone and MP3.

Overall- a Great pack.

Max. Load Carried: 40+
Price Paid: 30$ at the closeout sale.

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Price Historic Range: $59.83
Reviewers Paid: $30.00-$85.00
Price Historic Range: $85.00

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