Tuesday, October 14, 2008

High Octane Hydration

Octane XC, that is, from Camelbak. I was in the middle of setting up the Deuter XC pack that I am still trying out and it came to me that I really needed to slim down my hydration set up. I first I thought the Deuter would be a good everyride pack, but it really is better suited for long days or at least a situation where you need to carry a fair amount of stuff. And, there is some truth to what they say...a bigger pack just means you will bring stuff you don't actually need.

So, I set about slimming down my kit, partially by carrying more on the bike as far as spare tubes, etc. It went well, and when I was done, I was able to get the Octane XC to be what I needed it to be...slimmer, lighter, sleeker, and faster (well, the faster part may be stretching it a bit).

Here she is in all her green and black beauty...kinda a Green Hornet theme there

Two things caught my eye in the catalog before I ordered. One was the little wingy things on the sides of the pack at the hip straps. This looked like it would not only comform to the bod, but make good stash spots for Gu packs, etc. The other was the bungee net on the back cover. That is sooo useful and many packs no longer offer that nifty feature.

It also has a storage spot in the flap over the bladder fill with an inner net and a key clip. The bladder can be filled without removing it from the pack and it sits in an insulated pocket.

I packed it up with my hand tools, pump (slid down along the bladder) Powerbar or two, and strapped in a windbreaker (also in green and black) and found it to be barely noticeable on my back, even when filled with 70oz of water. Will it be the go-to pack for after work rides and supported race events? We shall see.

Meanwhile, stay tuned for an update on the Deuter pack which I have been working over lately.

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