Application to test the HSSC Fluid Hydration Pack
- Application to test the HSSC Fluid Hydration Pack.
I have read the BackpackGearTest Survival guide, Version 1202, and agree to
abide by all the requirements of this test.
Name: Rob Patterson
Height: 5 feet 9 inches (1.6 m)
Weight: 150 pounds (68 kg)
Email address: rpatterson@... <mailto:rpatterson@...> or
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date: Jan 10 2003
Backpacking Background: I'm an avid backpacker, and have hiked through
Algonquin Park, part of the Caribou range in B.C., and part of the Northern
Lake Superior trail. I am also an avid day hiker, on the Bruce Trail, near
Toronto, and along the Niagara Escarpment. My whole family are day hikers,
normally 10-12 km (6 to 7.5 miles), along the Niagara Escarpment. I also
Skate Ski competitively, along with using classic cross-country skies to
access otherwise inaccessible trails in the winter. Beyond that, I am an
occasional whitewater canonist, and last summer took part in a 5 week
development project in the Guyanese Amazon. During the last four summers I
have collected over 150 days of hiking and canoeing, in isolated wilderness
areas. I tend to be a mid-weight backpacker but am trying to par down my
load. As the Canadian woods in the summer can get pretty buggy, I've always
used a tent, packing it into my 80L (4700 cu in) backpack. Because of school
most of my trips happen over the summer, but I make up for this in part by
spending about half of it camping. Also next year in University I hope to be
in either Southern England or in the Costal Mountains of British Columbia -
in short I'll get a lot of winter trail time.
This summer I plan to make at least one solo-backpacking trip along the
north-east shore of Lake Superior, as well as working at a summer camp in
New York State, where I'll lead several multi-day treks with the campers.
With the mid-to-end of May delivery date that I'm expecting, the testing
period should run into October/November, at this point I hope to be in
either Southern England, or Southern British Columbia. The perfect grounds
for winter and fall testing.
The locales that I will test the pack in, run form sea level, cold and rainy
(England); to dry alpine environments (B.C.); as well as warm to cool,
buggy, and forested (Northern Canada, and New York State). I plan to
encounter nearly every type of weather imaginable (I have never been to some
of these places, so some of the weather that I run into will be unexpected),
including using the pack in Alpine environments (under 14,000 feet), along
with forests, meadows, and in hilly and rocky areas (Northern Canada).
Temperature, will likely range from 35 C to -10 C (95 F to 14 F). In total I
hope to use the pack for 40+ days in the test period. My pack weight is
decidedly mid-weight, and I emphasize function and durability over weight. I
am mainly a tent camper, but from time-to-time use a bivy sack or hammock
depending on what I'm doing and the conditions. While I am a comparatively
new tester, I am eager to do my best on this review.
If selected for the Fluid test, here is my plan:
I'm curious how well the hydration system included in the pack works. I have
heard great thinks about Platypus and MSR systems, but very little about
third party ones. Areas I will pay particular attention to include, does the
system leak? If so, where, under what conditions, and does it wet stuff in
the bag? I'm also interested in a hydration systems advantages over a
Nalgene water bottle (my current hydration system), and any disadvantages
that I might encounter. The website claims that the hydration tube is
insulated, so I would be interested in finding out if the pack is useable in
the winter for cross country skiing, or if it freezes up. I'd also be
interested in finding out if the bladder interfaces with my Bora 80 pack (it
also has space for a 2 liter hydration system). I'm interested in how well
the valve works, and if it leaks, as well as how easy or difficult it is to
suck the water up. Often I find that if I have to do a lot of sucking to get
water, I end up thirstier then I began, despite having drunk, so this is an
important area. Lastly I want to know, if when the rest of the pack is full,
does this affect the hydration systems performance? If so how? I plan to
test the hydration system, hiking and scrambling with my family, as well as
cross country skiing, and climbing with my friends.
How the Pack caries:
Being basically a really fancy daypack, it is very important that the pack
carries well. I'm interested in how it carries, fully loaded, partly laded,
with a heavy load, and with only reservoir. The pack does not appear to have
any compression straps to help carry the load closer to your body; does it
need these? Or is the pack small enough that it can do without? Because the
pack lacks a load carrying hip belt, all the load is carries across the
shoulders, so how comfortable are the shoulder straps? Do they distribute
the weight nicely, or do they dig in on long hikes? How are they adjustable?
Does the pack have a back panel help to carry the load? And if so how
comfortable and effective is it? Does the comfort drop off with heavier
loads? If so, how much? And is the back panel removable for lightweight
hikes? Does the hip belt, help to hold the pack to my back, and is
comfortable to wear for long periods? If selected I would test how the pack
carries, and it's comfort through climbing in British Columbia, or England,
and the Alps. As well as cross-country skiing with it (both skate, and
classic), as well as day hiking, and trail bicycling thought the summer and
early winter months.
Internal Space and organization:
The High Sierra's website seems a little vague on this, but I would be
interested in finding out, how exactly the pack is organized, and what fits
in side it. The website says that there is a main compartment, a smaller one
on the outside, and lastly an even smaller mesh one. Are these pockets
internally divided in anyway (penholders, mesh bags, ect.)? Lastly I would
like to find out is the elastic shock cord is able to hold a light shell or
fleece securely to the pack. Also beyond merely reporting on the packs
arrangement, I would make my own comments on how effective the arrangement
is, and what High Sierra could do better. So if selected I'd test the pack's
internal arrangement through normal summer to early winter use.
After having some lesser quality packs either disintegrate on me, or handle
the toughest abuse, I would be interested in finding out which category the
Fluid falls into. Through responsible use, I hope to discover areas of wear,
as well as any louse threads that pop up over the six month test. I'd also
be interested in discovering the durability of the front mesh packet - does
it rip or gain extra holes? Lastly I would be interested in finding out how
well the pack's zippers hold up to overstuffing.
Ease of use of pack and features:
This pack is hardly minimalist, and I'd be interested in discovering the
ease of use, and effectiveness of all the pack's features. Some specific
questions include, how easy is it to access the compartments, when they are
empty and full? As well as how well do the, shock cords, grab handle,
ventilated back and straps work? I'm particularly interested in how well the
back and straps ventilate in warm and cool weather, while doing endurance
sports such as Nordic skiing or Climbing. I'm also interested in how well
the built in rain fly work. Is it easy to access, and does it easily fit the
pack? Lastly, does the reflective piping help with visibility at night? Once
again these features will be tested over the summer, and into the winter
through frequent day hikes, as well as skiing and climbing trips.
Previously written reports
My two owner reviews are:
leece%20Jacket/Owners%20Review%20by%20Rob%20Patterson/> R2 Jacket
cket/ArcTeryx%20Hybrid%20Jacket%20-%20Bob%20Patterson/> Hybrid Jacket
* I am also currently testing the Cloudveil
b%20Patterson/Initial%20Report/> Four Shadows Bennie, and am a member of
the spare monitor pool.
* I have as well applied to test the Mountainsmith Wisp sleeping bag.
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