Geigerrig 500 hydration pack

Geigerrig 500—Don’t suck. Spray. I’m not much of a hydration pack guy. When it comes to hydration, I generally rely on one or two bottles, or for something unsupported, I may wear a small one-bottle waist pack.  I don’t like sucking tubes to get my water, and cleaning tubes when I get home is not my type of recovery…which leads to me a bit of a schizophrenic review of this brand spankin new pack from Geigerrig, a small hydration company based in Utah.Bright neon greenish yellow, the pack is tough. It’s made from ballistic nylon, which feels like something I’d take on a serious back country ramble through the woods. It’s got some nice zipped pockets, a waterproof media pocket, the black meshy straps feel great and stay secure, and there’s a belly strap that just about fits. I’m 6’2” with an obnoxiously long torso, so “almost fitting” is about as good as it gets unless something comes in “long.” More importantly, and far…dare I use the word revolutionary…is the bladder system itself.  It’s the type of product and system that forces a “duh, why didn’t I think of that?!?” from a gear-obsessed geek like me.Geigerrig has done something simple…the bladder is pressurized.The company’s marketing campaign is centered around “Never suck again.”  After filling up the bladder, locking with a basic “slide and lock” system, and pressurizing it via an inline pump (attached to the pack itself), you can squirt a stream of water into your mouth, onto your hot and dusty legs, into your dogs mouth, or onto a bloody knee.  Awesome. By squeezing the bite valve with your fingers, you can shoot water about 2-3 feet away, or by biting down on it gently, you alleviate the problem of sucking down air with your hydration, which invariable leads to bloating.  Y’all listened to Sunny Blende talking about the perils of bloat, right?Another killer feature is the ability to fill up anywhere. Purchase the inline pump ($28) and, you can fill up in a wild stream or river.  Awesome. In the past, I’ve also struggled with trying to clean out the bladders themselves. Once you get all the water out, you run into the impossible task of drying the thing…what a pain.  The Geigerrig bladder separates from itself via quick-release valves, then the whole thing flips inside out. Once again…awesome!  I’ve worn it with Cytomax, brought it home, pulled everything apart,  cleaned it out had it bone dry within a few hours.I’d be hard pressed to say that this pack is designed for runners. It’s a bit on the bulky side and certainly not as light as its competitors, but we’ve heard rumors that a trail-running pack is in the works.  If Geigerrig keeps the bladder setup and modifies the pack design, we’ll have a truly revolutionary product on our backs. Available in select stores or online. $110 Reviewed by Eric

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