By Hilary DelRoss
Osprey Rev 18
Osprey’s Rev line of hydration packs is designed specifically for endurance sports, focusing on comfort and accessibility. In order to move with the athlete, Rev packs are intended to fit like a shirt and are pulled on like a vest, with dual sternum straps to adjust first before cinching down the shoulder harness and waist belt.
“Biostretch,” the stretchy mesh fabric in the harness and belt, conforms to the body to keep contents compressed and in the proper position, sitting higher on the back than most packs. Materials in the back panel are also flexible and soft with a mesh cover for breathability.
Baffles inside the 2.5-liter hydration reservoir prevent water from sloshing around inside the hydration compartment. The hose has a quick release connection so there’s no need to remove the bladder from the pack to refill it on the fly and the bite valve connects magnetically to one of the sternum straps to keep it in place.
A large main compartment, one smaller zippered pocket and the exterior bungee help keep essentials organized while six pockets on the harness and belt keep fuel, extra water and supplies at hand while you’re on the go. For the tech savvy, the “DigiFlip” media pocket flips down to reveal your smartphone under a touch-sensitive screen protector and flips back up, clipping securely out of the way, after you’ve checked your stats on your favorite apps. If devices aren’t your thing, it’s easy to remove this entire pocket.
The list of features available in the Rev series packs a punch considering the second largest model, the Rev 18, comes in at just over one pound without the hydration reservoir. Long distance trail runners, bikers, endurance racers and other athletes who pack light for efficient speed have many options in this line to find the right fit. Six models are available in the series ranging from a lumbar water bottle sling to backpacks up to 24 liters in volume, which all come in two unisex sizes.
Mountainsmith Scream 25
If you have a pound to spare in your backpack or suitcase, Mountainsmith’s Scream 25 is a worthwhile accessory to include in your cargo. Unstuff the compressed pack from where it’s stowed in its own zippered front pocket to reveal a roomy, yet light, daypack. This top-loader will comfortably hold everything you need for a day excursion or exploring a spur trail during a multiday hike – water, jacket, camera and snacks, plus a few tools and poles.
What it boasts in low weight, it lacks in structure and stability, but the fit is somewhat adjustable and pockets are well placed and secure. A dedicated hydration reservoir sleeve holds water close to the body inside the main compartment. Stretchy mesh pockets on either side of the pack are wide and deep enough to store a Nalgene bottle or extra layers. The top lid and front panel offer the only two zippered pockets and, on this pack, they are more than adequate.
Add in a couple of pole mounts and tool loops, a removable hip belt, breathable mesh shoulder straps and two external compression straps and you’ve got a well-equipped pack which, once folded back into itself for storage, also makes a decent (if noisy) nylon travel pillow. Maximize your trip and stray from basecamp with this puppy in tow.
Long Trail Summer Ale
For more than two decades backpacks and beer, along with the fun outdoor lifestyle they symbolize, have been embodied by the Long Trail Brewing Company. Even when trends and logos change over time this tried and true pairing endures. Notice the brewery’s recent brand update still includes the iconic Long Trail hiker with what I can only imagine are a few brews stuffed into his pack to enjoy after a long day on the trail.
The season’s long, hot days inspire this refreshing, unfiltered American Pale Ale. Light on the nose and palate with smooth drinkability and a 4.3% ABV, this is a great beer to sip while grilling on a summer day. Feel the carbonation, taste crisp notes of citrus from the Citra hops added during dry-hopping and enjoy the slight, fresh bitterness that sticks around on the finish.
Through their beers, the folks at Long Trail Brewery remind us to celebrate the journey and enjoy the long days of the season.