For clarification, the pack that I was using was the 70 oz/2 liter Day Pack from Scandinavian Gear. The set includes bladder, drinking tube apparatus, day pack, and foldable water bottle.
Scandinavian does have a larger pack in its arsenal, the 65L multi-day hiking pack is a monster and, though I haven’t tried it, seems to be right up to par with the hiking backpacks that we have tested.
On to the review…
We like to think of Hiking Hydration as an outdoor (camping/hiking) site but we really specialize in hydration packs. We’ve tested many and we’ve found a few that we were unhappy with…some of them being from “big name” brands.
The usual case for a hydration pack to get a low mark here on the website is that a lot of them seem to go too far and try to do too much.
The Scandinavian Gear pack was a pleasant surprise. At a great price and a quality make to this pack, it really does put some of the bigger names to the test. Almost as though they’re saying: Look, we can do this as good or better for a much lower price point.
Features of the Scandinavian Gear Hydration Pack:
Comes with a foldable water bottle for extra storage. Also, perfect for use with the bag in it’s “day pack only” configuration. Best use of the water bottle in our opinion is if you’re at an amusement/water park (as an example) and you wanted to park the pack in a locker. Then just take out the foldable water bottle and you still have water at your disposal that you can re-fill at water fountains and avoid paying a ton of money on bottle water. The bottle has a carbiner too for attaching to a belt loop or someone else’s bag.
- 2L/70 oz.
- Super Lightweight (less than a pound)
First and foremost, the size of this pack makes it a really good choice for a lot of activities. Whether it be short half-day/day hikes, running, biking, walking or even just bringing it to the beach. It’s lightweight and built to take a beating.
Durability and Make:
When I first unboxed the SG pack, I immediately how light and soft the fabric was. I wanted to make sure that it was a quality make so I loaded it up with water, wallet, keys, sunscreen, cell phone and tossed it on my back for the Ka’ena trek. During the hike I ran, jumped, tussled, tossled and pulled on the straps and clips. The pack consistently stay in place and showed a lot more durability than I would have imagined.
Rain repellent/water repellent body will keep most of your stuff dry in a light rain. Left to a day of constant rain, however, and you may have some sogginess.
The bladder and the foldable water bottle are both BPA free.
The main factor in keeping the feel and fit of the pack consistent is the well-made shoulder strap along with the chest straps/buckles. In the time that I used it the buckled and straps didn’t loosen unless done so by hand…and that’s always a plus.
I did feel, however, that for walking/hiking the pack did sit a little high on my back and I think this is due to the hybrid build. When bikers are in motion, they are leaning forward so they need a higher fitting pack.
Here’s what I liked about the pack the best. If you remove the bladder and tubing then you get a really tight size little day pack with enough pockets to take care of most of your needs throughout a day. I can easily see myself using the Scandinavian Hydration pack with and without the bladder. You could actually go on a short day hike and then hit up some walking around town or shopping by taking out the bladder and loading the pack with a 13” laptop if you wanted to get some work down at the local coffee shop. It’s also going to be a great beach pack for me.
I tried to find some cons to go along with this review but I just couldn’t find many. The packs sites high for my taste. And it’s possible that the straps may start to stretch a bit over time. Also, there have been reports of strap buckles breaking. Other than that, this is a high quality hydration pack.
As far as comparison for reference: While I wouldn’t put the Scandinavian Gear pack up there with the Teton Sports 1100, I will tell you that it is on equal functionality and comfort with a similarly sized and scopes Camelbak® like the Cloud Walker or the Day Star…which both have a much higher price tag, as well.
As far as hydration packs of the size and small day packs, this is a really great product. I can see why some may opt to go Camelbak and Teton Sports over this pack but if you don’t need a brand name then this is definitely the way to go.
Products Mentioned in this review:
Disclaimer: Scandinavian Gear reached out to me for a review of this hydration pack.
Fact: It took me forever to review this hydration pack. I was in the middle of moving across island (Oahu) and I just couldn’t find a chance to get on a trail and give the pack a rough and tumble trial. Literally, the pack say in a box for a week before I was able to get to it and actually plan a text run.
Fact: I tested the SG Hydration Pack on an early morning hike out at Ka’ena Point, the western edge of Oahu. If you’ve never heard of it or are on Oahu then it’s a nice little hike to check out with or without family.