OWNER REVIEW: High Sierra Soak 2 Hydration Pack
- High Sierra Soak 2 Hydration Pack
Name: Jo Ann Moffi
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
Weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Shoe Size: US 8 women's
Email address: jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Date: September 1st, 2006
I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my
husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking,
and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We live
in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both
countries for our outdoor excursions. My most recent foray has been into
Adventure Racing. When making a decision on gear, I like to go
lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around extraneous bits
Manufacturer: High Sierra Sport Company
URL: http://www.highsierrasport.com/ <http://www.highsierrasport.com/>
Manufacture Date: 2005
Model: Soak 2
MSRP: $39.99 USD
Size: 46cm x 19cm x 17cm (18" x 7.5" x 6.5")
Hydration Reservoir Capacity: 2L (70oz)
Color: Black/Grey, also available in Black/Orange
Listed Weight: 0.9kg (2lbs, 5oz)
Measured Weight: 1kg (2lbs, 7oz)
Fabric: Mini-Hex Rip stop Waffle Weave
The High Sierra Soak 2 is a hydration pack with three additional pockets
for gear. The bladder slips into a separate sleeve in the main pocket
lined with a special Thermo-Silver insulation. The main pocket has an
additional long, slim sleeve with a Velcro strap at the top for a
bicycle pump. The larger of the two front pockets has three smaller
sleeves along the bottom with elastic across the center to keep longer
items from falling forward when you open the pocket. There is also a
mesh pocket with a zipper sewn into the front flap of this pocket. A
small plastic clip is sewn to the back of this pocket for keys, etc. The
front panel of the pack has the smallest of the pockets. It is accessed
by the zipper on one side of the pack. This pocket runs along the
entire front panel of the pack.
Additional features of the pack include:
- Drain hole in the bottom of the main pocket
- Elastic shock cord on the outside of the pack for more gear
- Plastic clip on the front of the pack
- Mesh panel that comes out of a zippered compartment on the bottom of
the pack for carrying a helmet (attachers to the pack near the main
pocket's zipper so that the main pocket can still be accessed when a
helmet is carried on the pack)
- Reflective strip near the bottom of the pack
- Extra adjustable waist strap that comes out of the sides of the pack
near the smallest zippered pocket
- Vapel mesh Airflow adjustable shoulder strap
- Hands free water reservoir pressure valve with a dirt shield
- 2 Liter hydration bladder with Z-Valve is included with the pack
- Insulated water tube cover
- Adjustable sternum strap
- Vapel mesh airflow padded back for moisture wicking
- Zipped expansion gusset for increased capacity (runs along both sides
and the bottom of the pack)
Location or locations where the pack was used:
In and around Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Southern Ontario, and in and
around Anchorage, Alaska
Description of Location(s):
In Sault Ste Marie I use this pack for numerous longer mountain bike
rides, hikes, and running. I have also used this pack in Alaska on
Mount Aleyska while snowboarding, and while participating in an
adventure race in Southern Ontario. Distances range from 5 km (3.1
miles) to 50 km (31 miles).
Anything from cold early spring to hot summer weather. Temperatures
ranged from 14 F (-10 C) to 97 F (36 C).
I purchased the High Sierra Soak 2 Hydration Pack on a whim at Costco
for $19.99. I believe the tag had an original MSRP of $39.99.
Using the Hydration System:
The bladder is easily removed from the pack by sliding it up out of the
insulated pocket. There is a large easy to use lid on the bladder. To
fill the bladder, simply unscrew the lid, and fill via the opening in
the bladder. Once the bladder is full, slip it back into the insulated
pocket. It is possible to fill the bladder without removing it from the
pack, but I have not done so. The tubing runs from the bottom of the
bladder up to the top on the outside and through a hole in the top of
the bladder. There are holes on the top on both the left and right side
of the bladder so that the tube can be used on either side of the pack.
The pack itself also allows for the tube to be attached on either side
of the shoulder straps. The shoulder straps have both a sewn in loop
for the tube and a Velcro fastened loop. To drink from the bladder, the
dirt shield is removed and water flow is controlled by biting down on
the valve and sipping. The dirt shield is attached to the valve via a
This is my first hydration pack. I am very happy with the bladder and
valve. The bite valve is very easy to use, just put it between your
teeth and bite down lightly to get the water to flow. The dirt shield
adequately keeps the valve clean, but I usually leave it off when
cycling for ease of use, letting it hang by it's cord. I put it back on
when running to keep it from flopping around.
The first couple of times I used the pack there was an unpleasant taste
to the water. That has long since disappeared and water tastes as it
should. The instructions for cleaning are to occasionally place the
bladder, tube, and valve in the freezer for a few hours, remove from the
freezer, allow to thaw and rinse. I have done this several times and
have not had any problems. The theory is freezing kills any bacteria
that may have developed.
The pack fits adequately for hiking and cycling, but it does a fair
amount of shifting around when running. I wore this in a 50 km (31
mile) adventure race and was annoyed with the pack after about 1 km (0.6
miles) into the trekking/running portion. The small adjustable waist
strap does not adequately hold the pack from swinging side to side and
banging into my elbows when running.
The pockets allow for plenty of gear storage. I have packed in the full
2 liters (70 oz), a light jacket, energy bars, keys, cell phone, and
wallet with room to spare. The outside attachment points allow plenty
of spots for attaching gear. I've used it for rope, a PFD, and bike
helmet, all at the same time.
Most desirable features:
- Easy to use bite valve
- Mesh panel for carrying a bike helmet
- Lots of gear pockets for the size of the pack
Least desirable features:
- Insufficient waist strap
This hydration pack is more than adequate for the average hike, bike
ride, or snowboarding/skiing day. I would like it more if I could use
it for trail running without it flopping around so much.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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Edit Administration Manager
- Hello again Jo Ann,
Another nice review. Your edits are below. After making the changes
you can put a HTML version in the test folder and repost here.
***MSRP: $39.99 USD
EDIT: Where did you get the MSRP from? It is not on the web site. If
it was printed on a hang tag it can stay, but otherwise should be
shown as N/A
*** for carrying a helmet (attachers to the pack near the main
***Vapel mesh Airflow adjustable shoulder strap
EDIT: we don't include the trademarks, just capitalizing the word is
***I purchased the High Sierra Soak 2 Hydration Pack on a whim at
EDIT: we don't include retail price information, please remove the
***letting it hang by it's cord.