I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but the Sedici Acqua hydration backpack is the first hydration pack I’ve owned specifically for motorcycling. Don’t get me wrong; I own a hydration pack and the associated gear for outdoor activities like hiking, but all this time I’ve simply relied on hoping I can grab a drink of water when I stop at, say, a gas station or oasis. Or in the case of our photoshoots for MO, we’ll simply carry bottles of water in the camera car and drink up at photo stops.
Having the Sedici Acqua backpack at my disposal has made me realize how silly I’ve been for putting off one of life’s most important tenets – drinking water. Having (cold) water at the ready whenever I’m thirsty is such a game-changer. You probably thought to yourself “duh” as you read that last sentence, and like I said at the onset of this piece, I’m a little ashamed of myself for putting this off for so long.
As much as I’m happy to have this hydration pack as part of my riding kit now, let’s get one thing out in the open: At the end of the day, this is still just a hydration pack, after all. There are many like it, most (if not all) of which will perform the job of keeping your thirst quenched just fine. However, this is the one I’ve got. I’m happy with it, and it does have a couple of features making it well suited to wear while on the moto. And if you care about your friendly MO staff at all, if you find yourself so inclined to click the link below and buy yourself your own Sedici Acqua hydration backpack, your generosity will help us keep the lights on. You don’t want this page to go dark, do you?
The backpack portion of the Acqua is made up of a mixture of 420d and 600d fabric around a self-supporting reinforced structure so it retains its shape with or without the bladder inside. Silicone printing on the shoulder straps helps keep them from sliding, while a chest strap and clasp also play a major role in keeping the straps in their proper place.
I was a little surprised to find details like a hook-and-loop patch to stick the bite piece of the drink tube to while not in use. This solves the annoying issue of the tube flapping around while riding. A 3D molded back pad helps the pack sit slightly atop the rider’s back to help promote airflow and venting. There’s also a neoprene phone holder in the main compartment, as well as a hook-and-loop locating strap to keep the bladder in place once you’ve inserted it.
As for the water bladder itself, it’ll hold three liters, and doesn’t contain any BPA or PVC. Since the cargo area of the pack has a total of five liters of capacity, a full water bladder fits inside – but only just. I found myself needing to coax it into place manually because the bladder material itself would tend to “stick” to the denier fabric. Not a big deal and positioning might get easier the more the pack breaks in. A slide lock top is pretty standard in the hydration pack world, and this one slides in and out about as well as you can expect.
The drink tube comes wrapped in an insulating sleeve. This is a nice touch, but I’ve never found the insulation to actually do much. The same applies here; I always found the first sip of water to be significantly warmer until I drink through the water in the tube and reach the ice water in the bladder. Speaking of which, the drink valve itself swivels to and from an off or on location. The valve is off if it’s parallel to the tube, and on if it’s perpendicular. Biting it and sucking releases the water, though I found the flow of water is a little particular to how much the valve is perpendicular to the drink tube. If you’re off the 90-degree angle by even a little, the flow of water takes a noticeable hit.
When it comes time to refill the bladder, the drink tube’s quick-disconnect is a big plus. With it, you can push a button and disconnect the bladder from the tube and pull the bladder out. The tubing can stay in place and you don’t have to route it back and forth through the backpack each time you fill-up. It’s super convenient – just make sure you either drink the water in the tube or make sure both ends are elevated. Otherwise, gravity will empty the water from the tube for you and get the bottom of the pack wet. Once you’re done with the pack, disconnect the drink tube and pull the bladder inside-out to commence drying. It’s really quite simple.
There’s not much to “review” when talking about a hydration pack. It’s easy to use and I can fill it up with ice and water at the start of the day and still have cold water by the end. I have yet to empty out a full pack, but I also sip like a camel. Your mileage will vary.
Other than wearing it for what it’s meant for, I’ve found that there’s not much room for anything more than, say, a sandwich or a couple of granola bars. And this is in the smaller, secondary cell phone pocket – there’s really not much room for anything else but the bladder in the main compartment. Still, the small and compact nature of the pack means you don’t really feel anything on your back as you’re riding. That’s nice.
The truth is there are no shortage of ways you can keep your thirst quenched when you’re on a ride. Carrying something like this around is one of the most convenient solutions out there. Saving the best for last, we come to the price. As of press time, it’s $80 – an absolute bargain compared to other hydration packs on the market. So, if you’ve been on the fence about a hydration pack, this is a fine one to consider. No matter what you do, just keep water in your system. Dehydration is no joke.
Are hydration backpacks worth it?
That depends on the riding you’re doing. On street rides, you can always stop at the next gas station when you get thirsty. When trail riding, you don’t have that convenience. Then add the fact that dirt riders are often exerting themselves in hot weather to the mix. After a couple of rides with a hydration pack, you may wonder how you ever rode without one.
Do I need a hydration backpack?
Do you enjoy drinking water and/or being hydrated? Then the answer is yes. You don’t really appreciate a hydration backpack until you’re out riding on a hot day in full gear. Thirst builds up fast, and once dehydration kicks in the mind and the body go haywire quickly. Don’t do this to yourself. While you don’t necessarily need a hydration pack to stay hydrated while riding, it really is the easiest way to keep liquids in your system on a ride.
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