Decathlon Rockrider hydration pack review

    A well-built, smartly designed hydration pack

    Published on May 22, 2022 07:00:00 AM


    With the peak of summer upon us, riding in the middle of the day is becoming an increasingly strenuous affair. But with a few of the right accessories, it doesn’t have to be. Hydration is one of the keys to beating the heat, on or off a motorcycle. The easiest way to tackle hydration on a bike is using a hydration pack, and the Decathlon Rockrider makes for a great place to start. For one, it comes in at just under Rs 2,000, making it quite an accessible entry-level product, especially compared to some of the eye-wateringly expensive premium hydration packs around. So predictably, it’s a fairly basic unit; the bladder measures 1 litre, and don’t expect fancy niceties like magnetic chest closure and the like. You get a velcro strap for securing the pack around your chest, and it works well, making the pack feel almost weightless on your back once you adjust the straps to the right length.

    The rest of the pack is a similar story and one that’s common with Decathlon products – neatly designed, well built and gets the job done well. Bladder volume is certainly on the smaller side, but this is part of what helps keep things light, which I appreciate. Besides, the recommended technique for staying hydrated is frequent small sips rather than occasional big gulps, and I’m not the sort of person to do overly long highway stints anyway, so I rarely find myself running out of water between stops. But if you are in the habit of spending long hours on the highway, you may want to look at something with a two- or three-litre bladder (anything more than that becomes a little too heavy to comfortably carry on your back). The bladder’s large opening makes it easy to fill, and I’ve experienced no leaks so far. I have used fluids other than water in the bladder as well, and so long as you rinse the bladder out immediately after doing this, you’ll be alright – I’ve seen no signs of fungus or anything else untoward so far. The only niggle is a slight lingering aftertaste during subsequent water fill-ups.

    The tube is more than long enough to accommodate riders of all builds, and the bite valve works perfectly well. But it doesn’t get a dust cover, and this is perhaps my biggest gripe with the pack, especially since aftermarket covers cost silly amounts (over 25 percent the cost of the whole pack). This means I have to make sure I periodically clean the bite valve so as to not put anything nasty in my mouth, and also be vigilant about where I put the pack down when not in use. Quality levels are good, materials feel nice and the zippers work well, but since this isn’t a pack designed specifically for motorcycling, it doesn’t have the sort of robust materials that will help it hold up in a crash. Which is why although there is a good amount of well-organised storage space in the backpack, I’m careful about what I put in it, at least when riding. If you’re using this pack while trekking or cycling, there are a number of small pockets in the front compartment that are super handy for storing little knick-knacks, and the main compartment also has  a good amount of space for your stuff, even once the bladder is full.


    Price: Rs 1,999


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