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Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks

Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks

With the weather starting to warm, many hunters now use what are known as ‘Hydro Packs’ to not only store extra kit in but these outwardly standard looking backpacks also have the ability to carry cold liquids via an internal water bladder.

The Backpacks featured are both available in Ridgeline’s own Buffalo Camo pattern – ‘Hydro’, clearly indicates that they feature a means of carrying liquid (H2O) and to save on repetition, the Packs are manufactured from Ridgeline’s own Quiet-Tex material with a PVC lining. This makes for a very strong, hard-wearing outer, that is silent in use, fully waterproof and ‘very’ similar in feel to the now seemingly rare ‘Saddlecloth’ material.

Compact

The ‘Compact Hydro Daypack 3L with Bladder’ is seemingly quite basic. However, measuring 17.25-inches tall by 6-inches wide at the top and 8-inches wide at the bottom, this ‘pear shaped’ Pack has a depth of 1¾-inches at the top, opening out to 5-inches approximately 3-inches from the bottom of the semi-rigid back section. From here, it then angularly tapers back to the bottom of the pack. It comes supplied with an internal/removable 2L bladder. This doesn’t reduce the main stowage space, because the bladder is discreetly hidden and protected in its own Velcro top fasten pocket, ‘sandwiched’ between the back of the pack, sectioned off from the main 3L compartment. When in place, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable, as the ‘Compact’ has a practical strengthened spine, ‘flanked’ by generous padding, overlaid by external nylon mesh. This allows air to circulate around the back of the pack so you don’t feel ‘clammy’ if just wearing lightweight clothing.

Although it uses a similar carrying harness as the other version, the ‘Compact’s’ shoulder straps are un-padded and made from square cut ‘rubber mesh’, with tough, double stitched, heavy-duty Nylon trim with ‘attached’ sections of Nylon webbing that lead out to adjustable buckles that are securely attached at the bottom. Both use the same ‘layout’ for the ‘bladder’s’ drinking tube to be secured in position, as it ‘runs’ down the ‘right shoulder strap of the carry harness. An ABS ‘clip’, formed to suitably hold the diameter of the ‘hose’, is fixed to the top length of narrow but heavy-duty webbing, clearly seen running from a double stitched ‘cross strengthening webbing point’ on the upper front section of the shoulder harness. It not only ‘slide’s’ firmly up or down, to alter position for individual optimum tube position for use of the mouthpiece (which has a very secure and watertight ‘pull off’ rubber cover when not in use), but is also detachable, so if you prefer, you can have the ‘bladder’ tube run down the left shoulder strap.

In harness

Completing the harness is an adjustable sternum strap, with ABS snap clip buckle fastening, which can also be slid along the section of ‘free’ webbing directly below the other to give maximum wearer comfort. There’s also a wider and adjustable (up to 48”) waistband, with an ABS snap buckle fastener. All webbing has captive retainer loops (as does the other ‘Pack’) so when adjusted, ‘spare’ webbing can be tucked away, so that it doesn’t ‘dangle.’ There’s also a Nylon webbing hand grab on the top, for a quick pick up.

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The main compartment is accessed by two heavy duty zip fasteners with lengthy ‘logo-d’ cloth tabs. The half-length clam shell opening reveals two opposing zip top mesh pockets. The top pocket facing you, has a zip fasten (internally box threaded for strength) clear PVC pocket directly beneath it. Handy if you’re leaving your shoot with ‘wet gear’ stored. An externally positioned captive bungee cord with toggle adjustable/fastener affords a useful added carrying option for camo nets or such like.

As a warm weather, short session ‘Pack’ it’s very useful, comfortable to wear, with the bonus of a self-contained, unobtrusive water supply.

Happy medium

The larger Medium Hydro Daypack 30L measures 22-inches high x 14-inches at the base x 6-inches at the deepest point of the crescent shaped, well-padded and fully waterproof base. Two heavy-duty zips with toggle grabs allow access to the ‘full-clam-shell’ opening main compartment. A ‘2L Hydration bladder’ can be bought as an optional extra that neatly slips into the ‘elasticated’ open top internal rear pocket, secured in position by two strong Velcro straps.

It has two, adjustable, wellpadded shoulder straps, with D-rings and adjustable ‘rise and fall’ ABS snap buckle sternum strap, plus a larger snap buckle fastening waist band. A useful canvas top carry strap affords a quick and easy pick up. The back of the pack is contoured, wellpadded and semi-rigid, making it very comfortable when worn. The underside has a reinforced Nylon bottom, with waterproof liner, so nothing will get wet should the pack be placed on the ground. The inner edge of the underside has a very discreet, full-length zip fastening pocket, holding a ‘Hi-Viz’ Orange pull over ‘Rain Cover.’

A large, adjustable ABS clip buckle fastener secures the top overflap and four adjustable compression straps, with ABS clip buckle fasteners (two on either side) that allow you to ‘tailor’ it to suit the amount of kit carried. There are also two elasticated, open top side mesh pockets. A useful ‘pouch’ for a mobile phone, or two-way radio, is included on one side of the carry harness.

Conclusion

In recent years, as ‘Hydration’ Back/Daypacks have seemingly become increasingly popular amongst the UK hunting fraternity, I’ve no hesitation in recommending the ‘Compact’ for those short warm/hot weather sessions, while the ‘30L’ is a practical, very well priced, robust and comfortable ‘rucky’ in its own right, even without the ‘Hydration’ facility fitted.

  • Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks - image {image:count}

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  • Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks - image {image:count}

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  • Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Ridgeline Hydro Daypacks - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

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  • Model: Compact Hydro Daypack 3L with Bladder and Medium Hydro Daypack 30L
  • Price: £44.99 & £48.99 respectively
  • Optional : Extra Hydration bladder £11.99
  • Contact: Highland Outdoors www.highlandoutdoors.co.uk

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