Apparel & Accessories

Tested: Hydrapak Reyes

Padded straps and a soft back panel make schlepping water and gear with the Reyes an exercise in comfort.

The Reyes retails for $74.99. Photo by Gregg Stone

HYDRAPAK REYES GALLERY

I gotta admit, when I first received the Hydrapak Reyes to test I was a little hesitant to leave my old pack behind.

After countless trails, thousands of miles and more epics than most people do in a lifetime, I knew my old pack like the back of my hand and didn’t feel like it was lacking in any way. But after a several long days in the saddle with Hydrapak’s latest offering strapped to my back, the ultra soft material found in the shoulder straps and back panel of the Reyes left one lasting impression — comfy.

Digging deeper into the Reyes I found its 100oz reservoir flying first class in its own insulated zippered compartment. The reservoir itself seals up tight with a “slider” style clip that makes filling and cleaning quick and easy. The bite valve has the ability to lock, which ensures that no water can leak out while crammed inside your gearbag or rolling around in the trunk of the car.

The main compartment is accessed via a rainbow-style zipper that extends down about nine inches on both sides. I gotta say, I really like this feature. Fully unzipped, the pack opens up nice and wide revealing easy access to the contents within the pack.

The 325 cubic inch gear storage area has a sleeve for your pump, a small zippered mesh pocket (about the size of a smart phone) and a key clip. There are no other pockets inside, which forced me to grab for a small nylon bag to help contain my tools, patch kit and other repair bits that I always bring with me but hope I never need.

HYDRAPAK REYES
MSRP: $74.99
Weight: 1lb, 4oz
Gear Storage: 325 cu. in.
Reservoir: 100 oz (3L)
Measurement: 17.5″ x 7.25″ x 4.25″
Material: 210D Baby Rip Nylon and 210D Nylon
Available: Now
www.hydrapak.com
REYES: TAKE-TWO
The Hydrapak Reyes is, indeed, comfy. Along with the padded shoulder straps, a removable waist belt keeps the pack from jumping off the lower back on whoops. Ample strapping is available to dial in shoulder and sternum fit, but there is almost too much strap left over and unless you take the time to carefully roll and secure unused material it will whip around like streamers in the wind.
The inner compartment was more than adequate for carrying gear, but only one small outer pocket seemed a bit too minimalist. The external pocket is handy for getting to a gel or bar without having to open up the main pack, but even though it is deep it doesn’t secure with a zipper. I have enough “doh” moments when I leave my main pack unzipped risking a Hansel-and-Gretel-like trail of gear behind me, so I was reluctant to put anything of real value — such as a mini-tool — into the external pocket.
Like Gregg, I too found the magnetized Quantum Clip handy, even though it did pop loose now and then when I was using a lot of body English to get through technical trail sections.
Other cool features are the reversible reservoir, which makes cleaning easy and the “Plug-N-Play” attachment that allows the tube to be easily detached from the reservoir when filling or cleaning. — Jamie Bate

More gear separation would be a nice addition here, but it’s certainly not a deal breaker.

Once zipped back up there are a set of adjustable horizontal compression straps that keep small loads from shifting around and enable bigger items (like a jacket) to be lashed to the outside of the pack should you happen to reach maximum capacity inside.

The business side of the pack is made of a material that O-ficial industry type folks call “210D Baby Rip Nylon.” To me it was just some lightweight nylon — until I tried riding under a low tree that had fallen across the trail. Smashing the pack against the underside of said tree stopped me dead in my tracks, and therefore effecting my peanut butter and jelly sandwich negatively, but the material proved quite durable during this, as well as a few other, encounters with trailside hazards.

The first ride with the Reyes had me stopping a couple of times for some minor adjustments but I quickly became comfortable with the pack, which let me focus more on riding my bike and less about what was on my back.

A handy feature that I instantly fell in love with is Hydrapak’s “Quantum Clip.” The Quantum Clip consists of two magnets; one adjustable magnet on the hose and another one that clips on the sternum strap — or any other strap of the pack for that matter. When you’re ready for a drink simply grab the hose and the magnets release allowing full range of motion of the bite valve. When your done taking a drink, simply get the hose close to the sternum strap (or wherever you placed the other magnet) and the magnets connect keeping the bite valve from swinging around and out of harms way while not in use.

So what do I think about the pack? Well, it’s pretty freakin’ rad actually. If you’re in the market for a new hydration pack the Reyes should definitely be on your list. With solid construction, good fit and plenty of colors to choose from it’s a solid contender in my book.

CHECK OUT THE HYDRAPAK MORRO REVIEW

Gregg Stone’s long, strange trip in the bicycle industry goes back far enough to recall “U”-brakes, flex stems and Campy’s attempt at an off-road group. He owns and operates Mighty Mobile Bike Repair in Truckee, California. No slouch on the bike either, Gregg posted a top-10 finish in the 2010 Downieville Classic All-Mountain category, is the reigning Nevada State mountain bike champion and is ALWAYS in search of one more trail.