I was in a Target department store today and saw an interesting hydration pack. It was made by Outdoor Products and looked and fely just like a Camelbac Blowfish. It held 2 liters and had the same or very similar dimensions to the Camelbac. The one difference seemed to be that the padding against your back consisted of three thick triangles, one at each shoulderblade and one at the small of your back. It seemed to afford great comfort while leaving most of the pack away from your body allowing air to circulate. Besides the water bladder, there was ample storage space for stuff. The best part was that it was only $29.95! Has anyone ever used the Outdoor Products pack? Opinions?
I boght an outdoor water pak and replaced the bladder with a camel back bladder for the HUGE opening and the big mouth bite valve...those two things the outdoor products bladder had I didnt like and it was an easy fix and the pack part has a ton of storage like a back pack. I hardly ever use that pack anymore though as I most often use a camel back classic with no storage since the loaded pack hurt my back when racing motorcycles offroad so I switched to a lighter water pack mentioned above and put all my tools and stuff in a tool kit pack for the waste...plus i have no chance of being harpooned the way the tools are layed out in my pack now whereas with the tool in the camel bak it could happen.
Outdoor Products stuff isn't bad -- I bought some bags a few years back with that label from one of the X-marts, and aside from some stitching loosening up on the inside, they're OK. I don't know how good the hydration mechanism might be.
I guess it depends on how you use your equipment. Do you pamper or really use it?Personally, I've never had much luck with knock-off brands from the big discount stores. Especially things with zippers. My current CamelBak is a 5 year old Razor that I've put through the ringer and haven't had a problem with.