Even when fully loaded with fluids and tools, the straps on the Kreiga spread the weight so you hardly notice it’s there. And it doesn’t move about on your back even on the rocky terrain of our Cardamom Mountain Explorer tour.
The hydro 3 looks as good now as when it was bought back in 2008. It’s washing machine safe, so at least you can start the day clean. And it’s pretty much bombproof, waterproof and idiot proof.
At £89 or around US $130 at time of writing, the Kreiga may be at the top end of the price point for hydration packs. However, factor in that you will probably own it for twenty years plus and this will soften the blow.
The Kreiga looks as rugged and purposeful as Bear Gryll’s in a bad mood – the design has changed little in a decade as they got it right first time.
If there was an award for the best bit of off-road kit we’d ever owned, the Kreiga Hydro 3 Back Pack would get it, hands down. In terms of sheer durability, attention to detail and build quality, this backpack goes above and beyond on every level.
OK so if you don’t know about Kreiga, they are a British firm that specialise in luggage for motorcyclists, from backpacks and waist packs, to panniers and tank bags. Oh and if that weren’t enough, they also do haul loops, wallets, travel bags and fuel & water containers, all of it made to the same high quality – top stuff.
We chose the Kreiga Hydro 3 pack originally because it worked well for Hare’ n’ Hounds and enduro competition. Racing gets you dehydrated quicker than an hour in a sauna, so having regular drinks of electrolyte and carbohydrate rich fluids is pretty essential to maintain energy levels, and it’s no different on our trail riding tours of Cambodia. The pack will take three litres – hence the name – which is a lot for a race, but not too far off if you are riding all day in hot conditions when regular hydration is required. As three litres of fluid weighs near enough three kilos, the build quality of any backpack needs to be up to scratch as that kind of weight tests every seam, but the Kreiga does it with ease. The drinks bladder is super-tough, with a quick release joint at the base to remove the similarly tough drink tube. Kreiga use 360-degree bite valve at the mouth end that works well and seals off the moment it leaves your lips, so no damp crotch issues. The tube attaches to the adjustable shoulder straps with a Velcro loop, so it’s always in the right place.
Inside the main bladder compartment, there are attachment points for the bladder and a clip for you keys – essential considerations. If you are not using the full three litres, there’s room for additional kit, so wallet and phone fit in just right, keeping then away from possible offs.
As regards the straps, there are the two wide and padded adjustable shoulder straps, a chest strap to hold them together and a further waist strap to secure the whole thing – once buckled up, the Kreiga is on you like an affectionate limpet.
There’s a side pocket for additional space, which uses the same waterproof zip as the main compartment and is ideal for spare gloves, and a lattice of elastic cord to hold onto additional items such as waterproof clothing. If this is not enough storage you can attach an additional bag onto the pack as we have done. This allows all those trail essentials such as tools and spares to be stored away from the drinks bladder.
And if all this were still not enough, all components come with a staggering ten-year guarantee! We had an issue with the quick release attachment on the drinks bladder, and Kreiga sent out a replacement by return post – not bad after owning the pack for nearly eight years!
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