Evolution of the Platypus: 7 All New Hydration Packs for Every Adventure
Probably better known for their collapsible water pouches for backpacking, camping, and other outdoor adventures, Platypus is looking to hone in on the hydration pack market with a line of all new bags. Built for anything from short 1-2 hour rides to days-long epics, you should be able to find the right pack for your needs among the seven new styles. The line up is broken down into three primary lines, aptly named Cross Country (X.C), All Mountain (AM) and the Multi Sport (X.T.).
The XC line shown above caters to the cross country rider looking for a minimalist bag that is lightweight yet can still carry enough to get the job done. Called the Tokul XC, the smallest line of packs will be offered in 1, 3 and 5 liter storage options with the smaller two including a 2 liter Platypus Big Zip SL reservoir and the 8.0 getting a 3 liter option (the model number corresponds to gear storage+water capacity). All Tokul bags have built in pump sleeves and tool storage, while the larger models offer additional storage pockets. Designed to ride low and cool, the Tokuls have stashable waist belts with multiple hose routing options, reflective accents, light loops, and a retail of $69.95-$89.95.
More on the All Mountain and XT series after the jump.
Stepping up to the AM series, the packs get quite a bit larger in addition to receiving the structural makeover as the rest of the line. All of the new bags feature a BioCurve Back Panel with Air Flow Channels and various forms of ventilated 3D air mesh shoulder or waist straps. Built for riders pushing it on the way down however, the Duthie AM packs feature padded suspensions to support the load along with body armor and full face helmet carrying options.
Billed as the best option for mid-range rides and big descents, the Duthie AM 12.0 includes a 3.0L Big Zip SL reservoir, external body armor carrying capacity, with 9 liters of gear storage for all the clothes, food, and gear you need for your next epic. Adding even more storage and the ability to carry full face helmets, the Duthie AM 17.0 is Platypus’ largest mountain bike pack with 14 liters of gear storage and 3 liters of water. You can pick up the 12.0 for $119.95 with the 17.0 setting you back $129.95.
With all the talk about the Big Zip SL reservoir, here it is. Back in the day when I was doing a lot of backpacking I had a Platypus water bag, and really all I can say about it was that it held water, and the water tasted like water, not plastic. Add in modern functionality like a quick disconnect hose, a wide Big Zip slide closure system, and Platypus’ proprietary dual-layer film that is BPA free and their all natural SlimeGuard antimicrobial treatment, and you’re left with a reservoir that looks every bit as good as any other on the market – and it’s made in the USA to boot. Drink hoses on the Big Zips include a 90 degree shutoff valve along with their HyperFlow bite valve – which features two piece construction for easy cleaning.
In addition to the bike lines, Platypus also offers the new Sprinter XT line with huge storage capacities that are more designed for day hiking and alpine scrambling than biking. With features like ice axe loops, helmet lash points, and a trekking pole carry, it’s clear these weather proof packs are meant for some serious expeditions. Available in the Sprinter XT 25 for $139.95 and the Sprinter XT 35 for $159.95.
If you happen to be using one of the larger packs on an extended ride, chances are you could be away from civilization for awhile. If so, and fresh water happens to be hard to come by, Platypus is offering a new GravityWorks Filter system that not only filters into most water bottles, but also filters directly into hydration system drink tubes allowing you to refill them without removal from the pack. In order to simplify the filtering process, the GravityWorks system comes with a 2L dirty collection reservoir that you use to scoop up the “dirty” water, then suspend it over the clean reservoir allowing the inline hollow fiber filter to filter the water as it passes through into the clean receptacle. The kit also comes with the needed tools to be able to back flush the system in the field in seconds.