Written by kill your ATV on Friday, 01 Jan 2010.
2010 Hydrapak Morro Hydration Pack
I recently had the opportunity to demo one of these new Hydrapak Morro hydration packs. My current hydration pack has served spendidly for a $20 Ocean State Job Lot special, but it's been living on borrowed time and I can't quite describe how it smells anymore. The Morro appears to be a huge step up and now that I've ridden and hiked with it a few times, I can say I likey a lot!
Hydrapak is the underdog in the hydration pack market, the "Hunts Ketchup" if you will, except unlike Hunts, Hydrapak does not suck. Every year, they seem to be moving in on Camelbak's marketshare, and rightfully so. They are making really nice packs. The "Morro" model I demoed seems to be in the higher end of hydration packs given it's features and msrp of $110.
The Morro has 100oz bladder capacity, 800 cu.in. gear capacity (when expanded), and weighs in at only 1lb 8oz. Hydrapak describes this as "Big enough for all day riding, but light enough to take on every ride.", and that's very accurate. I did not want a pack that was too large, and when I first saw the specs on paper with 800 c.i., I thought it was waaaaay to big and bulky for what I need. Once I saw it, however, it does not have a big footprint at all, but also gives you the option to unbuckle the compression buckles to fit larger items in the compartments.
It sports lots of compartments and the main one can easily fit a helmet, or a pair of shoes, shin guards even. On one of my rides, I fit a heavyweight fleece in the compartment. This was in addition to a full water bladder, small pump, some basic tools, a spare tube, pruners & saw, and some other smaller odds and ends. There is still plenty of room and interior zippered pockets to store things in an organized manner. Moreso than I can imagine ever using. There's also an Ipod pocket. Back padding is very sufficient and comfortable without feeling bulky.
The bite valve & hose will take a little getting used to from those of us coming from C-bak, but pulls great overall with no real negatives. I actually prefer the shutoff on my Camelbak bladder, which is just a turn of a lever. With this, you have to righty-tighty to close it. A 100 oz reservoir is plenty for most rides. The bladder is very cool. It also takes some getting used to but seems durable (lifetime guarantee!) and once you use it a couple times, you'll see the superiority. The hose disconnect is a nice touch, allowing you to leave the tube, remove the bladder. Although I'll probably clean it bi-yearly as I had previously been doing, cleaning and drying this bladder is a snap. Speaking of snap, oh snap, this comes with a nifty "Quantum Clip" Hose wrangler thing. A magnet attaches to the shoulder strap and another to the hose, and when you're done taking a sip, SNAP! the hose finds it's way back to the shoulder magnet, as if by magic.
The Quantum Clip
- It's comfortable to wear
- Seems high quality
- The reversible bladder with quick disconnect is very nice to use
- Chest strap has a nice elasticity that adjusts to chest movement
- Magnetic "Quantum Clip" is a nice feature to tame the hose. Hose automatically "finds" it's way back to your shoulder and magnetically clips there.
- Lots of storage, including internal zippered pockets
- Great size. Really can make it small enough for a 1 hour ride, or large for an all day trek
The Not-So-Good Nitpicks
- Poor choice of material in 1 particular location
- Would like to see some reflective strips/thread sewn in for safety
- Price is a little steep ($110 MSRP)
- Not a huge "bad" but the hose is very stiff and takes getting used to
A patch of material on the top of the bag ripped wide enough to fit a thumb into. Disappointing for sure. This happened on my very first ride and I do not remember hitting any branches or otherwise being rough with it.
There's a 2 year warranty on the bag, which is nice, but the replacment would still have this flimsy MC Hammer-parachute-pants-like-material on it. Very poor choice in my opinion and Hydrapak should stick to more durable materials throughout. I believe they put it on the top of the bag for water-proofing but I'm sure customers would rather have strength. It should be noted that this flimsy material is only located in one or 2 other areas on this bag. The rest seems like durable material.
If you're in the market for a new pack I would definately consider a Hydrapak as they seem to be building nicer and nicer bags. I know this past year, Nate and Hydrapak had a promotion of 40% off by shopping though Crankfire. Not sure if something like this will be offered again, but if they do and you need a new pack, it's a perfect opportunity.
Nice stuff for sure.
And oh yes: Shop Through Crankfire!