Daypacks and Water Bottles For Active Campers
Daypacks and hydration can go hand in hand, especially if you hike a lot or spend long periods of time away from your campsite. Daypacks come in all shapes and sizes, and many today offer versatile features for outdoor activity as well as for adventure travel or school use. Some come with hydration reservoirs while others are compatible. Even if they aren’t reservoir-compatible, they have pockets large enough for water bottles of various sizes. This guide highlights some of the latest in daypacks and water bottles for active campers.
Deuter Futura 28
This flagship model offers convenient features for day hiking or a weekend getaway, and now comes in blue. With a space capacity of 1700 cubic inches, the pack features Deuter’s Aircomfort back ventilation that helps reduce perspiration; a nice bottom compartment for essentials, an extra front pocket, side mesh pockets and internal pocket for valuables, among others. The waist belt features new bilaminate hip pads and foam shoulder straps with stabilizer straps. The Futura 28 can also house a hydration bladder (not included), and comes with a raincover. $115. Deuter USA: 877/384-9252; deuterusa.com
Gregory Muir 24
This is a great technical daypack that is adaptable for different adventures. Part of three new styles for men, the Muir 24 is made of 420 denier nylon and features a ballistic bottom, thermoformed back panels and a 3D shoulder harness for comfort. A padded sleeve can take a hydration system when hiking, or can protect a laptop when commuting. Hip belts help carry a load efficiently, and can also be stowed. $110. Gregory Packs: 877/477-4292; gregorypacks.com
High Sierra FatBoy
The back of this daypack comes with built-in mesh for ventilation, and a suspension system helps absorb weight, taking the strain off of your back. The organizer compartment comes with many pockets and a key fob. The easy-access deluxe media pocket can hold cell phones, PDAs and MP3 players. A monster hook is included to attach water bottles or extra gear. The FatBoy offers 2382 cubic inches of volume, and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. $30. High Sierra Sport Co.: 800/323-9590; hssc.com
Keen Venice Pack
This season the footwear manufacturer offers some great daypacks. This new pack, built for women, has adjustable padded ergonomic shoulder straps with a cell phone pocket, a bungee strap compress system, interior pockets as well as exterior zippered side pockets and an organization pocket. Room for a hydration bladder can also moonlight as a sleeve to hold laptops up to 12.4 inches long. This pack also features recycled materials; all aluminum components are 100 percent recycled. $80. Keen: 800/509-5336; keenfootwear.com
Mountainsmith Clear Creek 20
New for this year, this classic-looking pack is a good all-around choice for outdoor excursions as well as for travel and school. Partially made of recycled plastic bottles, it features an airmesh back panel with lumbar support, an elastic sternum strap and bite-valve catch, an internal hydration bladder sleeve (bladder not included), side compression straps and side panel mesh pockets that fit many water bottles. Holds 1220 cubic inches of volume. Availabe in Pinon Green, Lotus Blue and Sangria Red (specifically for women). $50. Mountainsmith: 800/551-5889;
Osprey Manta 20
This pack offers Osprey’s new Hydraulics system — a 3-liter hydration reservoir and a claimed efficient system for inserting and removing the bladder, properly compressing the bladder for consistent delivery, reducing sloshing and allowing for gear storage even with a full bladder. Pack features include one large front zippered pocket, upper side compression straps, ventilated mesh packpanel, integrated rain cover, and much more. Comes in Small/Medium (1000 cubic inches) and Medium/Large (1200 cubic inches). $130. Osprey: 866/284-7830; ospreypacks.com
SAFE WATER BOTTLES
If you want to move away from plastic and aluminum water bottles that are not free of BPA, a plastic hardener that can mimic the hormone estrogen and is considered a potentially harmful chemical, stainless steel is the way to go. The ideal stainless steel to look for is 304 food-grade (previously known as 18/8), and many companies offer stainless steel bottles of this grade.
304 is the same steel used in high-grade cookware, in the dairy industry, in commercial kitchens and other food-based industries, and is proven to be a safe material. Compared to lower grades, 304 is also more corrosion resistant and is less carbon intensive, so these stainless bottles are more environmentally friendly to manufacture. They may cost more than other water bottles, but they will stand the test of time.
Here are some new stainless steel bottle choices, and we include one new bottle that represents how plastic can be safe and go beyond being just BPA-free.
CamelBak Insulated, Stainless Better Bottle
The popular and efficient Better Bottle (the original plastic version is BPA-free) goes stainless this year. Made from 316 medical-grade stainless steel — a step up from 304 food-grade — the BPA-free bottle offers CamelBak’s tried-and-true Big Bite Valve, and its micro-welded, double-wall construction keeps beverages cool for hours. It is also stain resistant and taste-free. The insulated bottle comes in a .5-liter size, while a single-wall stainless version comes in a .75-liter size. $30. CamelBak: 800/767-8725; camelbak.com
Hydration specialists Hydrapak have partnered with polymer scientists and biologists at Austin-based Plasti-Pure to create this certified Estrogenic Activity-free plastic water bottle. This means it is not only free of BPA and phthalates, but any other chemical that either blocks or mimics the natural estrogen in the human body. BPA and phthalates are only two of hundreds of chemicals that can leach from plastics and cause estrogenic activity, leading to endocrine disruption. The bottle is available with two different graphics, and is dishwasher safe. $10. Hydrapak: 510/632-8318; hydrapak.com
Innate Kaze Flip Vacuum Bottle
What’s cool about this bottle is it offers a modular collar, making it compatible with other Innate V2 lids. So you can convert it into a travel mug with a sipping collar screwed on and a modular handle, or use a collar and stopper assembly. The company says this BPA-free 304 food-grade stainless steel bottle will keep 15 ounces of liquids cool for up to eight hours, and comes with a flip-top spill-resistant lid that can be opened with one hand. $25. Innate: 877/406-6283; innate-gear.com
Klean Kanteen Vacuum Bottle
The company that created the first BPA-free, 304 food-grade stainless steel water bottle now offers its Wide double-wall vacuum insulated bottle, available in 12, 16 and 22 ounces (16 ounce shown). It keeps drinks hot or cold — the company says field tests showed it kept hot coffee steaming for more than six hours and cold drinks cold for more than 24 hours. The wide-mouth design allows for food storage as well. The Wide insulated bottle comes with a stainless loop cap; a café cap converts it to a to-go mug with a quick twist. $26 with stainless loop cap; $30 with loop cap and café cap. Klean Kanteen: 530/345-3275; kleankanteen.com
Liquid Solutions Cascade Bottle
The Cascade bottle is made of 304 food-grade stainless steel with a thicker (.6mm) single-wall construction, which is more durable than other bottles. The bottle’s BPA-free plastic screw top lid comes with a loop to attach to pack clips and straps, and its ergonomic shape makes it easy to grip. The 100-percent recyclable Cascade holds 22 ounces of liquid and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. $17 for plain; $19 for colors/patterns. Liquid Solutions: 800/753-5647; liquidsolutions.com
From Camping Life’s March/April 2010 issue. Are you a subscriber yet?