I tried my first hydration pack in 1985 and have never looked back. The convenience of water access on my shoulder along with the ability to carry my pump, spare tube, repair kit, and food made me an instant convert. I know many riders still prefer the simplicity of water bottles on the bike and necessities in their jersey pockets.
Though I have always used hydration packs, I have also held out hope for one pack that meets all my needs. After extensive testing of the Deuter Compact EXP 12 I believe that I have found my nirvana. Deuter is a German company that approaches product design with relentless attention to detail. This pack is a well thought out beauty with a feature list so long that it deserves to be listed.
* Hexlite nylon with a 210 denier rating is used for the main body. * Deuter's propriety AirStripes back panel system with an air channel sandwiched between two foam panels covered in a breathable mesh. * Compression straps allow this pack to be cinched down tight when carrying smaller loads. * Expandable zippered section provides an additional 150 cubic inches of space. * Zippered stowaway helmet holder along with a zippered detachable rain cover. * Blinky strap on back along with reflective accents throughout * Mesh pockets on the side of the pack along with zippered pockets on the waist belt. * Pump sleeve in main interior along with a zippered pocket. * Secondary compartment with additional zippered pocket and pouch pocket. * Third compartment to hold small valuables along with a car keys retainer. * Highest quality zippers throughout with snaps on external zippers.
All of these features add up to a lightweight and cool running pack that provides many options not often found in other hydration packs.
Deuter recommends this pack for rides of two hours or longer but I feel that this pack can be used on the shortest of rides to the longest of epics. If you have been holding out on making the transition from water bottles to hydration packs, then wait no longer. This pack may very well make a convert of you too.
List Price: $108.95
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