This looks just like any other 8l pack, but it’s remarkably different when it comes to delivering its hydration.
Geigerrig shuns the conventional process of getting water from bladder to gob by simply sucking. Its ‘Hydration Engine’ squirts water with no effort by using an air bladder sandwiched to the water bladder. Once you’ve pumped it up (the pump attaches to the shoulder strap), bite or squeeze the mouthpiece and water squirts forth. You can use the water to spray mud off, share with friends, cool down in hot weather, or for drinking. It’s a nice idea but we found it wasn’t an improvement over normal systems and in some cases, the opposite.
Geigerrig's air-pressure hydration system is a great idea that doesn't quite come off – at least not yet
If you’re out of breath, having a jet of water squirted in a slightly unpredictable direction down your throat can be off-putting while the Hydrapack bite valve doesn’t flow as well as the market leading Camelbak item, even when pumped up fully. When inflated, the bladder occupies almost twice the space as water alone, so in a small pack things get cramped. You also need to top it up again halfway through to maintain decent pressure as the bladder empties. We had issues with the pump hoses pulling out, partly due to how rotund things gets once you pump up and pack anything inside.
It’s a shame, because in isolation the pack is a great thing. Tough ripstop nylon construction, a comfy back and straps and just enough well placed storage for short to medium length rides.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.