Normally when I hike I use a camelback, referred to in the hiking world as a “water bladder” since there are like 30 different vendors that sell essentially the same thing: A plastic bag that holds water. It sits just inside the back of the pack, and theres a little plastic lip that sort of holds it to the shelf sits on. Invariably it slips off, and works it way to the very bottom of the pack while I’m walking. I can tell when this happens because the drinking hose gets really short.
So today I decided to do some modifications. The first was removing the silly adjustable clip and strap from the top of the camelback. It looks like a good idea, but was poorly planned, and I found it quite useless. Plus, there’s really nowhere to loop the clip though inside the pack. The pack has a little velcro loop inside the top, but it comes loose under the weight of a full water bladder. The other option is to undo the clip, work it through the slot for the water tube, and out the other side. It works, but its REALLY HARD to get the thing to come back out, especially in the woods when you’re tired and cold or hot.
So I opened up my pack and looked at it. On the top opening there’s a pretty useless strap with a clip in the middle, that goes from the front to the back. I use it when closing the pack, but since the top also has a draw cord and cord lock, it always seemed superfluous.
I cut the strap off the side of the pack away from my back, and used that clip when I cut and re-sewed the loop on the top of the Camelback Unbottle. So now I had a single, non-adjustable loop with a male clip on it. Then I shortened the backpack strap on the side near my back, leaving the female side of the clip on it.
Now I can drop the camelback in the pack and just clip the two together, and if the strap works its way loose, it can’t go very far. It can’t slip all the way to the bottom of the pack like before.
I’m thinking of designing my own pack from the ground up. Lighter, tie-dye fabric (of course), wrap-around sides like on one of the Gregory models, a proper shelf sleeve for the water bladder inside the back, water bottle holders on the outside you can actually reach without being a contortionist, and a convenient hidden holster compartment for concealed carrying, since some hikers like to do that. Again, one you can reach without being a contortionist.