You have to stay well-hydrated to keep your energy levels high and prevent headaches, no matter if you are sitting at a desk or hurtling across the hills. The water bottle has been the traditional choice, while systems that deliver water on demand have become popular with walkers. But the latest hydration innovation from Geigerrig could be the ultimate in drink-on-the-go technology.
Rather than having to slurp, suck or squeeze water into your mouth, the Geigerrig Rig 1600 Pack uses a pump to pressurise the hydration bladder. This means that when you want a drink you just release a valve and the pressure forces water from the nozzle, like a hosepipe. The water can then be sprayed into your mouth, onto your hands, down your neck or even into a mate’s (or dog’s) mouth.
There are packs in the Geigerrig range with capacities ranging from 8 to 26 litres, and the Rig 1600 Hydration Pack is the largest. It’s made from ballistic nylon and has a 26 litre capacity when the 3 litre hydration system is excluded. The pack weighs 1.48kg so consequently it isn’t the lightest backpack on the market.
During use in the Lake District I found that when fitted properly the weight was well-distributed without compromising balance. The pack has easily adjustable shoulder straps, with elastic loops to keep the tubes neat and one side houses the pump that allows easy drinking from the feeder tube. Another plus is the removable padded hipbelt, which adds to the overall comfort. The pack is pretty small at 26 litres but it’s sufficiently roomy for fast and light action whether walking, running or biking. I’ve found this to be a great backpack, which also comes in my favourite colour: black.
The hydration system bladder fits in a separate zipped sleeve inside the pack. Even when fully pressurised, so that it is inflated, it doesn’t encroach intrusively into adjacent internal compartments and the pack remains comfy. The pump on the left shoulder strap initiates fluid flow after just a couple of compressions. When sufficiently pressurised, pressing lightly on the release valve releases a spray of drinking water which is impressive. The hydration system appears not to leak, despite being pressurised.
The spray system is refreshing and eliminates the need to pause to retrieve a bottle of water or suck on a tube when struggling for breath. If you like to consume fluid in gulps, however, you may find that, unlike your water bottle, this system won’t quench your thirst instantaneously.
Capacity 26 litres (plus 3 litre hydration system)
Fabric ballistic ripstop nylon
Features Air drive padded back system; padded hipbelt; adjustable shoulder straps and chest strap; side compression straps; hydration system included
Made in Far East
More info www.whitbyandco.co.uk
The Geigerrig Rig 1600 Pack is an innovative hydration system that would be great for when you cannot pause to find a bottle or don’t have enough breath left to suck from a tube.
Review by Emma Westhead (Trail reader)
First published in Trail magazine November 2011