Thursday, August 18, 2011

Platypus Hydration Re-Imagines the Hydration Pack

The Dictionary defines “variety” as (1) The state of being varied or diversified; (2) a different form, condition, or phase of something.

We can’t prove that Cascade Designs, Inc., had this definition in mind then they set out to redefine the hydration pack, but it wouldn’t surprise us if - like when Rocky trained for his fight with Drago - they had it stuck in the frame of their mirror keeping them ever mindful of the task set before themselves. 

Drawing on years of expertise in the hydration category, Platypus Hydration (part of the Cascade Designs family) set out to re-design and re-imagine the traditional hydration pack.  When they put pen to paper, there were no rules, no boundaries, just a vision of what a Hydration Pack could, and more importantly, should be. 

The result is a series of low-profile and highly efficient packs fit for a variety of athletic undertakings.  This post reflects our initial impressions on both the Origin 3 and Origin 22 after spending a few short weeks with the packs. Over the next five to six weeks our team of outdoor experts will continue putting the packs to the test to see if they truly offer the best performance, comfort and customization available for your outdoor endeavors.

First Impressions…
A lightweight, puncture-resistant, Platypus Big Zip™ SL reservoir is the cornerstone of every pack in the Origin lineup.  The designated hydration compartment is constructed to easily accommodate both the two-liter and three-liter sizes without affecting the capacity of the pack itself.  Platypus utilizes unique toggle mounts for the Big Zip SL reservoir. These mounts take a bit of getting used too, but they make for a more stable, secure fit. 

The leak proof antimicrobial reservoir keeps water fresh and taste free and opens as easy as a bag of chips for stress-free filling and cleaning.  Another quality feature is the on/off position on the bite valve which helps ensure that the water stays in the reservoir and not all over your shirt, jacket, or car trunk.

Equipped with the cool BioCurve ventilated back panels and SoftTouch stretch-woven harness, the Origin packs are constructed to attack the most demanding trails while comfortably supporting the weight of your water and whatever else you carry with it.

The ergonomic shoulder straps are a soft, stretch-woven surface stretched over a ventilated foam padding.  Over the course of our long term field testing, our team will give distinctive attention to the design of these straps because we are interested to see if they effectively compare to the more standardized mesh straps used on comparative hydration packs.

One thing that separates the Origin series from other hydration packs is the variety of hydration hose options which allow the wearer to find the most effective placement for their chosen adventure. 

When it seems that an increasing number of brands are moving towards the integration of raincovers for their packs, the Origin series again splits from the pack by sporting waterproof, 10,000mm-coated fabrics, welded, all-weather zippers and heat-taped seams.  These materials contribute to an overall minimalist sleek design that is easy on the eyes and sure to draw attention. 

Everyone knows the importance of a good first impression and after our first few dates the Origin 3 and 22 packs left us with the warm fuzzies.  Next step we’ll put this relationship to the test through the literal peaks and valleys of our relationship to make sure the Origin packs have gumption necessary for a long-term relationship.  

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