Interbike 2011: Hydration packs and products

By James Huang & Matt Pacocha, Boulder, CO, USA | Monday, October 3, 2011 8.30am

As part of our continuing Interbike 2011 coverage we bring you a brief round-up of new hydration packs and products from CamelBak, Hydrapak, Oakley and Osprey. In addition to on-the-fly hydration, the latest packs offer a host of features tailored to your intended use, from commuting to trail riding and bike camping. Since we've already seen Camelbak's 2012 line, we follow up with their innovative All Clear UV water purification device.

CamelBak give you clean water anywhere, anytime

CamelBak's major introduction for 2012 isn't a new hydration pack but rather the slick new All Clear water purifying bottle. The three-piece system features a tidy screw-on cap containing a powerful UV bulb. Simply fill the 0.75L bottle, screw on the cap, push the single button and gently shake the contents until the LCD display finishes its 60-second countdown. If the water source isn't particularly clean to begin with, there's also an optional pre-filter to remove bigger bits before purifying as well as an add-on charcoal filter to improve taste, too.

According to CamelBak's associate marketing and PR manager, Seth Beiden, the All Clear will kill at least 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses and protozoa, and the unit will purify 80 cycles (60 liters) before needing a recharge via the handy USB port. The standard 63mm cap thread will fit on most other bottles, such as those from Specialized, Trek, Hydrapak and Nalgene, though Beiden cautions that All Clear is only certified for use with the included 0.75L container. All Clear will be available from March 2012 for US$99.99 and the optional pre-filter will run an additional $15.

Camelbak claims the all clear will purify up to 60 liters of water before needing a recharge via the handy usb port:

All Clear is USB rechargeable

Hydrapak revise packs and reservoirs plus offer insulated bottles and hoses

Hydrapak have made some fundamental changes to their two-liter and three-liter reservoirs for 2012, adding an internal baffle to minimize pillowing but with a nifty ZipLock-style method of attachment inside that still allows users to turn the thing inside out for more thorough cleaning and faster drying. Hydrapak have also now switched from 5/16in to industry-standard 1/4in quick-release connections – making the reservoirs compatible with various water filtration systems – and there are two new insulated hoses with a trick co-extruded foam exterior to keep liquids from getting too hot or cold.

Not that anyone would ever do this in regular use but it's reassuring nonetheless to know that hydrapak's reservoirs can withstand this kind of abuse:

It's reassuring to know that Hydrapak's reservoirs can withstand this kind of abuse

Speaking of insulation, Hydrapak now have their own insulated bottle that they claim performs better than CamelBak's Podium Chill. Rather than use a closed-cell foam or CamelBak's aerogel liner, the new Hydrapak Wooly Mammoth double-wall bottle instead uses a layer of Primaloft – the same stuff used in many high-end outdoor jackets. 

Most of the company's hydration packs receive only minor changes such as colors and graphics but the top-end Morro gets a more thorough revision, with a bigger lower compartment, vented and textured foam padding on the back panel and shoulder straps, side pockets on the waist strap, and extra reflective materials.

The bigger Jolla gets a complete redesign, however, switching to a new top-loading configuration borrowed from the outdoor industry while still retaining handy front and side access to stashed gear.  The top cover includes a built-in tool wrap and if the included three-liter reservoir isn't enough, the side pockets are sized for extra water bottles. Like the Morro, the Jolla is now equipped with a molded foam back panel and shoulder straps for better ventilation and comfort.

Oakley offer three new hydration packs

Gone are Oakley's past Tool Pouch packs, in favor of a small/medium/large three-pack line called Circuit. The new hydration packs all include dedicated sunglass and media pockets as well as hydration sleeves and reflective features.

Oakley's full circuit, mid circuit and short circuit:

Oakley's three new Circuit packs

The Short Circuit is an eight-liter 'standard' hydration pack meant for the rigors of a standard mountain bike ride. In addition to the above features it offers a helmet holder and organized panel for tools and spare parts inside its outer pocket, while on the outside it offers straps for pads. The key differentiating feature between the Tool Pouch packs and the Circuit series is the new Code Red back panel and straps. The molded foam padding is perforated to manage moisture, thick for comfort and articulated for fit. The Short Circuit comes with a 70oz bladder from Hydrapak; it costs US$75.

The Mid Circuit is, as the name suggests, the middle pack of the line with a 13-liter capacity and 100oz bladder for $100. The Full Circuit is a full-sized 29-liter daypack that comes complete with a laptop sleeve to make it useful to commuters. The padded sleeve fits computers up to 15in. Oakley's largest pack doesn't come with a reservoir but it is equipped with an engineered HydroFuse bladder sleeve, which fits a 100oz reservoir and is waterproof to protect a computer from a faulty bladder. The Full Circuit costs $130.

Osprey expand their bike line

Osprey's two-pack Momentum series is targeted at longer distance commuters. The Momentum 26 (five liters, US$129) and Momentum 34 (eight liters, $149) offer a host of technical, commuter specific features including both top and panel access (with an expandable panel bellows), specific cell phone and key pockets, light mounts and U-lock pocket. Both sizes also come with integrated rain covers and internal organization for tools and spare parts.

Osprey's momentum packs:

Osprey's Momentum packs

The two-pack Metron series of commuter packs (25 and 35: 22 liters and 32 liters; $139 and $159 respectively) swing more toward fashion than the Momentum packs and offer additional features including laptop sleeves and side handles, so that the packs can be carried like brief cases. Function isn't forgotten; however, as the Metron packs also include rain covers and lock pockets, as well as helmet and light attachments.

New for spring is a three-pack ventilated mountain bike series called Syncro. The packs come in 10-, 15- and 20-liter sizes for $99, $109 and $119, and feature Osprey's Air Speed suspension system. They come with Osprey's Hydraform bladder, which was co-developed with Nalgene. The design brings a soft-form structure to the bladder so to offer better comfort and handling when in the pack. The bladders are finished with magnetic keepers on the hose and an on/off bite valve. They also feature integrated rain covers.

The two-pack Zealot series is also new, and Osprey's answer for all-mountain riders. The clamshell packs come in 10-liter ($129) and 16-liter ($149) models that focus on a sleek design with the purpose of keeping weight as low as possible. The 16-liter Zealot has a special tool-roll with a specific pocket at the very bottom of the pack.

Graphics on the zealot:

Related links

Zealot graphics

Finally for 2012, Osprey will bring their Escapist series to the US, which has been available previously in Europe. The two packs (20 and 30) are specifically made for bike-packing and offer sleeping bag compartments, along with bike-specific features like organized tool pockets and helmet carriers. The packs cost $99 and $129 and use Osprey's AirScape ventilated back panel and Bio-Stretch harness.

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