When I first clapped eyes on the new range of Platypus rucksacks it was like reacquainting myself with an old school friend and being pleasantly surprised to discover they were even nicer than I’d remembered.
Think of hydration systems, and Platypus is a brand that instantly comes to mind. They dominated that market for many years and also made hydration packs, which were particularly great for mountain biking and running. But while my old Platypus rucksack is still going strong, the brand has not been producing sacks since 2004.
For 2011 Platypus has returned to the area it once dominated with a new range of hydration packs for hiking, running or biking. The range consists of seven Origin models with capacities from 9 to 32 litres.
I’ve had the Origin 32:20 featured here for a few months. It is designed for multi-night fast and light trips, overnight alpine ascents and lazy day walks. At 775g including the Platypus hydration system, the Origin 32:20 is light enough not to hold you back.
It has a zip-around opening, front compression panel and stretch mesh side pockets. The hydration bladder sits in a dedicated pocket close to the back. The back system is well padded with a wide airflow chimney.
In use I’ve found the Platypus Origin 32.20 to be extremely comfortable to wear while allowing great freedom of movement for running, biking or just walking. Interestingly the fabric has taped seams in the main compartment to make them waterproof, but I’d still want a normal waterproof rucksack liner as Lakeland rain can still work its way through the zip opening.
The sack is great to use if you prefer zip-around designs – and when biking and running that is what I’d choose, rather than a clip-over lid. Some back systems are possibly more comfy, but I like the clean, clutter-free design of the Platypus – so for me this feels great.
Capacity 32 litres
Fabric waterproof material with taped seams on main compartment
Features ventilated BioCurve back; 3 litre Big Zip hydration system included; taped seams on main compartment with zip-around opening; compression pocket and straps; hip fin pockets; waistbelt
Made in China
Stockist details tel. (01629) 580484; www.firstascent.co.uk
The new Platypus rucksacks are a welcome addition to the gear cupboard for biking or fast and light trips.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2011