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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > Hydrapack The Morro Hydration Pack > Test Report by Kristine Mar

Hydrapak Morro Daypack

Test Series by Kristine Mar

Initial Report - May 9, 2011
Field Report - July 12, 2011

Biographical Information:

Name: Kristine Mar
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Height: 5'3" (1.6 m)
Weight: 120 Pounds (54 kg)
Email address: kmar546@yahoo.com
City, State, Country: New York, New York, U.S.A.

Backpacking Background:

My love for the outdoors began about ten years ago, while I was living in Northern California. Most of my hiking experience includes day hikes with an occasional 2-3 day backpacking trip. I'd consider myself an all season hiker and generally like to keep my pack as light as reasonably possible. I am currently living in New York City. I've hiked in various parks in several states and countries and enjoy hiking in various terrain, but prefer mountainous terrain for the vistas and views, and enjoy forest/river hikes for the scenery.

Product Information:

Manufacturer:  Hydrapak
Year of Manufacture/received:   2011
Manufacturer Web site:  www.hydrapak.com
Pack Volume / Storage Capacity: 800 cubic inches (13.1L)
Reservoir Capacity: 100 oz (3L)
MSRP: USD $109.99
Color Tested: Black
Other Colors Available: Orange
Listed Weight: 1 lb 13 oz (.82 kg)
Actual Weight: l lb 11 oz (.76 g) including water reservoir and water tube


Product Description:

The Hydrapak Morro backpack is a high quality, lightweight, hydration compatible day pack. The Hydrapak Morro backpack is advertised as being part of the Diamond H Pro Series, manufactured with a high quality, lightweight rip-stop nylon and designed for demanding athletes. The backpack has a large main compartment, with two zippered front pockets for organization, two side pockets for further expansion, and a separate compartment for a water reservoir. The backpack has a moisture-wicking back panel for ventilating and cooling with an ergonomic harness and padded shoulder straps and a stowable waist belt and compression straps on both sides.

Front View

The 100 oz. (3L) reversible water reservoir is included with the backpack and is constructed with a super strong material, free of BPA, PVC, and Pthalates, compounds which are known carcinogens and used to manufacture many plastic products. The reservoir has a wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning, and turns inside out for drying and easy cleaning. The seal folds over and slides shut preventing any leaves and the drinking tube is a high flow bit value with a lock to prevent any unwanted dribbling.

Water Reservoir with Drinking Tube

The package description is in five languages, including English, German, Spanish, French and I believe Italian. There is a lifetime guarantee on leaks on the Reversible Reservoir and a two-year warranty against defects on the backpack.


Initial Impressions:

My first impression of the Morro backpack was that it was lightweight and a convenient size. The pack measured approximately 17 inches in length and 9 inches in width, which seems to be a good fit for my body size. The depth of the pack would depend on the contents and how much compression was applied. The weight of the pack is advertised as being 1 lb 13 oz (.82 kg) on the manufacturer's website; however on the product description tag which arrived with the pack, the weight is shown as 1 lb 6 oz (.62 kg). I weighed each item separately and the actual weight of the pack was 1 lb 5.4 oz (.61 kg) and the water reservoir was 5.5 oz (.15 kg) The ventilated back panel is a nice feature and seems to be well constructed, but the shoulder straps and hip belt do not seem to offer enough support for a fully loaded pack. I filled the pack with clothing and tried the pack on after adjusting the hip belt and chest strap and the pack seemed to fit securely in a comfortable position to my body. The pack seems to be a nice size for bike riding or for use as a day pack while hiking or on other outdoor pursuits.

I examined the interior pockets and there seems to be a number of small pockets, which will be useful in organizing items, including a place for keys and a dedicated audio port. However, the two front pockets seem small and awkward to access. The nylon fabric seems to be durable, the seams are well stitched, and at the end of each of the compression straps is a hook-and-loop provided to prevent the excess straps from dangling. The shoulder straps are also adjustable in length with elastic bands to hold the excess strap in place. I think that having a separate compartment for the storage of the water reservoir is also a nice feature in case there should be any leakage or accidental spilling. Overall, I think that the pack is well thought out and designed for its intended use.

Back Panel

I plan to test this product by determining if the pack is comfortable to wear, especially the shoulder straps and determine if the hip belt and chest strap hold the pack in place when it's fully loaded. I will also determine if the ventilation foam back actually provides adequate ventilation since that's an important feature to me especially when I am on active pursuits, and will comment on the various pockets and their ease of accessibility and practicality. I like that the water reservoir and hose are included with this pack and will determine if the water reservoir is easy to clean and fill and is leak proof. I will also determine if the mouth valve dribbles when not in use and provides adequate water flow when needed.

Summary:

So far, I like the weight, the size, and the overall features of the backpack which include the many organization pockets, the inclusion of the water reservoir with a separate zippered compartment. The adjustability of shoulder straps and hip belt are nice features, but I will determine if they are comfortable and support the pack while loaded. In the coming months, I will test the overall comfort and features of the backpack while on active outdoor pursuits, and will analyze the fabric to determine if it holds up to the advertised durability.

Field Conditions:

I used the Hydrapak Morro hydration backpack a total of 15 times over the last two months, on 12 bike rides and on 3 day hikes. In addition, I also used it on a number of occasions just for daily use around town on errands. All of the activities were in the State of New York and temperatures ranged from 75 F (24C) to 90F (32C). The bike rides were in Manhattan on mostly flat terrain ranging from 10 to 20 miles (16 to 32 km) and the day hikes were approximately 6 to 15 miles (10 to 24 km) in Harriman State Park. The trails were all easy to moderate and never exceeded more than 1,000 feet (304 m) in elevation gain. For the day hikes and some of the bike rides, I generally filled the water bladder and used the day pack for my lunch, snacks, a long sleeved t-shirt, wallet, keys, cell phone, camera, and sometimes my e-reader. On some of the other bike rides when I was doing my errands, I would fill the pack with groceries and other items purchased on my shopping trips.

Observations:

The Hydrapak Morro hydration daypack is a well thought out, nicely designed pack with many features especially for outdoor activities. The hydration bladder is easy to clean and fill as it has a wide mouth which allows it to be flipped inside out for easy drying after washing. The closure on the bag is a seal and roll feature similar to a dry bag and does a great job of keeping the water inside without any leakage or spilling. The on/off valve on the mouthpiece of the drinking tube is a nice feature allowing me to easily switch the valve to the off position to prevent accidental dribbling. The only complaint I would have about the water bladder is that the attachment for the hose to the bladder, is slightly difficult to pull back and snap into place. The plastic doesn't feel very durable and I am sometimes afraid I will break it. The pack contains a separate area for the water bladder which is a nice feature too. When I do not have a water bladder in the pack it provides another separate compartment which easily fits my 10.1 inch netbook or my Nook e-reader.

Besides the main compartment and the compartment for the water bladder, the pack has two side pockets which can be zippered and two small pockets on the front of the pack. The side pockets each fit a standard 7.7 fl oz (228 ml) water bottle for those days that I do not need the full water bladder. If I am on a short hike, I would often put a water bottle in one pocket and a camera and/or snacks in the other pocket. The two outer pockets are small, but easily fit my wallet, iPhone, keys, lip balm and other small items which I need to be easily accessible. On the inside of the main panel, there is another zippered pocket and two compartments with hook and loop closures which might fit a small wallet and a pen or pencil. This pack has plenty of compartments for keeping everything organized and the main compartment has excellent storage space.

    

Photos showing size of compartments. Water bottle is is 0.6 L (20 fl. Oz.)

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The weather has been fairly hot and humid here on the east coast, and the back panel does a good job of providing ventilation. My initial impression of the shoulder straps was that they felt flimsy and did not seem to be able to support a full load. However, even when I have a full load, as long as the pack is adjusted properly the straps are very comfortable and the weight of the pack is nicely supported. It is nice that the waist belt can be stowed away in pockets when not needed and the pack has two compression straps on each side which can also be adjusted as needed.

In addition to all the great features this pack has, it is also lightweight and although the nylon material feels thin, I feel that it is durable and so far has held up well.

Summary:

So far, this is one of the best hydration daypacks that I have ever owned. In addition to the great way the pack fits, it has plenty of compartments for organization, has good capacity for its size and comes with a well-designed, water bladder that is easy to clean and fill, with a drinking tube that has an on/off switch. I also like the overall weight of the pack and the fact that the waist band can be stowed or used as needed. The only thing that I don't like is the attachment for the drinking tube to the bladder. It is difficult to pull back and click into place and I have a hard time telling when it is locked into place. I usually check it a few times to make sure it is securely in place.

This concludes my Field Report on the Hydrapak Morro Hydration Daypack. Please check back in two months for my final results.


Field Conditions:

In addition to the testing reported in July, I continued to use the Hydrapak Morro hydration pack a total of 14 times over the last two months, on at least 10 bike rides and 4 day hikes. I also took the pack on an 8-day trip to the U.K. and Croatia as my carry-on luggage and used it when travelling from city to city on bus rides which were 4-5 hours long, and excursions to the beach. The bike rides were in Manhattan on mostly flat terrain and ranged from 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km). The day hikes were approximately 6 to 10 miles (10 to 16 km) in Minnewaska State Park in New York, a hike in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and two hikes in the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. The trails were all easy to moderately difficult and never exceeded more than 1,500 feet (457 m) in elevation gain. For the day hikes and some of the bike rides, I generally filled the water bladder and used the day pack for my lunch, snacks, a long sleeved t-shirt, wallet, keys, cell phone, camera, a small headlamp, pocket knife and some first aid supplies. The weather has ranged from 80F (27C) to 95F (35C) for most of test period over the past two months.

When using the pack for travel, I found that it fit my Samsung NF310 notebook with sleeve, a smaller 34 oz (1 L) platypus bladder, my Nook e-book, a travel guidebook, a light sweatshirt, a pair of socks, toothbrush, camera, and all my travel documents such as airline tickets, passport, wallet, and keys.

Observations:

My impression of the Hydrapak Daypack has remained pretty much consistent over the test period. I still love the way the pack fits, especially the lightweight feeling of the pack. The adjustments allow the pack to fit snugly to my back without it ever becoming too heavy. The capacity of the pack provides sufficient room for all my things whether I am going to the beach, travelling between cities, or going out for a day hike or bike ride and the design of all the interior pockets for keeping my things organized are very well thought out. The ventilation on the back panel is good, but I have noticed that the white color back panel and insides of the shoulder straps have turned slightly gray after the test period. It would be great if the color where darker so the dirt wouldn't show up quite so easily. The hydration bladder is well designed and easy to clean. It's easy to fill and I have never had a problem with leakage. The drinking tube is designed well, and I love the on/off switch to prevent accidental leakage and dribbling. The only negative comment I have about the drinking tube is the release mechanism for detaching it from the bladder. It is difficult for me to push in and I struggle with it whenever I try to remove it.

Summary:

The HydraPak Morro Hydration pack has become my favorite daypack. I think that almost every feature of the pack has been well thought out. It's lightweight and has excellent capacity for many day use actives, and has great features, such as a separate compartment for the water bladder, and four additional exterior pockets, with the two on the front providing additional organizational features. The moisture wicking and ventilation properties of the shoulder straps and back panels did a good job, but the color of the back panel and shoulder straps would be nice in a darker color. I especially like the adjustability of the pack to fit me perfectly and I think the option of stowing the waist best is a nice and convenient feature.

The water bladder was also well designed with a wide-mouth opening that is easy to fill and clean. The on/off switch on the drinking tube is a great design and few of my fellow hikers were envious of this feature when I showed it to them, especially after their drinking tube had dribbled all over them. My only complaint about the water bladder is the release mechanism for the detachment of the drinking tube from the bladder. I have really enjoyed testing this pack and will continue to use it as my primary daypack. In summary, the following are some of my likes and dislikes:

    Things I like:
  1. Comfortable fit and lightweight
  2. Capacity and design
  3. Water bladder

    Things I don't like:
  1. The detachment mechanism for the water bladder which detaches the drinking tube from the bladder
  2. The color of the back panel and the shoulder straps.

This concludes my Long Term Report on the Hydrapak Morro Hydration Daypack. I would like to thank Hydrapak and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this item.



Read more reviews of Hydrapak gear
Read more gear reviews by Kristine Mar

Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > Hydrapack The Morro Hydration Pack > Test Report by Kristine Mar



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