LTR-Hydrapak Streamline Pack- Chad Fike
- Here is my Long Term Report for the Hydrapak Streamline pack. HTML
version posted here: http://tinyurl.com/5ae77f. Thanks- Chad Fike
TEST SERIES BY CHAD EMERSON FIKE
August 01, 2008
NAME: Chad Emerson Fike
LOCATION: Oakland, Maryland USA
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 150 lb (68.00 kg)
I have gone camping, usually very close to home, since my teens but
only started seriously backpacking around age 30. I do mostly
weekend trips and often take dayhikes. My backpacking experience has
been mostly in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, including parts
of the Appalachian Trail. Each trip has been a learning experience
about techniques and equipment. I try to balance weight, durability,
and cost with my gear choices.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
August 1, 2008 <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1">>
The majority of testing has taken place in the forested terrain of
the Appalachian Mountains including Herrington Manor State Park,
Savage River Reservoir, Garrett State Forest and Swallow Falls State
Park in Maryland, and North Fork Mountain and the Canaan Valley area
in West Virginia. Elevations ranged from around 2500 to 3500 ft (762
to 1067 m). Temperatures during the final months of testing ranged
from around 60 to 90 F (16 to 32 C). I used the Hydrapak Streamline
pack and Reversible Reservoir together on about 18 bike rides
totaling 171 miles and during 1 afternoon of kayaking. I used the
Reversible Reservoir bladder inside another daypack during 1 dayhike.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During the previous phase of testing I contacted Hydrapak customer
service regarding problems with my reservoir and bite valve. On June
5, 2008 a replacement Reversible Reservoir II including a new drink
tube and bite valve arrived. The new items did not appear different
than the originals except that the detachable drink tube and EasyFlo
valve seemed to work a bit easier. All testing except for one bike
ride occurred with the replacement items.
With the arrival of the replacement reservoir I was finally able to
utilize the "reversible" aspect of the product. This feature really
makes the product easy to clean. Instead of using a brush or rag to
access the corners and creases inside the reservoir, I could simply
turn it inside out and wipe it clean. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT
= "IMAGE 3">> Once reversed the interior dries quickly and can then
be returned to normal. It was nice to be able to remove the
detachable drink tube and not have it flopping around when cleaning,
storing or filling the reservoir. It still takes some pressure to
remove the new tube but it seemed easier than the original. I
occasionally put a half full reservoir back in the refrigerator
rather than clean it after every use but I did not have any problems
with mold growth or strange tastes. For the most part I filled it
with water but occasionally used sports drinks. Overall I had no
problems with durability of the replacement reservoir or bite valve.
While the new "EasyFlo valve" seemed to function a bit easier than
the original part I still found the "one-handed lock out" rather hard
to operate with one hand while biking. It was not an issue if I
could use both hands. The pack seemed to insulate the hydration
reservoir well. During an afternoon kayak trip the pack was exposed
to the sun and temperatures around 85 F (29 C) for about 3 hours but
the drink inside remained noticeably cool. The pack was easily
adjustable to fit over a personal floation device.
When biking, my average pack weight with a liter of water continued
to be around 4.5 lbs (2 kg) and included basic equipment such as
first aid kit, bike pump, wallet, keys and a few small repair items.
As it grew warmer and I rarely needed to carry extra clothing I
became less concerned about the lack of storage space within the
pack. The pack is not really suited for my style of dayhiking since
there is not enough room for the extras that I like to take on longer
hikes and I rarely feel the need for a hydration reservoir for short
little strolls. For the most part the Hydrapak website seems to
infer that their packs are primarily designed for biking. While I
continued to be nervous about gear falling out of the interior mesh
pocket I did not have any such problems. I would still feel more
comfortable with a way to secure gear inside the pack. I did not use
the "Hydratunes" pocket and port for any kind of electrical devices.
Hydrapak claims that the "Air-mesh back panel creates air flow
between back and pack" but I did not notice any air flow. Any part of
my back that contacted the pack was usually sweaty after a bike
ride. I did appreciate that the pack is rather small and the area of
the pack in contact with my back was only about 13 in (33 cm) tall
and between 7 to 8 in (18 to 20 cm) wide. Mostly I rode my bike on
terrain with lots of rocks, roots and bumps but the pack remained
comfortable and secure. I always used both the sternum strap and
waist straps to help secure the pack. I find that if my thoughts are
on my pack it is often because of an annoying feature or something
that does not quite feel right. Therefore I think one of the most
positive things I can say about the Streamline is that I rarely
thought about it while wearing it.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "SHOULDER
STRAP COMPARISON">>The Streamline pack has held up well. I feel I
subjected the pack to a fair share of abuse since most bike rides
took place on bouncy, muddy trails with the occasional undergrowth
and the pack was usually tossed in the bed of my truck for the trip
back home. Despite layers of mud and sweat the pack still came clean
with a garden hose and brush. The only real signs of wear I noticed
were on the two elastic pieces of webbing that secure the drink tube
on the right shoulder strap. Both shoulder straps have these pieces
of webbing, but I used the ones on my right shoulder exclusively.
The "Shoulder Strap Comparison" photo shows the difference between
one of the slightly stretched pieces of webbing on the right shoulder
(left side of photo) compared to the unused webbing of the left
shoulder strap. This is a rather minor issue since the webbing still
has enough stretch to be usable. All other buckles, straps and
zippers continue to function smoothly.
Overall I am pleased with the Hydrapak Streamline. While I was
disappointed with the initial durability of the Reversible Reservoir
and valve during earlier testing, I had no problems with the
replacement parts. I really liked being able to turn the reservoir
inside out for cleaning and drying. I still found the EasyFlo valve
rather hard to operate with one hand. The pack itself proved
comfortable and I had no major issues with durability other than some
slightly stretched elastic webbing. The pack does not have a great
deal of storage space for extra gear or clothing but it carried
everything I needed for summer bike rides.
I look forward to continuing to use the Hydrapak Streamline for
mountain biking during warm summer months. If I want to pack some
extra clothes or extra gear in the cooler fall and spring months I
may switch to a bigger pack with more storage room. I do not expect
to use the pack for dayhikes very often due to the lack of storage
This concludes my Long Term Report on the Hydrapak Streamline.
Thanks to Hydrapak and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to
test this product.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.