Luckily in the last few weeks of testing the new Hydro Flask Down Shift Hydration Pack here in Wales, the weather has been kind by throwing up some unusually warm weather. So with warm temperatures, a cool drink has been a welcome treat.
Hydro Flask was founded in 2009 in Bend, Oregon. They have been manufacturing high-performance insulated products ranging from beverage and food flasks, soft coolers and now the new Hydration Pack.
The main focus of the pack is the Cold Flow system that they boast about. This is the system that keeps your water chilled for 4+ hours. The insulated neoprene reservoir sleeve with reflective coating holds an insulated Hydrapak IsoBound 2 litre reservoir nice and cool during the ride.
I was interested in seeing if this actually did work and after keeping the filled reservoir in the fridge overnight, I was happy to find the water kept cool during the rides when the temperatures were in the mid 20’s. Obviously depending on how warm the day is, how long you’re out for, how much ice you add to your water has an affect on the temperature of the water. What I found was that even after 4 hours the water was cooler than it would have been normally. However the hose itself is not insulated which means you do have an initial drink of warm water.
The reservoir is tucked away near the lower part of the pack with ample storage room beneath it for other items. As I don’t usually ride with a pack I was happy with the position of the reservoir as it did not give me any back issues.
To fill the reservoir you simply detach the hose and fill it up, it’s that simple. You could even ride without the reservoir in the bag and keep food in the insulated pouch.
Other features of the pack are an external zipped fleece lined pocket which is big enough for your phone and glasses.
Internally, there’s a netted zipped pocket with a key hook and a fairly large elasticated pocket which is handy for treats and a multitool.
There’s also four accessory loops for fixing some cord/netting to if you have the need to carry an extra jacket.
The pack itself fitted well, this is aided by an articulated back panel with mesh which keeps the majority of the pack of your back which then aids the temperature of the water.
My only negative comment is that the waist strap is a little minimal but it may be because of what I have used in the past. There’s also a chest strap to keep things nice and stable.
The clip on the chest strap also has an emergency whistle incorporated in it in case you’re in a bad situation, very clever.
All in all I give the Hydro Flask Down Shift 14 Litre Hydration Pack a fantastic 4 Welsh dragons out of five.
The Down Shift is available with a retail price of $135 in Sapphire, Guava, and Black.https://www.hydroflask.com/