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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > CamelBak Trizip Hydration Pack > Owner Review by Eric Stroup

CAMELBAK TRIZIP
BY ERIC STROUP
OWNER REVIEW
June 08, 2015

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Eric Stroup
EMAIL: romad4u at yahoo dot com
AGE: 37
LOCATION: Minot, North Dakota, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)

Backpacking Background: I grew up spending a lot of time on my horse in competitive trail riding which taught me the importance of hard use and good equipment. Later, I joined the Air Force and spent a lot of time with a rucksack and on my feet. I now live in North Dakota and work in all of the seasons. I get out camping, hiking, mountain biking and off-roading my Jeep with my wife and kids as often as my schedule allows. My excursions are usually short day trips with occasional overnighters here and there.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Camelbak Products, LLC
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: Camelbak.com
MSRP: US $268
Listed Weight: 80 oz (2268 g)
Measured Weight: 85 oz (2410 g)
Other details: Internal capacity 3.1 liters
Dimensions: 22 x 14.5 x 11.5 in / 56 x 37 x 29.5 cm
Torso Length: 16.14 in / 41 cm
Fabric: 500D Cordura® Fabric front panel, gusset, and shoulder harness top side
Air mesh on back panel and underside of shoulder harness has 210D Nylon lining
7 series Aluminum and 5 mm Closed-Cell foam for insulated reservoir compartment

FIELD USE

I've carried this bag almost daily and on several day hikes in the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge and Theodore Roosevelt National Park and really enjoyed it. Temperatures ranged in the high 30s to the 70s F (4-25 C). I purchased it to be a get-home bag or bug out bag and regular book bag and have owned it almost a year now. Fully loaded out I'm carrying just under 45 lb (20 kg). I have a tendency to overload, and stick anything that I may possibly need. Ever. A Government Issue Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK), a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE), the usual fire making stuff, spare flash lights and batteries, some maps, a Kindle reader, solar charger, some pocket knives, and the list goes on from there. It has held up pretty well, with one exception which I will go into further later on.
IMAGE 1
Fully loaded bag

It's considered a three-day pack and has just over 3 liters of capacity (3.1 liters to be exact).
The TriZip takes its name from the three zippers that meet at the top. The bag splits down the middle, and when unzipped, allows access to the interior top to bottom. It's a really nice feature that I like a lot.
The exterior panels have Molle Webbing on it to facilitate additional pouches, which I use extensively.
IMAGE 2
Large pouches removed to show Molle Webbing

My favorite part of the bag is the harness: it comes with the Futura Harness that Camelbak licensed from Mystery Ranch.
It's probably the best harness system I've ever used on a bag. It's a shame Camelbak doesn't use this on the rest of it's bags. Since I'm 6 feet 1 inch tall (1.85 m), I stretch the adjustability of the harness to its max. So this may not work as it's supposed to for someone who is much taller. The adjustments take a while to get just right but once it's there, it's about the best I've carried.
IMAGE 3
Belt and Shoulder Harness

IMAGE 6
A top pocket on the lid and a Velcro area on the front for any patches I want to put on. I also added some more Velcro to the top of the lid.
IMAGE 12
There are two zip open pockets on either side of the bag as well. The right side has an administrative pocket with several smaller pockets inside.
IMAGE 4
Admin Pocket

The left side has a pocket big enough to hold a Nalgene bottle comfortably. Of course putting anything inside it takes up internal space, I have to make sure I put a bottle inside before packing the rest of the bag.
IMAGE 5
Left side pocket

The waist belt is removable and comfortably padded and has strong buckles. It has adjustment straps to tighten it down. There is a lack of pockets that a lot of hiking bags have, they could have added some Molle webbing on the belt, but otherwise the belt is adequate but nothing spectacular.
IMAGE 7
On the inside there are two mesh pockets that hold things I want easy access to
IMAGE 13
and then on the back is a larger pocket designed to hold military radios. The bottom is padded and you could fit a small laptop in there and expect it to be lightly protected. I use it to carry smaller, flatter items like maps. The bottom, or floor if you will, of the top pocket is a softer, stretchy fabric meant to lower the chance of scratching any electronics I put in there. The problem with this stretchy fabric is that it ripped away from the seam at the back of the pocket.
IMAGE 9
IMAGE 10
I don't feel that I overloaded that pocket and the fact that this ripped is really disappointing. Thankfully, CamelBak offers a lifetime "Got Your Back" warrantee, so I could return that bag to get it replaced.

There is an additional pocket to hold the 100 ounce (3 Liter) "Antidote" bladder that came with it and it has the quick disconnects as well.
IMAGE 8

SUMMARY

I really like this bag. It has only a couple of drawbacks and for the most part minor ones. I absolutely love the Futura Harness and for that reason I will keep this bag until it completely falls apart. The Molle Webbing makes it very easy to add the pouches I need to really make this bag carry everything I need. The layout of the pockets and the zippers does interrupt the flow of the webbing and really limits the size of the pouches and accessories that you can add. In my case that's probably a good thing since I have a tendency to overload. Unfortunately, CamelBak has discontinued this bag so I probably won't be able to get it repaired or replaced. They'd most likely replace it with a similar bag. That being said I'm going to keep the bag and attempt to repair it myself.

THINGS I LIKE

I've said it a couple times. I love the Futura Harness from Mystery Ranch. The adjustability and comfort that this harness provides is the best I've seen or worn. I like the TriZip setup because it gives me access to the top and the bottom of the bag all at once. This lets me to pack heavier stuff on top and spread it out for easier carrying. The waist belt is adequate and is padded well enough to allow long distance carry.

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

First among the things I don't like is the floor of the top pocket. The fact that the fabric tore so easily made me very worried about the entire bag overall. Thankfully, nothing else has ever ripped or torn on the bag.
I would have liked to see some small pockets on the waist belt or at least some Molle Webbing so I could add my own pockets.

SIGNATURE

Eric Stroup

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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