Geigerrig 700 Hydration Pack - Gear Review

Hydration packs are now everywhere.  Head to your local park or trail and there is a tube with a bite valve sticking out of nearly every pack there.  Some focus more on the hydration and less on the pack, for others the opposite is true.  The one thing that you will find with nearly every hydration system on the market is the bite and suck methodology of getting the water from their system into your body.  Giegerrig turned that mantra on its head with their "Never Suck Again" hydration system.

I had the opportunity to review the Rig 700 set-up.  This is a slim pack about 95% focused on hydration, with only 700 cubic inches of dry storage, and less than that if the bladder is full.  The pack is great for any activity where range-of-motion or weight are a concern.  Climbing and biking are obvious, paddling in a canoe was the surprise.  I was able to wear this pack while paddling and still be comfortable.  Not true of most packs.
To be perfectly honest, the pack is not where the Giegerrig sets itself apart.  It is all about the "Hydration Engine".  Forget bite and suck, this is pressurize and spray.  Each bladder has two chambers, one for liquids and another for air. A small squeeze pump sits on the shoulder strap opposite the hydration tube.  Give the little black  bulb a few pumps and the pressure inside the air chamber forces liquids out of the hydration tube.  A bite/squeeze valve with on and off settings make drinking a breeze.  Sip, squirt or spray, you can set it up however you want.  From getting a quick drink to spraying off your boots before getting in the car, you can handle a huge range of water needs from this one system.

Another huge leap forward is in cleanability.  The fill opening is a fold and seal system which allows the bladder to be turned completely inside out and then thrown in the dish washer.  No more funky corners and trying to fashion a paper towel - coat hanger cleaning tool.  Quick release connections make attaching and removing the engine from your pack easier than ever before.

Heading into the back-country?  Add the filter ready tube and in-line filter to your set-up and remove 99.9% Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Unfortunately, this filter does not meet the EPA standards for Bacteria and Viruses. This may not be enough for the germ phobic, but it is all I need.

I have utilized the Hydration Engine in several of my Hydration Ready packs, making it as versitile as it is innovative.  But don't take my word for it, give it a try for yourself and tell me it doesn't change how you think of portable hydration systems...

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