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Points go to Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria for food, and views and Canada to open freeride-type terrain.( Photos: 33 )
At the beginning of April, Hydro Flask, a brand best known for its stainless steel, vacuum-insulated water bottles, launched the first of its hydration packs designed for mountain bikers in its Journey Series. The bags were insulated (more on that later) and available in 10L and 20L capacities. Now, the brand has extended the Journey Series with the 14L Down Shift and 16L Women’s specific pack. Best hydration packs Don’t miss a shot with Evoc’s new MTB-ready camera bags Both the bag and reservoir are insulated, and the pack itself is articulated for max airflow HydroFlask Like the rest of the Journey Series, the Down Shift and Women’s pack feature Hydro Flask’s Cold Flow system, which sees the interior of the bag insulated with heat reflective material — think space blanket — to prevent body heat and ambient temperature from warming the water inside. The packs also come with a HydraPack IsoBound reservoir, which is insulated with double-wall construction and open cell foam to create an extra layer of heat resistance. All the bags feature an articulated back panel to maximise airflow, and Hydro Flask claims the Journey Series bags will keep your water chilled for over four hours. Down Shift 14L The Down Shift puts the bladder near the bottom of your pack to better distribute the weight HydroFlask The 14L Down Shift Hydration Pack is designed to keep the centre of gravity near the bottom of the pack by placing the 2-litre hydration bladder in the lumbar section of the bag. This not only puts the weight on your hips, but also shouldn’t mess with your balance on the bike. Made from a lightweight fabric, the interior features stretch mesh and scratch-resistant pockets. There’s also a magnetic hose clip, a neoprene insulated hose and HydraPak blaster valve at the end. Available in three colours — Sapphire, Guava and Black — the 14L Down Shift will retail for $135. International pricing TBC. Journey Series 16L Women’s Hydration Pack Hydro Flask says the 16L bag is tailored with a women’s specific fit HydroFlask The second new pack offers a 16-litre capacity and is said to be tailored for a women’s specific fit. According to Hydro Flask, the back panel has been narrowed and shortened, and smaller shoulder straps chosen to curve comfortably around the chest as well a shorter hip belt to fit a smaller frame. The outside of the pack is made using waterproof fabric with taped seams and sealed zippers to keep gear moisture-free. Inside, there are two separate compartments with plenty of room for tools, a pump, snacks and extra layers, as well as a quick access top pocket and a side pocket for your phone. With a 3-litre reservoir capacity, the 16-litre pack also gets a magnetic hose clip. Available in Pomegranate and Black, the 16L Journey Series Women’s Pack will retail for $185.