New gear continually floods the outdoor recreation market, and occasionally, an item stands out that truly wows you, like Geiggerig’s Pressurized Hydration Packs. Created by Utahn Bob Geiger, the company is headquartered in Ogden and makes packs that are everything you never knew you needed in a hydration pack.
The hydration bladder, or Hydration Engine as Geigerrig calls it, is the pack’s most innovative feature. It’s pressurized by an external squeeze pump, which pumps air into a chamber separate from the water, keeping out dust particles. Just 15 pumps and water will flow when you simply bite down, no sucking required. Tested it on a long bike ride, and being able to spray water in my mouth as I huffed and puffed was a lifesaver.
The pressurization also takes the gross factor out of sharing water with your two- or four-legged buddies. Just squeeze the bite valve into their mouth for shared hydration, without swapping saliva. For muddy adventures, use the mouthpiece to spray yourself clean.
If you run out of water, refill the Geigerrig anywhere.The slidetop lets you dunk the bladder in any stream, lake or river to fill. Then snap on Geigerrig’s in-line filter ($28), which removes 99% of Giardia and cryptosporidium so you can drink with peace of mind. Don’t worry about river junk getting in the bladder, because cleaning it’s a snap. Geigerrig’s innovations let you unsnap the drinking tube’s quick-release valve, flip the bladder inside out and toss it in the dishwasher.
The packs are heavier than most hydration packs, but are made of heavy-duty balistic nylon with industrial zippers and are practically bombproof. On YouTube, you can see videos of people tossing Geigerrigs out of speeding cars with virtually no damage done. I chose to trust those tests and not conduct my own, but loved the pack for cycling and hiking. Many sizes are available, but pick the minimalist Rig 500 for biking, running and short hikes, which has just enough room for 70 ounces of water, an iPod or phone and energy bars. For all-day journeys, choose the more substantial Rig 1600 with 100-ounce bladder, padded hip belt, organization pockets and plenty of space.
Bonus alert! Included with every Geigerrig purchased this year is a Skullcandy Mountain Passport with free lift tickets to ski resorts throughout the United States and Canada, including three in Utah. Rig 500 $110, Rig 1600 $140 geigerrig.com