First Impressions

I received this hydration pack from my wife to use on our family biking trips (ostensibly to keep the other water bottles besides mine full) The thought was to try the system out before diving into buying the branded “Camelbak” products if we liked the concept.

I immediately liked the look of the pack. Since the Whitewater was a gift, I did not really know what to expect from a hydration pack. I was familiar with the concept but that was about it. The design was sleek and compact. Mine was lime(ish) green (which my son liked) with a hexagon pattern material. The mesh design of the straps and “airmesh” back vents suggested that it would provide a cooler ride than your standard pack.


The pack though light weight in design had plenty of room and pockets for just about anything you might need to pack for a short ride. It even had a side expansion zipper to provide more space if needed for a longer trip. The water pouch itself provides storage room for approximately 2 liters of water with “thermo-silver insulation” to keep it cool during the hottest days. There were ample straps including adjustable sternum straps and an adjustable “VAPEL” mesh waist belt that tucks away. The VAPEL straps and back vents wick moisture. There are pockets galore, including a cellphone pocket on the shoulder strap (however this was made for the old style cell phone and likely works only as a sleeve for a iPod Nano). The pack also includes a reflective loop to hold an LED blinker for safety.


Right out of the box, with minimal adjustment the pack fit easily. One issue that I have had was finding a convenient spot to secure my iPhone while biking. As mentioned above the cell phone pocket on the strap is just too small. I have placed it in the back of the pack but that necessitates stopping and removing the pack to get at the phone.
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In addition, the hydration system works really well. It has a protective dust sleeve which fits over the mouthpiece which at times can be tricky getting back on while on the move. The reservoir can be removed and cleaned easily. On a recent ride with the pack during 103 degree heat I returned home after an hour and a half long ride and still had plenty of ice in the reservoir.

Final Verdict

I think this is a really good hydration pack. It has a ton of really cool features that have worked seamlessly. The whole family was impressed. So much so, it has been commandeered by the wife. I mark it down only due to the lack of convenient spot for the iPhone. Overall a really worthwhile purchase.

High Sierra hydration packs are available at Altrec and Sierra Trading Post.

First Impressions:
[Rating:4/5] Features:
[Rating:4.5/5] Fit:
[Rating:5/5] Final Verdict:

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. Written by Jim K.