Geigerrig produces a line of pressurized hydration packs that deliver a stream of water by using pressure to eliminate the need to suck. The pressure also allows the water stream to serve as a spray for cleaning off your body and gear. The company's latest pack is called the Guardian and uses hard plastic panels to provide new functions.
The Guardian sandwiches the hydration bladder between two plastic panels that tighten down by way of compression straps running through the pack. The panels serve two functions: they keep the water at a higher pressure for a steady, powerful stream, and they make the overall package more compact. Geigerrig says that the system allows you to wear the pack under or over body armor, under a ski jacket or even under a bike jersey. The double-plated pack with water cushion in between also serves as a sort of body armor of its own, absorbing impact should you happen to fall on your back.
Wearing a hydration pack under a jacket may not sound like much of an improvement - it may even sound more uncomfortable - but the more streamlined and stable your pack is, the more comfortable you're likely to be when moving and performing. A bulging hydration pack can be downright uncomfortable when sitting on a ski lift, for instance, and the thinner, compacted Guardian promises to be a little less noticeable.
The Guardian will hit the market in time for the northern spring of next year. It will retail for about US$115 for the pack as pictured. Geigerrig also told us that it hopes to sell the panels separately, both for retrofitting existing Geigerrig packs and as replacements for broken or lost panels.
Earlier this year, we tested the Geigerrig RIG 500 and were impressed with the spray function. If it works as advertised, the Guardian should be a nice evolutionary improvement for users seeking more pressure, a slimmer pack and/or a little back protection.