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Considering a hydration pack. Any users?(15 posts)

Considering a hydration pack. Any users?boy nigel
May 3, 2001 8:11 AM
I'm contemplating getting a small hydration pack for really long rides in the hills. Yeah, some say they're geeky or for MTBers, but my bike only holds one bottle (There are two mounts, but the seat-tube mount is obstructed by the front derailleur clamp--BAD, Giant, BAD). I'm getting tired of stopping at every other deli I pass to load up on water, etc. (Getting pricey, too.)

Anyone use these? Has anyone used the Vaude models with the Aeroflex ventilation system? (This keeps the pack OFF one's back with a thin steel frame for better ventilation and cooling with less back sweat--a perfect idea, it seems.)

What's the verdict? Any suggestions/experiences are welcome.

yerpHaiku d'état
May 3, 2001 8:27 AM
bought a Jannd hydration pack (70 oz, i think) a few years back. the bladder and bite valve are cheap, leak, and are hard to get into the pack, and the pack is uncomfortable and not well-thought. imho. but, i blew $40 on it, so i'm gonna add another strap (chest strap out of the box, going to add one for the gut) and replace the bladder/valve part and should be good to go. beware jannd (sp?).

otoh, i have a nike hydration pack i bought last year that works like a dream. it's oval shaped and holds a 100 oz bladder, plus has a pocket for stuff and a thing to support a clip-on blinkie light. i'm not sure what it's called, or where you might find it. i bought it for $30-$40 (1/2 price) from the nike employee store, plus an extra bladder/valve (proprietary).

btw, fred standards (eek) dictate that i use the hydration pack for rides over 25 miles or significantly longer than one hour. i also don't like paying for water during a ride.

good luck.
I've used the CamelBak razor, which can be had right nowbill
May 3, 2001 8:51 AM
for a song, because I guess CamelBak replaced it with a newer version that holds more water and some stuff. I like the hydropak. You drink more water, and it's easy to carry. I know a couple of people who've gone down reaching for a water bottle.
I use it less than I used to, maybe because of peer pressure (so few roadies use them), but on a hot day when I'm going more than 20-30 miles, they make a lot of sense.
Camelback M.U.L.E.Greg Taylor
May 3, 2001 8:56 AM
This is really a dirt-dedicated bit of kit, but I've used it on longer one-day road jaunts. Holds a lot of stuff and has a big bladder, like its owner. I don't normally wear a Camelback, but I figure that when I do it might as well be functional.
May 3, 2001 9:19 AM
My frame has only one bottle cage too. I use the Camelback "Aeroback" for longer (>50 miles) rides. It holds 50 oz (two more bottles) plus I stick my 25-in-1 tool kit plus patch kit into the "ab" too.

Other advantages: primarily, I drink more, much more, therefore, I can ride further, faster. On a hot day, that cold bladder feels real good against my back.

A couple of recommendations after you buy one. Store it in the freezer or fridge when not in use. Why? becuase mold can't grow in a freezer. Before you stick it in the freezer, blow all the liquid out of the mouthpiece and tube first. The freezing water will change the shape of the mouthpiece and cause drips.
there's a complete review of hydration packs in...ET
May 3, 2001 9:43 AM
Cycling Plus, issue 107, which preceded when either of us began to subscribe. But their ratings and prices from that issue are given in the year-end (Christmas) issue, #113, pg. 85. It may be worth a look. PaulCL's Camelbak Aerobak got a 9. Works great on Audax too. :-)
I hate you, ET. ;)boy nigel
May 3, 2001 10:19 AM
Just kidding, man. I was looking for a solid audax bladder, actually. NOT.

re: Considering a hydration pack. Any users?Miklos
May 3, 2001 9:43 AM
Yep, I use one on longer rides especially when the weather gets really warm. Since I'm a loner and a cheap bastard to boot, I like the ability to carry extra gear if needed on longer (un-supported) rides. Back to the cheap bastard part, I use a Performance Bike store brand that holds 100oz.

How bad are the sweaty backs that result from hydrapaks?boy nigel
May 3, 2001 10:22 AM
Some people say that the coolness feels good against their backs. Others say that their backs sweat a lot from these packs. I can see both sides, but can more see the sweaty-back view. When I wear a backpack around the city when walking, my back gets soaked.

What's the deal? Again, those Vaude packs sound neat with their wire frame to provide space between one's back and the pack. Hmmm....

Any more sweaty/cool back input is welcomed.

Big thanks,
I like my Camelback Rogue....Kevin M
May 3, 2001 10:48 AM
it holds 70 oz, is neopreme lined for insulation, and is more streamlined than the larger Mt Bike ones. There is a stretch netting to hold maps, poer bars, etc. Also, I like the Camelback bite valve.

I do get somewhat sweaty while wearing it, but it doesn't bother me too much. It get use more in the hotter summer weather (here in western NJ). The wire frame sounds like a good idea.

How bad are the sweaty backs that result from hydrapaks?Kinglouie
May 3, 2001 1:32 PM
I can attest to the "sweaty back" situation. And I have the worst of both worlds, 1. I'm a profuse sweater - - 2. I'm a "pack-rat"
First off, I've worn my back-pack to the death. It is very convenient to have a back-pack. The problem is, with the body heat I generate, there is a big difference between the temperature under the pack, and the temperature on my torso in the front. So much so, that at times, on extended rides, I actually began to have some fatigue on my lower back.
Couldn't figure it out at first, I play basketball in the winter, and have decent strength and flexibility in the upper body area. Till I realized that it was happening due to the temp. differences on my back. Compounded by the fact that I was carrying everything but my "mistress" in my pack.
Some of the newer designes on back-packs have the "sweat wicking" surface. That helps. I too was eyeing the "Vaude" lustfully. The only thing that delays me is that I was hoping to have more "accessory pockets" and such. But that could be a good thing too.
If you don't sweat so much, it isn't much of a factor.
Oh, another thing, the material of the pack matters too. Most packs aren't "weather proof", thus, they will absorb water. Thus, they will absorb your sweat. If you pack clothes, be aware.
Rogue for me tooStewK
May 3, 2001 1:43 PM
I've been riding for two years and have always used a Camelbak Rogue -- I bought it cheap at I can't imagine having to reach for a bottle while I'm riding. Using a Camelbak is so easy and keeps me easily hydrated. I saw a rider the other day going down hill drinking from her bottle as she descended. Her head's in the air, she's coasting and she's only half looking at the road. I'm not criticizing, but I don't want to have to do that. I just pop the bite valve in my mouth and keep peddling with my eyes on the road.

As far as getting a sweaty back - the straps and underside of my Camel to get wet in warm weather, but the jersey itself doesn't hold moisture, so I don't find it to be a big deal - it's very different from the sweaty back you get from a backpack. On the few occasions I've ridden without a Camelbak (forgot it, left it wet in the washer) my back feels a little more comfortable, but I prefer to trade that little bit of comfort for not being thirsty.

By the way, I ride out in a pretty stretched out position and have never had any issues with balance or the pack slipping one side or the other, although sometimes I wish I had one of those new angled drink tubes so that I wouldn't bang it with my leg while peddling.

I think it's worth a try. If I were to buy a new one, it would either be a Camelbak Rocket.
Camelback MULEBrian B.
May 3, 2001 6:53 PM
Since I was mountain biking before I got into road riding, it just seemed natural to keep wearing the Camelback. Yeah, my back does get a little sweaty, but that's about the only trade off. I also always carry some snacks whenever I ride, and they're just better off in the back.
Plus, it's great for wearing while biking to work, 'cause I can put the wallet, keys, cellphone, etc. in there.
I definately prefer the weight of all that water to be supported by my body, rather than two full bottles on the frame.

-Brian B.
re: Considering a hydration pack. Any users?DERICK
May 3, 2001 11:12 PM
I use my camelbak for almost every ride. It holds everything I need and lets me drink whenever I want to. It does leave a sweaty spot on my back but I never notice it until I get off the bike and take it off. As a recent convert from mouintain biking I still feel the need to be self sufficient so I carry anything I could possibly need in it and it doesn't feel heavy. I think that we will see more and more roadies using hydropacks in the future.
Got you all beat...Camelbak HAWGJZ
May 4, 2001 1:34 AM
My camelbak is one of the larger ones, actually meant for "long distance mountain biking or hiking". I like it because I can hold my 100oz., every tool I might ever need, and also I can bring my sandals with me. I hate walking around with my riding shoes and sometimes we stop for more than 10 minutes to eat or is great to be able to change shoes. Besides, it REALLY comes in handy during MTB trips because the HAWG is more like a real back that just happens to have the water bladder as well. Aerodynamics aside, it is worth every penny.