Hydration packs changed motorcycling for me. Being able to drink water on the move without having to stop greatly reduces the likelihood of cramps, dehydration and other nasty stuff that typically happens on really hot days. I always use one, even on my daily commute, because why not!
There are plenty of choices in the market, ranging from cost effective to super premium. The Baja 2l from Ogio sits closer to the more expensive side of things and brings backpacklike features to the table, along with the compact size and lower weight of a standalone hydration pack. The Baja is constructed of a high-quality mix of 150D ripstop material and 420D nylon. Ogio has managed to keep the total weight down to just under 800g (without water, obviously) and the strap system uses Kriega-style circular snapfit clasps. These ensure the bag holds snugly onto the rider without the need for a waist strap while still allowing a good freedom of motion.
The rear section has raised foam panels that facilitate ventilation against your back. You get two bottle-holder-style pockets on either side and an interesting clip-on elastic material that sits over the entire front of the bag. This can be used to hold larger items like a rain suit or a cycling helmet. Ogio says that the Baja has about eight litres of closed storage space, which is spread out between a total of four pockets. The large pocket at the rear is dedicated to the hydration bladder and it gets a silver insulation material that is supposed to help keep your water cool for 30 percent longer.
Ogio includes their own 2-litre hydration bladder, which uses a unique plastic spine. This is designed to spread the water across the bladder when it’s not full, thereby reducing the tendency to slosh about. The bladder is sealed at the top via two plastic clasps that are easy to operate. It can also be removed and cleaned quite easily. The clear PVC water pipe can be looped along either the left or right bag strap via small Velcro panels, depending on which is your preferred side. Ogio even has a clever, patent-pending clasp that holds the pipe in place on the strap, and this can also be installed on the left or right strap.
Everything works well, but my primary issue with this bag is that the bite valve is left exposed. It can be twisted to lock the stream of water, which is nice, but our dusty, grimy environment demands the hygiene of a dust cover. Since Ogio doesn’t sell this as an accessory, I’m on the lookout for an aftermarket solution.
Beyond this, the Ogio Baja does almost everything I want from a bag of this type, and if at least one of the compartments was waterproof, that would have sealed the deal for me. However, a browse of the company’s website suggests that the simpler Atlas hydration pack (holds three litres of water, but has only one stowage pocket with five litres of space) might be the smarter deal at Rs 6,499.
Price: Rs 7,999
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