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Application to test the HSSC Fluid Hydration Pack

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  • Patterson, Rob
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2003
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      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.

      Personal information:

      Name: Rob Patterson
      Age: 19
      Gender: Male
      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.

      Field information

      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:

      Hydration System:

      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:

      * Patagonia
      leece%20Jacket/Owners%20Review%20by%20Rob%20Patterson/> R2 Jacket
      * Arc'Teryx
      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.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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