Known for its double-wall water bottles, this spring the Bend, Ore., brand Hydro Flask will jump into hose-equipped backpacks.
Bright water bottles emblazoned with the Hydro Flask logo have become almost ubiquitous in the outdoors. The company, which expanded to launch soft-sided coolers in 2018, now has its eye on packs.
Specifically, the Journey Series backpacks come to market this April in two sizes. Hydro Flask builds them with mountain bikers in mind with the promise to keep water cold longer than the average backpack bladder.
Hydro Flask Journey Hydration Packs
The hydration packs are designed to maintain cold water for more than four hours, the company touts. I tested a preproduction pack this past fall, riding singletrack near the company’s Oregon office. It was a sunny and warm day, and after many miles, my water was almost as chilled as when I rolled away from the trailhead.
The secret is in the reservoir and pack. Working together they create Hydro Flask’s ColdFlow System. Designers created it specifically to regulate temperatures. Not to be confused, the company picked a similar-named partner brand, HydraPak, and its insulated IsoBound 3L reservoir. This is coupled with a neoprene internal sleeve in the backpack that has reflective material to enhance insulation.
Water in this system keeps cold for hours. It’s a simple premise (cold water, longer) but will be appreciated by anyone who’s sucked lukewarm liquid through a tepid hose on a hot summer day.
Beyond the temp-regulating feature, the packs — full names Hydro Flask Journey Series 10L and 20L Hydration Packs — are streamlined but have a few bike-specific features built in. And they weigh about 3 pounds each.
An articulated back panel allows some air flow between you and the pack to battle sweat and keep you cooler. This gap also gets body heat away from the reservoir on your back, helping maintain cooler water.
Pockets and compartments give a spot to store bike-repair supplies, a small pump, phone, wallet, and keys.
Made of a smooth, synthetic material with taped seams, the packs are waterproof. This includes waterproof zippers by YKK.
We’ll put these packs through a bigger test once the production models become available. For now, watch for the Journey 10 and 20 models to come to stores this spring, with prices at $165 and $200 — cold water guaranteed.