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#165440 - 04/28/12 07:02 PM Hydration reservoirs in large packs...
Greg C. Offline

Registered: 04/26/12
Posts: 15
Hello all...

I have posted a few questions on this board for my first upcoming grip and have received some excellent feedback. I thought I'd try my hand in another beginner question here...

As an avid day hiker, I have happily used hydration packs to my advantage for years. In fact several that I use for hiking and biking have their very own zip-in compartment for the reservoir.

From the perspective of using a hydration pack with a larger backcountry pack (using an Aether 70) I would imagine packing and altering a hydration pack in the provided 'in bag' divider could prove somewhat cumbersome. I came across a suggestion of just laying it atop or even in-between the "cap" portion of the pack.

Anyone have any thoughts, approaches or recommendations to this question? I suppose I can tinker with it to see what's works best for me, but thought I'd reach out on the board...


#165442 - 04/28/12 07:43 PM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
BrianLe Offline

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Washington State, King County
I've done both, and tend to just stick it at the top these days, but your "tinker and see what's best for you" is certainly the right approach.
Brian Lewis

#165450 - 04/28/12 10:44 PM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
Glenn Offline

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Osprey makes its own hydration pack (Hydraform, or something like that) that's designed to fit between the backpad and pack on some of its internal frame packs (I know it works with the Kestrel and Talon for sure.) I don't know if it will work with the Aether, but you might check it out.

#165455 - 04/28/12 11:06 PM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Glenn]
Greg C. Offline

Registered: 04/26/12
Posts: 15
Thanks Glen, I am aware of that. I have North Face and Camelbak "hydration" packs which have their own compartment and then the 18 and 30 Flash packs by REI, which have the "sleeve" for the bladder; the Aether is similar too.

The problem I foresee with it, is this means the bladder practically needs to be packed first and becomes somewhat inaccessible. I don't view this as a bad design or anything, just a reality of the situation.

I had heard in my research of buying the pack, that people just keep the hydration pack between the main compartment and top lid. Some were saying this even allows for easier water flow. As eluded to, I'll probably try both ways and see what I like best, just curious if others hand opinions here...


#165474 - 04/29/12 06:50 PM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
Heather-ak Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
The only issue I've come across putting the water bladder at the top of the pack is wetness - sometimes from condensation, sometimes from being laid in an wet area and nothing to dry it off on (maybe rain) and once I didn't have the lid on quite right. I now have a connection on the actual hose that attaches to my bladder so I don't open it at all, so I'm pretty happy. My new back pack does have a pouch along the back for my bladder, and I haven't had much issue pulling it out and slipping it back in full - though with the filter attachment I don't have to pull it out of the pack it all (other than it is easier to see if the bladder is full.)

#165486 - 04/30/12 12:06 AM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
lori Offline

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I prefer the hydration bladder in the pocket and have carried mine that way while stuffed in behind bear canisters for the past four-five years. I've worn the print off the platypus but haven't had any other issues.

I usually drink two liters per 6-8 miles depending on temperature and effort expended and rarely need to pull it out - but when I have, it's not been an issue. Usually I only have to pull the rain gear and first aid kit out to get to it (those things ride on top of the load).
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

#165491 - 04/30/12 10:00 AM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
Blue_Ridge_Ninja Offline

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 98
Loc: North Georgia
I found it too much of a hassle to try to get my three liter Camelbak (even only half full) to fit into the bladder pocket of my pack, and it takes up too much space for my liking. I use a 2 quart military canteen slung over my shoulder, and the Camelbak is pretty much relegated to day hikes.

#165492 - 04/30/12 10:28 AM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
Ewker Offline

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 222
Loc: Tennessee
I don't use hydration reservoirs. I had much rather carry two 32oz bottles, one in each side pocket

#165496 - 04/30/12 11:59 AM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
aimless Offline

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3251
Loc: Portland, OR
Everyone develops their own style as they gather experience, based on what they discover works best for them. My GoLite Quest pack came with a pocket for a hydration bladder, but I always use a 2-liter Platypus and just lay it horizontally at top of my pack. This makes it easy to access.

Eventually I just cut out the bladder pocket from that pack, as an unused feature and therefore useless weight (it weighed maybe all of 20 grams at most - grin ).

#165894 - 05/15/12 08:58 AM Re: Hydration reservoirs in large packs... [Re: Greg C.]
SC Forester Offline

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 27
Loc: SC
This thread might already be dead but I will add my .02. I use a hydration bag in the supplied pocket in both my Gregory packs. A full liter of water is the heaviest single item in my pack and I normally carry two, since I hike in the SE. I use a gravity filter and a camelback hydolink to fill the hydration bag. No need to access the bag on the trail. I do carry a small disposables water bottle for flavored drinks. In my old pack I would put it in the lid or just under the lid but I found that 2-4 lbs. in the top would throw off my center of gravity


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