In the spring of 2011, I was sent a Hydrapak for gear testing. Since I was headed out for a week’s worth of travel, I decided to pull out the hydration portion – bladder and tubes – and use the pack as my camera bag for my SLR and general day pack for hiking and tours.
A big plus is how the pack compresses so well to fit on a carryon, where it served to protect my camera before and during air travel. Once on the ground, it became my everything bag – SLR and equipment in the main pocket, which has a smaller interior zippered compartment good for storing keys and SD card wallet, and everything else, from snacks to guidebooks, in the bladder compartment. An outer sleeve is sized right for a water bottle.
Hydrapak has served us well as an extremely compact day pack. We have also used it with a hydration bladder for both hiking and bicycle rides. Now seven years old, it remains an excellent pack and shows very little wear compared to its frequent use. Whenever one of us wants to “go light,” we pull the Hydrapak from our wall of packs and go.
Ironically, it doesn’t seem to be available any more, as the company’s focus has shifted to the bladders and tubes that can go into any modern-day daypack. You can take a look at what Hydrapak has developed now by visiting their website.