Monday, January 26, 2009

Gear Upgrade

Ever since I started cycling seriously again, I've thought about getting a hydration pack for on the go hydration rather than water bottles. At least for longer rides (20 miles or more). So when my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, the hydration pack was the obvious choice.

Now, being as everyone seems to be in a budget crunch these days, I wasn't willing to go spend a ton of cash on bladder. The first name in hydration packs of course is Camelbak. Stellar product. I've also seen other hydration packs from "other" companies that really are to many for me to enumerate. I've seen some of these "cheaper" varieties at work, leaking all down a riders back and hind end, making for a rather uncomfortable ride.

One of the things I realized when doing the Earth Ride this past summer is that an "under the seat" bag is really not enough when you're trying to stuff a camera, a cell phone, some Clif Bars, and some other small items that one doesn't anticipate. So one of the things I wanted in my hydration pack was some storage space.

Little did I realize, the second you add storage space to a Camelbak, the price increases in leaps and bounds. This left me in a bit of a quandary. I know I could get a Camelbak on ebay for a great deal cheaper ,however, buying a Camelbak used just didn't seem like a sanitary idea to me. I continued to mull over my options.

Enter, bargain cave. 50% off camping gear and accessories. I decided on the Wenger Mojave hydration pack. It has a 2 liter bladder, which is pretty standard fair as far as bladders go, and a bite valve. It also has sternum and waist belts for a better fit. The biggest selling point on this for me is the 250 cubic inches of storage space. I wasn't familiar with the Wenger name, but once I saw the little red and white cross, I realized that Wenger is better known to most people (including myself) as Swiss Gear. I have plenty of Swiss gear products, and have never had an issue with any of them. This made me feel more secure in my purchase.
When it was all said and done, the pack cost me like $12.00 plus shipping and tax. Total cost was under $20.00. If I'd have gotten the same thing in Camelbak, I'd probably be looking at well over $50.00. Can't wait to try this guy out.

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