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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > Hydrapak Streamline > Test Report by Chuck Carnes

HYDRAPAK
STREAMLINE
Outside

Initial Report: March 18, 2008
Field Report: June 3, 2008
Long Term Report: August 20, 2008


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
Name: Chuck Carnes

Age: 38
Gender: Male
Height: 6 ft. 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
E-mail address: ctcarnes1(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country: Greenville, South Carolina USA

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND
I love the outdoors – I’ve spent time camping in the outdoors since I was born, and have been actively hiking and backpacking since then. I consider myself a lightweight hiker, usually carrying 20 – 30 pounds (11-13 kg) for hikes up to a week in length. I hike at an easy pace, averaging 2 mph (3 kph). I am a one-man tent camper for now. I like to carry a single trekking pole when I hike to help relieve stress to my legs and knees. I like to get out on the trail as often as I can.



I N I T I A L    R E P O R T
March 18, 2008

PRODUCT INFORMATION
Manufacturer:
Hydrapak

Model: Streamline
Color: Black/Grey
Gear Storage:
160 cu. in. (2.6 L)
Hydration Capacity: 70 fl. oz. (2 L)
Year of manufacture: 2008
URL: http://www.hydrapak.com
Listed Empty Weight:  15.0 oz (425 g)
Actual Empty Weight:  15.7 oz (445 g)
MSRP: $52.99 USD

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Hydrapak Streamline at first glance doesn't seem like much of a gear pack but it has a lot of gear space under those flaps and zippers.

Upper PocketThe upper pocket is a fleece lined, zippered pocket that is big enough to hold MP3 player, sunglasses, camera or any other piece of gear that you really don't want scratched. If an MP3 player or any other audio device is used, there is an exit port at the top left for wires from headphones.









Lower PocketThe lower pouch has many different pockets and elastic holders that can put your imagination to the test when it comes to putting items in it. It also is equipped with a 'key' clip. There is room enough for snacks, money, wallet, keys or any other personal item that you want secured. Integrated with the front pouch is a small pocket on the outside that is closed by a small hook and loop fastener and has a rubber fabric tab for opening proposes.











FlapSideThe upper pocket also acts as the pack's flap that covers the opening for the hydration bladder. The flap is held down by way of snap buckles on each side. Under the flap and behind the front pouch are two pockets that connect the front pouch to the pack with mesh material and elastic hem. These two pockets can be stretched out and have wind jackets or lightweight shells stored in them.












Tube HolderThere is a tube holder that is called the 'Quickdraw Tube Attachment' that allows the tube to be placed anywhere on the shoulder strap without having to fish it through elastic straps to keep it connected and close by. One part of the holder is wrapped onto the tube itself. It is a hook and loop material with the loop portion to the outside. On the shoulder strap is the other part which is the hook fabric that allows these two to stay together and can be slid up and down the shoulder strap. The hook portion on the strap can also be removed to be able to place on the opposite shoulder strap if desired.







Sternum StrapThe sternum strap is expandable and adjustable by elastic straps and can also be removed from the shoulder straps through slots in the side buckles. The hip belt is made of webbing with clip buckles and can be removed from the pack also. The rear panel has two raised mesh panels that come in contact with the shoulder blades and gives much needed comfort in that area even when carrying a light load. The panels have a slight curve to them and are spread apart to give a chimney effect so that air can flow between the pack and back.








Bladder FrontBladder BackBladder TopThe Reversible Reservoir II bladder is very unique the the Hydrapak system. The Streamline model comes with a 72 fl. oz. (2 L) bladder that has fluid gradual marks printed on the front and instructions on how to 'reverse' the bladder, inside-out, for better cleaning. The opening of the bladder is sealed by folding the top at a manufactured crease and then sliding the blue slide clip over the crease to completely seal the opening. Attached to the blue slide clip is a string that is also attached to the bladder to keep from losing or misplacing. Also attached to the string is a clip so that the bladder can be hung by a cord or similar and a buckle that mates with the buckle inside the bladder sleeve to keep the bladder upright while in the pack.






Plug-n-Play ConnectedPlug-n-Play OffThe drinking tube connection with the bladder is called 'Plug-n-Play' because the tube can be disconnected from the bladder by pressing a grey tab that releases the tube connection. This allows the user to keep the drinking tube attached to the pack and can take the bladder separately to have it filled up or cleaned. When ready to re-connect the tube simply press the connection back together.





Summary during Initial Report:
The Hydrapak Stream line is a very nice little hydration pack that has just enough cargo and hydration area to meet the needs of a day hike or less. I am very impressed with all of the features and pockets that it has. After inspecting the pack and all of its features I did not find any loose threads or missed stitching or any kind of manufacturer defects. This pack seems very well manufactured and all the functions worked. I did however find it a bit difficult to disengage the drink tube from the bladder. I understand that this connection must be tight in order to have this option. It was also hard to connect it back together but again, I believe this is needed to keep from any leakage while the bladder is full and in the pack. But I do like the convenience of being able to separate them.

I am pretty sure that I will really like this pack. I will be doing many day hikes, trail runs and bike rides this spring and summer and this pack will work great. I look forward to testing out the 'Easy Flow Bite Valve' and how well the liquid actually flows and how well it keeps from flowing when not in use.

That's Cool:
* Just enough capacity for gear and hydration for the weight
* Routing options for the drinking tube
* Push-Pull bite valve to open and close
* Reversible bladder for easier cleaning
* Wide mouth opening in bladder for easier filling
* Seal type closer instead of screw top

That sucks:
* Nothing sucks at the moment



F I E L D    R E P O R T
June 3, 2008
Boone Trip8

I have taken the Hydrapak Streamline on a few day hikes and on many bike rides. Most of my day hiking has been in the Pisgah National Forest, Jones Gap and Julian Price Park. All of these trips were hikes that ranged from 2 to 8 miles (3 to 12 km) in length with elevations from 1,100 ft to 6,600 ft (335 m to 2012 m). The temperatures ranged from 45 F to 85 F (7 C to 30 C) and mostly under clear to cloudy skies. Most of my bike rides have been on designated trails and some in a rural area of town but none the less, the Hydrapak has seen many days on the trail either by hiking or riding.  

For the sake of long boring trip reports of the days spent with the Hydrapak I will sum them up in general comments and findings about the pack. As I would go out day hiking, in the pack I would carry 2 or 3 energy bars, a light rain shell, emergency items and sometimes an MP3 player if I was alone which was most of the time. The keys, wallet and money would fit great in the lower pouch that is designated for such items. That is where I would normally put the energy bars and maybe some peanuts. When I needed the snacks, it was easy enough to take the pack off, grab the snacks and put the pack back on. I never really used the hip belt that is provided because I was never running or needed the pack to stay in place to keep it from flopping around; even when on my bike I never used it.

The upper fleece lined pouch came in very handy when I was alone and had my MP3 player. I could turn it on, feed the wires through the port and walk happily down the trail listening to music. This was also a good place for my sunglasses when they were not in use and the fleece lining kept them from getting scratched.

In the picture above I am actually with my kids on the trail and since the Hydrapak would not hold all of our gear, I had to also use a lumbar pack along with the Hydrapack. But the only thing that was in the lumbar pack was my kids stuff. The pack rides very well on my back and shoulders. During each outing I would have either water or energy drink in the water bladder. I found it to be very comfortable even when it was full to capacity with liquid. Little to no sloshing occurred even when the bladder was almost empty. I found the bladder a little bit hard to place in the pouch when it was full. I usually had to hold the bottom of the bladder and pull it into the pouch so it would not get crinkled up inside the pouch. I also found the drinking tube to be a little bit too long. Once the tube was fed through the opening at the top of the shoulder and down the shoulder strap, I would have to attach it to the opposite side of the shoulder strap that it comes down. This isn't a huge problem but previous drinking tubes that I have used would terminate right at the sternum strap or a little below and not cross over to the other side.

The flow rate of the liquid was great and the bite valve gave me the opportunity to drink as fast as I wanted without using a lot of energy sucking on the tube. I experienced a little bit of leakage in the bite valve but is was mostly from the excess on the outside. Cleaning the bladder was easy enough. I disconnected the drinking tube from the bladder, reached my hand inside through the wide opening, grabbed the inside bottom of the bladder and pulled it inside out. I could easily rinse the inside of the bladder and lay it out to dry and run water through the drinking tube. The only part that is not completely turned inside out is the folding portion of the opening. It is made of hard plastic and it the material does not give enough to be flipped inside out. This trough that is formed around the entire rim can be wiped dry with a towel if needed. 

Summary during Field Report:

So far I am very pleased with the Hydrapak and its performance. I have enjoyed the light weight feel of the pack enven if the bladder is full and all of the pockets are full. It is very easy to take on and off the shoulders to get to anything in the pockets. The bladder and drinking tube work great and holds just enough liquid to keep me hydrated and not feel like I am hauling around more than I need.

That's Cool:
* The ease of cleaning
* The ease of taking the pack on and off
* Just enough gear storage for a long day hike
* Great liquid flow from bite valve

That sucks:
* Drinking tube is a little too long for me
* Can't turn the bladder completely inside out



L O N G   T E R M    R E P O R T
August 20, 2008

I have continued to use the Hydrapak Streamline on the few hiking trips I have taken this last two months of testing. The temperatures in my area have been too hot to do any extended day hiking trips. The temperatures here have been around 85 F to 100 F (30 C to 37 C) with about 90% to 95% humidity. I have gone to several local areas to do my day hiking and get some time in with the Hydrapak. The hikes were moderate to strenuous.

One in particular was to Table Rock where the trail was 2.5 miles (4 k) that ascended very steeply. I knew I would need a lot of hydration on this trip and the Streamline worked perfect. This was more of a face paced hike with a few buddies and the Streamline kept me hydrated when I needed it and stayed close to my back as I jumped back and forth over rocks thanks to the waist belt that is provided. The fully loaded bladder never felt heavy or uncomfortable. The liquid stayed cold for most of the trip and I never had any trouble with the tube or bite valve. The chimney air flow design for the back worked as good as could be expected in such blistering heat. When I removed the pack, my shirt was wet with sweat mainly where the pads touched my back and shoulder straps; so that gave me the indication that the other dry areas were dry mainly from good air flow.

During my hiking trips I usually carried the same things; power bars, small first aid kit, sunscreen, bandanna, keys and money if I have any. Sometimes I carried other snacks and personal items. But they always seem to fit in the pockets that are provided. I always think that the things I want to take will not fit but they always do. It expands really well to get that last thing in that seems necessary.

Since my Field Report I have only carried water in the bladder and no sports drinks. This makes it easier when it comes to cleaning and not having to worry about getting every single drop of any sticky liquid that might get caught in the tube, bit valve or any crevasse that I can't get to when airing it out to dry. After a few hours in the sunshine the bladder and tube are completely dry and ready for the next trip.

All zippers and fabric have stayed in great shape except for being a little dirty from the dusty trails. At some point I may apply some water repellent spray to help keep the pack from getting molded while in storage and to keep the contents of the pack dry as well.

Final Summary:

I am very happy with the Hydrapak. It has performed more than expected and held up to many day hikes. I truly like the compactness of it and the size of the pockets and bladder volume is just right for all day outings. The weight of the pack when fully loaded is very unnoticeable and very comfortable. It has been a great addition to my day hiking and biking gear collection.

That's Cool:
* The liquid in the bladder stays cool for quite a while
* Pocket sizes are just right
* Very comfortable when fully loaded

That sucks:
* Drinking tube is still a little too long 
* Can't turn the bladder completely inside out


This concludes this test series
Thank you Hydrapak and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity.



Read more reviews of Hydrapak gear
Read more gear reviews by Chuck Carnes

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