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Hydrapak Arches Pack : When All You Need is Water

Of Hydrapak’s many hydration system offerings, the Arches pack is lightweight (13 ounces) and compact, yet it holds 100 fluid ounces of water, making it a go-anywhere companion.

Whether I'm out running in the rain in Portland's Forest Park, or hiking on a sunny day near Mount Hood, or cycling across town, I barely notice the weight on my back, thanks to Hydrapak’s ergonomic design that spreads the packs weight across my entire back.

I like this pack’s reservoir for a number of reasons. First, it’s clipped into the pack, so it stays put, evenly distributing the weight of the water along my back rather than allowing it to slouch toward the bottom of the pack. Its roll-top design and Velcro fastener is easy to open and close, and it feels more secure than other "zip-lock" type reservoirs (i.e., less chance I'll have leaking problems). It’s also extremely easy to wash – just flip it inside out – so I don’t have to be afraid to fill it with the sports drink of my choice.

It's also quite handy that the reservoir fits into its own pocket on one side of the pack, leaving a separate compartment on the flip side of the pack solely for my gear, camera, keys and more. This eliminates the chance that my warm wool hat will get wet from a leaky reservoir, which I’ve had happen with other hydration packs. The pack is also lined in a water-resistant material that acts as an insulator, keeping water cool.

 The Arches pack is designed for short outings such as day hikes, runs, or bike rides, where all I need is water and place to stash a few items (its 290 cu in - just right for a snack, lip balm, wallet, and some tunes). My mp3 player fits nicely into its own "Hydratunes" compartment, and the headphones can be strung through a "port" so that they exit near the top of the pack. So simple, and no tangles.

Finally, I like the pack’s external bungee cord and mesh pocket – perfect for a light rain jacket or hat if the weather's looking iffy. However, if the reservoir is filled to capacity, it’s really tough to carry much in the outer mesh pocket.

Bottom Line: Easy to use and easy to care for, Hydrapak’s reservoir is a step above the rest. Sorry, iPod not included.--B.B. (Nov '05)

Price: $59.95

Manufacturer's Site: www.hydrapak.com

BUY ONLINE : www.cadence120.com, www.thirstwave.com

The first flashlight was invented in 1898. Joshua Lionel Cohen, original owner of the Eveready company developed the concept of using a battery to run a light bulb, which he shared with an Eveready salesman, Conrad Hubert. Hubert then turned the idea into a flashlight.

Source: "Invention of the Flashlight," by Mary Bellis, posted on inventors.about.com.