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OR - CamelBak Alpine Explorer - Brett Haydin

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  • Brett
    Well, I ve done it. I ve taken the plunge on the first, of what I hope to be many reviews! Here are the urls and text to follow:
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 4 7:00 PM
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      Well, I've done it. I've taken the plunge on the first, of what I
      hope to be many reviews! Here are the urls and text to follow:

      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%
      20CamelBak%20Alpine%20Explorer%20-%20Brett%20Haydin/

      http://tinyurl.com/2lrwmf


      CAMELBAK ALPINE EXPLORER
      BY BRETT HAYDIN
      OR
      March 03, 2008

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Brett Haydin
      EMAIL: bhaydinAThotmailDOTcom
      AGE: 35
      LOCATION: Denver, Colorado, USA
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
      WEIGHT: 195 lb (88.50 kg)

      I started backpacking in Wisconsin as a youth, being involved in the
      Boys Scouts programs. As a young adult, I worked at a summer camp
      leading backpacking, canoeing and mountain biking trips. I now
      generally take short weekend or day trips in rough, mountainous
      terrain, although I have extensive experience in the upper Midwest as
      well. I take one or to longer trips each year, where I typically
      carry heavier loads in excess of 45 lb (20 kg). I prefer to be
      prepared and comfortable, but I have taken lightweight trips as well.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "CamelBak
      Alpine Explorer">>Manufacturer: CamelBak
      Year of Manufacture: 2007
      Manufacturer's Website: http://www.camelbak.com
      MSRP: US $100
      Measured Weight - Filled Reservoir: 9 lb 8 oz (4.3 kg)
      Measured Weight - Drained Reservoir: 3 lb 1 oz (1.4 kg)
      Carrying Capacity: 1862 cu in (30.5 L), note that the 2008 model has
      a larger capacity
      Reservoir Capacity: 100 oz (3 L)
      Measured Dimensions when filled: 10 in x 20 in x 9.5 in (25.4 cm x
      50 cm x 24.13 cm)

      Other details:

      The CamelBak Alpine Explorer is a versatile day pack suitable for a
      full day of hiking. With 1862 cu in (30.5 L) of total storage
      capacity, there is plenty of room for everything I need on trail.
      The bladder holds 100 oz (3 L) which is enough to keep me hydrated on
      most hikes. There are two mesh pouches on both sides of the pack
      which can also hold additional water bottles.

      The Alpine Explorer has two compartments; one large capacity and one
      smaller located in the front. The main compartment unzips with two
      zippers opening the pack about halfway either side. The zippers
      have a cord with a plastic tip to grasp. There is also a small,
      fleece-lined, zippered pocket at the top of the exterior of the main
      compartment. This compartment has a picture indicating it is
      appropriate for sunglasses .

      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Inside of
      front compartment">>The smaller, forward compartment opens the same
      way as the larger one. Inside, there is a piece of webbing with an
      attached clip for stowing keys. There is also a multifunctional
      pouch that has one zippered pouch that measures 9 in x 6.625 in
      (22.86 cm x 15.96 cm), an unsealed pouch 5.5 in x 6.625 in (14 cm x
      16 cm), a hook and loop flap sealed pouch 5 in x 3.75 in (12.7 cm x
      9.5 cm) and 3 pencil slots. On the exterior of the pack, there is a
      piece of synthetic leather stitched to the front running vertically
      creating 4 loops. On the bottom in the center of the pack is another
      loop made from webbing to secure more gear.

      There are four compression straps, two on each side of the pack, that
      connect the front compartment to the rear of the main compartment.
      In addition, there is mesh between the two compartments which can
      hold additional items.

      The bladder is stored in a compartment on the rear of the backpack
      that is opened using one zipper that opens about one quarter of the
      compartment. There is a slit at the top of the compartment to allow
      the hydration tube out. The shoulder straps have a plastic ring to
      hold the hydration tube close by. The straps themselves are padded,
      with a mesh lining on the interior facing side and nylon on the
      outward facing side. The waist straps are are similarly padded, but
      each is shaped like a horseshoe reaching up until the hipbone, with
      an un-padded piece of webbing extending the rest of the way and
      secured with a quick-release buckle.







      FIELD USE

      I have used this pack on approximately 20 day hikes, ranging from
      just a couple hours to a 13 mile (21 km) hike that took 11 hours. It
      has also accompanied me on warmer winter hikes as well as
      snowboarding in below freezing weather. In addition to freezing
      temperatures, I have used this pack in temperatures over 90 F (32 C),
      thunderstorms, snow, sleet, and fair weather. The trips have been in
      the mountains of the Colorado Rocky Mountains at elevations from
      6,000 ft (1,829 m) to over 14,000 ft (4,267 m).

      I purchased the Alpine Explorer in the early summer of 2007 because
      my other day pack did not offer enough room for some of the hikes I
      was taking and the gear I wanted to take. Since I was upgrading
      gear, I figured a hydration pack was a great option for my needs. I
      chose the Alpine Explorer because it had a large reservoir, 100 oz (3
      L), and because it had a large carrying capacity.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "Air
      Director and bladder">>
      One of the first things I noticed about the pack was the number of
      storage areas that it contained. There seems to be a place for
      everything: keys, sunglasses, wallet, gear, extra water bottles. The
      loops on the exterior of the pack even tempted me to clip extra
      things to the outside as well, such as a thermometer. In between
      the main and front compartments, there are mesh sidewalls with
      elastic at the top of each side creating an extra space I found
      extremely useful for stowing rain gear once it got wet. The pack
      easily expands to the size I need, and once loaded, I found
      tightening my load easy with the compression straps.

      I find the shoulder straps and waist belt to be easy to adjust, and
      do not come loose very often. The chest strap that connects the two
      shoulder straps can be removed and relocated further up or down the
      main straps for comfort. The excess webbing from most of the straps
      can be tucked away thanks to hook and loop or elastic straps at the
      ends. I did find these a little unnecessary, and the elastic bands
      on the ends of the waist strap are a little bit of a nuisance for
      me. I don't use an mp3 player when I hike, but if I did, I found an
      opening from the sunglass pouch on the top of the pack that I could
      thread headphones through if I wanted.

      The bladder system used by the Alpine Explorer is the Omega Reservoir
      with Hydro Guard and the bite-valve with the shutoff valve to avoid
      leaks. I found the system to be easy to use. Even though I had
      never used a bladder system, I was easily able to figure out how to
      fill up the reservoir and load it back in the back. I even found a
      little yellow cord that the bladder suspends from in its
      compartment. Although there was a slightly odd taste at first,
      either I have grown accostomed to it or it has subsided altogether.
      Almost a year into using the pack, I have yet to perform any
      maintenance on it or the reservoir. On the occasions where I have
      used the pack below freezing temperatures, I have not experienced any
      problems with icing up. I even took the pack snowboarding one night
      and used it the whole time.
      <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 5" IMAGE CAPTION = "abrasion
      and hole">>
      The back of the pack has the Air Director system to help deflect hot
      air away from between the back an the pack. I found this to be a
      great feature, especially in hotter weather and in canyon hikes. On
      one particular hike, I encountered 80 F (26.67 C) temperatures, and
      when the wind blew I could feel the air flow on my back. The backing
      for the pads around the upside down "Y" Air Director system is a made
      of stiff material that provides support for the pack.

      The Alpine Explorer is constructed of sturdy nylon fabric and is
      advertised as weather-resistant. Even in the several rainstorms I
      have been in with this pack, my gear has stayed almost entirely dry.
      There is a corner of my pack that has worn through as a result of a
      slip I took scrambling down a particularly steep rocky area. The
      fall was significantly treacherous, lasting only 15 ft (4.57 m), but
      the rock was especially rough, not smooth or rounded. Besides this,
      there is no other noticeable wear. This one spot does tend to allow
      rain in, but not much despite the clear hole in the fabric.







      SUMMARY

      The CamelBak Alpine Explorer has proved to be a versatile pack for my
      needs. I absolutely love this pack, as I can take enough for me, my
      dogs and just about anything I need for a full day of hiking. In
      addition to being roomy, it is highly adjustable and fits snug
      against my body. This pack is great for longer hikes where a lot of
      water might be needed as well as extra gear.

      Despite the tear in the fabric, I enjoy this pack and will certainly
      continue to use it, although I may decide to have the fabric
      professionally repaired to extend the longevity of the pack. The
      padding is supportive in all the right places without adding a lot of
      extra weight to the pack.

      THINGS I LIKE

      1. There is plenty of water to keep me going, no matter how long my
      day is.
      2. The abundance of storage is organized into separate compartments
      and pouches to make things easy to get to.
      3. The mesh padding and Air Director technology make this pack extra
      comfy and reasonably cool, even in the heat of summer.
      4. Although the pack is listed as weather-resistant, I noticed no
      saturation even in rain showers.

      THINGS I DON'T LIKE

      1. I was somewhat disappointed that the fabric failed after only one
      small slide down a rocky decline.
      2. The elastic loop at the end of each waist strap is a little
      awkward when pulled all the way to the ends. I would have preferred
      to have just an elastic, unattached loop to secure the webbing from
      dangling around.

      - Brett Haydin





      This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
      Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
    • Jamie D.
      PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT! Thanks for your Owner s Review. It has been added to the Owner Review Queue and will be picked up by an
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 9 9:50 PM
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        PLEASE READ THIS EMAIL IN FULL. IT IS MOST IMPORTANT!

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