Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Platypus Origin 22.20 Quenching Your Thirst for Adventure

If it is variety and function that you crave, the Origin 22.20 from Platypus is a veritable feast. Appetites are satisfied with jaw-dropping waterproof, 10,000mm-coated fabrics, welded, all-weather zippers, heat-taped seams and 1342 cubic inches of gear space.

In redesigning the hydration pack the Cascade Design Team took a streamlined approach providing exactly what you need and nothing you don’t to keep things light and simple. The main compartment is large enough to gobble up all the gear necessary for minimalist overnights at the beach or peak-bragging day trips.

For all the small essentials you want at your fingertips the minimalist approach of the Origin 22.20 hydration pack doesn’t short change you on storage options. Two zippered waist pockets and two stretch sleeve side pockets along with an internal mesh organizer pocket provide a plenty of storage options. Moreover the stretch sleeve side pockets blend in seamlessly with the rest of the pack and remain tight keeping the streamlined profile of the pack intact.

A lightweight, puncture-resistant, Platypus Big Zip™ 2.0 SL reservoir is the foundation of this Origin pack. An isolated reservoir storage compartment not only ensures gear stays dry, but guarantees that a fully loaded reservoir doesn’t sneak up like a thief in the night stealing gear capacity from the rest of the pack.

The leak proof antimicrobial reservoir keeps water fresh and taste free and opens with ease for stress-free filling and cleaning. Add to that multiple housing options for your hose and an on/off position on the bite valve you’ve got a hydration system that is not only adaptable, but keeps the water in the reservoir and not all over your shirt, jacket, or car trunk.

Utilizing unique toggle mounts for the Big Zip SL reservoir, Platypus has created a more stable, secure housing for the reservoir. These toggle mounts eliminate the lateral movement and instability suffered by reservoirs in other hydration packs so you can hit the trail hard knowing you won’t get sea sick from a reservoir that sways to and fro.

While out pounding the trails with a loaded reservoir, there are few things worse than suffering through that nagging bulge in the center of your back. Platypus has resolved that issue via a padded back section and the BioCurve ventilated back panels which lifts the pack off your back for better ventilation.

As an increasing number of brands are moving towards the integration of rain covers for their packs, the Origin packs stands out from the crowd by sporting weatherproof construction for superior gear protection in any weather. With 200D rip stop nylon, 10,000mm urethane laminiate and welded, water resistant zippers and heat-taping on all critical seams this pack - in the black, green or blue - is bold, striking and resilient, willing to take on whatever Mother Nature - or Disneyland - throws your way.

In the early stages of testing our field team was hesitant to fully endorse of the removable back compression/storage panel. Yet after spending several months with the pack, there is no doubt it has become one of our favorite features. Whether it’s your favorite pair of flips for base camp to dirty gym clothes after a training session, the removable storage panel is the a perfect storage unit.

The Origin's ergonomic shoulder straps are a soft, stretch-woven surface stretched over a ventilated foam padding. Over the course of our long term field testing, the straps remained comfortable day in and day out showing zero signs of break down or wear out. And did we mention there’s even a built in emergency whistle tucked away on the left shoulder strap?

Room for Improvement...

Drawing on years of expertise in the hydration category, Platypus Hydration has done a tremendous job of re-imagining the traditional hydration pack. Despite the overall love affair our field team has had with this pack,  there are still a few minor critiques worth noting:

-Two months into testing the water resistant zippers remain rather stiff, but bottom line is that they work and we’ll take stiff over leaky any day.

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While packing heavier loads, the top loading straps did show a tendency to slip requiring momentary readjustments from time to time.

-When we wear packs, we only seem to fully utilize the sternum strap when hitting the back country or tackling challenging terrain. For daily commutes around town we rarely if ever use this strap. As such from time to time we did find ourselves slightly vexed at the tendency of the stretch-woven fabric on the shoulder straps to slip on the shoulders.

The Bottom Line…
From the mountain ranges of Northern California to the renowned beaches of Los Angeles and everywhere in between, our crew trekked fast and hard with the Origin and thanks to quality materials and construction the pack still looks as new as the day arrived. This new vision of a hydration pack offers impressive fit and comfort proving to be a true all-rounder, offering the “elite performance of super-light uncluttered weatherproof design” promised by Platypus.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to just go through the motions of another outdoor adventure… you want gear that lets your outdoor soul excel in that adventure. Towards those ends the Platypus Origin 22.20 is truly one of the most well constructed and durable products we've had the fortune of reviewing, easily earning the Gumption Gear seal of approval.

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