I have been using Kriega’s hydration pack rucksacks for quite a few years now, because staying hydrated while riding is important and using one means I can drink as I travel
The problem I find with only drinking when I stop is that I take on a large quantity of fluid and 20 minutes after restarting the journey I need to stop again for a pee. Drinking small sips regularly keeps me hydrated and I don’t need to stop so often.
Kriega’s Hydro 3 holds a three-litre water bladder and has a drinking tube that’s long enough to reach inside my helmet to allow me to drink through the replaceable bite valve as I go along. For those who don’t need so much capacity Kriega’s Hydro 2 has a two-litre bladder.
This is my second Kriega Hydro 3 – I used the first one for eight years and countless thousands of riding miles with only one replacement of the bite valve before handing on to another rider, which I thought was impressive.
Photography: Adam Pigott
It saw me through one trip to north America, where I rode through Arizona, Nevada and Death Valley and saw temperatures rise to 49°C. Without the ability to drink as I rode this had the potential to be a very dangerous ride.
Before a long trip through South America a couple of years ago I replaced my tired Hydro 3 with the updated version and this has performed just as well.
Kriega’s excellent reputation for building quality products carries over into the Hydro 3 and is backed by their 10-year guarantee covering workmanship and materials.
A zip at the top of the pack gets you into the pocket that holds the bladder, and a plastic bar across the top of the bladder slides away to leave a full-width opening for filling. The bladder is suspended from the top of the rucksack with a strap that hooks around the slide bar.
When full, the bladder takes up all storage space inside the bag, but there is a useful zipped side pocket, and the option to attach an optional Kriega US-10 Drypack or US-5 Drypack means you can add either 10 or five litres of carrying capacity respectively.
The drinking tube is insulated, which is a good feature when riding in hot weather. Without this insulation the first slug of water can be uncomfortably hot – in the most extreme conditions the water can be hot enough to make tea!
Kriega’s Quadloc-Lite harness has sufficient adjustment to cope with different layers of clothing and once it’s on I find it comfortable and unobtrusive.
One observation based on my experience of using a hydration pack… keeping it clean is important. This is particularly the case in parts of the world that use bottled water, which doesn’t contain the chemicals that are part of the sterilisation process used in tap water.
A few years ago I became ill with a stomach bug while on a trip to Romania – projectile vomiting while riding along in a motorcycle helmet is something I would recommend avoiding if at all possible.
I can’t say whether this was as a result of bacteria in the hydration pack, however the experience taught me to keep the pack sterile. Now I dissolve baby bottle sterilising tablets in the pack after three or four days of use.
I leave these overnight and pay particular attention to the bite valve, which I submerge in some of the sterilisation fluid drained into the bottom half of an empty water bottle I’ve cut in half.
This approach eliminates the hydration pack as the source of a debilitating stomach complaint that makes a day spent riding a motorcycle very unpleasant.
I also never add anything to the water in my hydration pack as keeping it clean is much easier when it has only contained water. If I am sweating a lot and feel the need to take different types of drink then I drink them straight from the bottle.
Overall, the Kriega Hydro 3 is a great addition to my riding gear and I expect the latest version to give me reliable service well into the future, just as the original did.