Hydration packs—they come as varied as the mountain bikers wearing them. The small Deuter Hydro Lite 2.0 is the minimalist’s pack of choice. The sleek 185-cubic-inch pack is perfect for carrying 70 fluid ounces of water. And not much more.
Air It Out
You don't have to worry about ventilation when you wear the Deuter Hydro Lite 2.0. The Airstripes back system says it provides free air circulation to 80% of the rider’s back. I felt obvious ventilation during both casual riding and racing, leading me to believe this is true. Mesh shoulder straps and a thin hip strap add to the pack’s breathability.
Keep It Cool
An insulated, Mylar®-lined compartment holds a 2-liter bladder which keeps water from getting too warm during sweltering summer rides—or too cold if you’re riding in the winter. I’ve done both with this pack and noticed that my water stays cooler longer on warm days and stays fluid in the winter. But because the insulation doesn’t cover the hydration tube, water left in the tube will freeze.
Leave It Home
The Hydro Lite 2.0 features just one zippered exterior pocket—and it isn't big! Toss in some energy gels, a patch kit and a CO2 inflator and you’re pretty much maxed out on space, especially if you’ve maxed out the bladder. I’ve made use of the main compartment’s “extra room” by stuffing in a spare tube every now and then.
- At $59, this pack is affordable;
- Ventilation is apparent on both casual and strenuous rides;
- Insulated main compartment helps keep water cold—or warm.
- The small exterior pocket limits what you bring;
- Bright orange might not be your favorite color;
- The Deuter bite valve requires a firm bite to get water flowing.