Quark Expeditions
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Author: Paul Jennison

£120

www.cascadedesigns.com

Most daysacks in this review can accommodate a hydration bladder but you have to buy it separately, whereas the Sprinter XT 25 is a hydration pack with a daysack around it and the three-litre bladder is included. Bear this in mind when you gasp at the price tag…

Platypus Sprinter XT 25

This bag is ideal to wear for hiking or biking, and it’s fine for less-tough activities like travelling too. Made from strong and durable 210-denier PU polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon, it’s highly abrasion- and water-resistant. The seams are taped and the main zip is water-resistant too, so while this doesn’t guarantee it’s completely waterproof, it will keep more rain out that most.

The wide shoulder and waist straps have thin but supportive padding and the pack is available in two sizes (S/M and M/L) to allow for differing back lengths – really helpful in getting the fit right. The internal back panel spreads the weight across the shoulders and back; externally there’s mesh padding down the back for added comfort and ventilation. And if you want to pare down the so it’s smaller and lighter, the back panel can be removed and the waist straps can be stashed out of the way. The chest strap has plenty of adjustment and incorporates a magnet for the drink valve from the bladder to clip to. There are four compression straps that stabilise the contents of the pack, especially useful for faster activities like mountain biking.

The three-litre drinks bladder has its own compartment at the back of the back, keeping the weight of the liquid close to the body so it can be carried comfortably. This year the design has been updated so the bladder has an even lower profile, keeping it closer to the back. The bladder opens and closes with a wide zip at the top, and the drinking tube can be removed so you don’t need to unthread it from the pack to fill the bladder up.

The three-litres taken up by the bladder leaves 22 litres of space for the rest of your gear. There’s a large main compartment accessed by a huge zip with a mesh pocket for valuables and a key clip inside it. There’s another small zip-up pocket on the front, and a stretchy pouch for a helmet or an extra layer. The waist belt has two handy pockets for kit you like to keep close to hand, there are two side wand pockets and several loops to attach other bits of kit to.

I found the Sprinter XT 25 comfortable with plenty of room for everything I needed for a day’s hiking even with the hydration bladder full. A great pack that could be used for higher alpine excursions or mountain biking as well as hiking.

In a line: A multi-activity daysack with a built-in drinks system

  • Fit: 8
  • Organisation: 8
  • Comfort: 8
  • Value for money: 7
  • Overall: 8
Platypus Sprinter XT 25 Review
78%Overall Score
Fit80%
Organisation80%
Comfort80%
Value for money70%
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