Gerber is perhaps best known for its rugged, outdoorsy multitools, for all your fish gutting/removing things from horse’s hooves/wilderness tooth extraction needs. But now it’s turned its attention to hydration packs.
It’s a fairly bold move – you may be thinking that amongst the many things the world doesn’t necessarily need, another range of hydration packs is quite high up the list. But rather than follow the path of least resistance and put out some rucksacks with placcy bags in them, Gerber has come up with something new and rather clever.
While it describes the water reservoir in its XC packs as a “bladder”, Gerber’s reservoir is actually more like a bottle. The official press release also describes it as “ridged”, and while it does have ridges in it we suspect that they’re aiming for “rigid”, for that’s what it is. Inside the pack is a wedge-shaped plastic bottle that not only holds water, it lets the pack hold its shape too.
There’s a lot to like about this idea. For a start, the bottle can go through a dishwasher quite happily. It’ll also take hot liquids without any embarrassing melting, although we can’t help thinking that the novelty of drinking tea through a plastic pipe may wane fairly quickly.
The rigid reservoir should also mean an end to the well-known problems of getting your water into your pack without having to take everything else out first. Indeed, on the Medal pictured you can fill the 2l reservoir without removing the reservoir at all, assuming that you can get the whole thing under a tap.
We’ll have to wait and see what a rigid reservoir is like if you crash on it, although we sort of assume that it’s not completely rigid and will flex under impacts.
The Medal also has 314cu in of storage capacity, contoured mesh shoulder straps and a concealed rain cover. Price is a very reasonable £53.99. The XC range includes smaller and larger packs too, should the Medal not quite fit the bill – they all share the rigid reservoir.
More details at the site of importers Greatkit – it’s also doing 10% off online orders until the end of June, just put voucher code 606 in the box when it asks you…