BPAFree wrote:The packs are a little heavy but the bladder is what really sets them apart from anything else. Easy to clean easy to fill and no sucking involved.
You may not have to suck but in my estimation those packs do, in fact suck
I checked them out in person last week and not only are both the pack and bladder heavier, the 'non-suck' system is just added complexity and cost. There are two hoses, one to drink from and the second hose hanging on the harness to keep the pump is close at hand. Now I didn't bother to see how much effort it took to pump it for the correct amount of pressure, but I thought why would I even need to? Frankly, if its so hard to suck fluid from a hydration tube, I wonder how one has enough energy to breathe. ;)
Heck, even babies have no problem sucking... just think how many babies would starve to death if they had to squeeze a pump? ;)
FYI: My 12 year old CamelBak suited me just fine until I wore holes through the bottom from sliding down too many mountains. Sure I replaced the bladder with their '1/4-turn' model a few years back, but even using watered-down Gatorade as long as I rinsed it out when I got home and dried it using the CamelBak 'hanger' I never had issues cleaning it. Every once in a blue moon I rinse it out with vinegar then wash with dish soap and I'm good.
When looking for a replacement pack my biggest priority was small pockets or pouches on the FRONT of the pack (the front when wearing it). Since I'm hiking solo at least 75% of the time I'd like to have a few things close at hand without having to remove the pack. (And, as you can see in the photos, the GeigerRig doesn't have this feature either)
I wrote directly to CamelBak 6 months ago and the response from their marketing department was they didn't see the need
??! Wow, I guess they don't realize 'everybody
' has a Smart(Stupid?)Phone on them to text while hiking.
Not me... guess I'm a Luddite, I'll never own one, and if I did, I definitely wouldn't have it on while hiking, I hike to get AWAY from all the hustle and bustle, not bring it along.
However, in fairness to CamelBak, begrudgingly I see they have near-the-front pouches on a few models now, even though they're still too small for my taste... and with mesh they would allow junk from my heavy bush-whacking into them. So I'm still looking.