From top: Bullhead, Gulper and Blacktail
The North Face has launched a new range of hydration packs, building on its impressive efforts from last year with a more extensive range and some new features.
The new range covers packs for pretty much every eventuality. The Bullhead has a 2l reservoir and space for just the essentials, while the Blacktail has a 3l reservoir and 20l of storage space for those epic days out. There’s another six packs filling in the gaps, including two women-specific ones.
We’ve been using a pre-production version of the mid-sized Gulper pack for a few months now, and it’s been pretty impressive. The Nalgene reservoir has neither leaked nor grown anything unpleasant (despite our tendency to never actually empty it out and just topping it up each ride…), the kink-resistant hose appears to do what it says and the big opening makes it easy to fill. The Gulper is one of the packs to feature an articulated on/off bite valve and a neat magnetic clip – pop the hose off the shoulder strap to drink, then just wave it vaguely near the clip and it usually finds its way back to the stowed position.
The various packs have a range of storage options and all have features such as the lightweight and well-ventilated E-VAP back panels and a safety whistle built into the sternum strap.
Prices are pretty reasonable too, ranging from £30 for the Bullhead to £70 for the Blacktail. Find your nearest stockist on 01539 738882.