I don’t normally get excited about a new Hydration pack, because generally they’re all the same. They hold a 2 litre bladder, fit on your shoulders and cost about £40 quid. Only this one is a little different…
The Andes Hydration Pack is only £9.95! That’s the main thing here, it’s just so cheap. I was concerned about picking up a pack for this price but despite a few niggles, it really is a great bit of kit, the quality is good, it sits nicely on your back, I had no issues with leaking water and it could take the bladder from my old Viper if I needed it to. That makes it an absolute bargain in my eyes.
There are some downsides…
Unfortunately it’s not perfect. Whilst there is a chest strap which is great, there is no waist strap for running which means the pack bounces off your back just a little, which is a bit annoying. I didn’t mind it after about 10 minutes of running, but it certainly should have included this. I tried it on the bike and found it a bit strange how it swung around as I went around corners, but it’s certainly not a huge issue, I could live with it for the price. You can also feed a strap through the elastic string on the front and around your waist if needed.
In addition – when I’m wearing one of these it’s because I’m running / cycling a long way, I like to have access to gels or similar without taking the backpack off, so it would have been nice to have included a pocket on the straps (which previous packs that I’ve owned have), this allows you to quickly grab a gel and keep going. However, again, this isn’t a huge issue, it just means I have to put gels into pockets on my shorts instead, but it feels like something that they could include without incurring much cost so it would be nice.
- Adjustable shoulder and chest straps
- Main compartment, a second smaller compartment and a third small compartment which would fit your phone
- Mesh pockets at either side of the pack
- On/off valve on the hydration bladder which is pretty easy to use
- Hydration bladder is included
Overall it’s a bargain and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a cheap hydration pack, for walking it would be perfect, for running and cycling it certainly does the job without all the thrills. It even comes in a selection of colours – lovely.