|The bag is great. MOLLE on the back is large enough to mount a good first aid kit, D rings on the straps, small/medium/large pouches. When hiking with the family, 3L in the hydration pouch, two 2L bottles in the main pouch, four "sipper" bottles snapped onto the D rings and extra MOLLE slots.
The bladder is TERRIBLE. As with the reviewer of the tan version of this bag, every single seal leaks. The mouth where you fill it, the spot where the hose attaches to the bag, the on/off valve on the hose, and the bite valve. The first two result in water coming out in your vehicle and down your back. The last two result in constant leaking while walking, and the "cracked straw" effect when you are trying to drink - you're sucking mostly air. I took it apart and examined all the seals. This would have worked great if constructed correctly. The cap and seal for the fill valve were obviously meant for a thicker walled mouth. The mouth is too thin to make a seal and the edge is sharp instead of rolled. The mouth is so thin that it contorts under the weight of the water, making it hard to even screw the cap on after filling. Similar issues with the other seal points. It appears as if the factory shaved costs by using less plastic than the design called for, and the result is leaks.
If you can find this pack without the bladder, buy it, then buy a different bladder. Just make sure the hose is long enough! If you're outside of the People's Republic of Kalifornia, buy one of the ones with a filter (or find a friendly zonie, las vegan, or oregonite to send you one). UPDATE: Previous review was two bullets; I'll upgrade to 3 bullets because you can do some DIY repairs to make it a 4 bullet item.
1) Replace the entire bite piece and valve assembly. $5 for a 'brand name' 'upgrade' kit, and it no longer leaks or sucks air.
2) Reseat/tighten/glue the hose/bag linkage. Linkage is three parts; hose over gasketed bolt into socket. The bolt/socket connection was fine once rinsed and tightened, the hose-over-bolt leak was fixed with hot glue.
3) Don't overfill, keep upright. The fill valve simply will not seal, but it's at the top, so you can still cram a good 2.5-2.75L into it without it leaking, as long as you keep it upright.
1) Buy a replacement 3L pouch, maybe one of the nice ones you can find here with a built in filter (sorry, Kalifornians).|