Most mountain biking hydration packs use a soft bladder which is fully hidden inside the bag. Not so the Gerber Medal XC which uses an anatomically shaped, semi-rigid 2 litre capacity Liquifusion reservoir.
You can gain easy access to the reservoir via the wide, mouth top that allows ‘on the fly’ refills and easy access for ice cubes. But, get this, you can lob it in the dish washer to keep it clean! The hose has a neoprene cover to keep drinks warm or cool and the bite valve is in-line rather than a ninety degree type (which we would’ve preferred, to be honest).
The Medal XC also gets a 316 cubic inch storage capacity, a main zip compartment with secondary mesh storage pocket, and two elasticated pump stabilising loops. On the outside there are two mesh cargo pockets and an elasticated draw-cord for cinching down extra clothing to the outside. Add a fluorescent orange stowable rain cover and it’s done. Straps are mesh with nylon reinforcement and are comfy and easily adjustable.