Geigerrig Tactical 1600 Review
This is the first time I’ve come across the Geigerrig series of hydration packs, but honestly I don’t know why. They seem to be rising in the states quite quickly and I know it wont be long before the Brits start to climb on board as well. The Geigerrig range of packs with their pressurised water system, manufactured by Hydrapak, are combined with some of the best water filtration systems in the world, made by Aquamira. Between those three companies you couldn’t help but expect a great product and that’s exactly what you get.
Before we get on to the pack I would like to talk very briefly about the hydration system. I say briefly because this the entire system itself is so good that I would take up too much of this article talking about it and if you want more information on it you can find it in its own featured review here.
The bladder/reservoir is a pressurised system, so you can spray water rather than needing to suck it, which means you can cool yourself off, clean some muddy boots or share with a friend or even your dogs. It is designed to work with the Aquamira filters which come in two options and have Cyst, Bacteria and Virus removal rates of over 99% and process either 100 or 120 gallons depending on which you choose. You pressurise it through a hand pump that fits in the pouch on the left shoulder strap so it’s always close at hand, and the one that fits in this pack has a 3ltr capacity. That’s all I will mention and again any more info can be found here.
At first glance this is definitely one of the highest quality packs I’ve ever seen. They have kept it simple and practical while adding some great features over similarly designed and priced packs. The one I have here is the Geigerrig 1600 tactical but, it should be noted that although this is the largest pack they make (I may be wrong), this is still a small pack. 1600 refers to the cubic inches which is just over 26 litres, so it’s not enormous, but it is a good size for a hiking pack and it does come with molle on the front and waist straps if you wanted to add extra carrying capacity.
There are two large pockets and two small side pouches which is great because more and more these days you find companies who make ‘tactical’ packs limit capacity by splitting it over far too many pockets. The main pouch is a little bit smaller than I had expected due to the water bladder and a rigid back support, but both of these can be removed if desired to give you a little extra space although, I couldn’t see you needing any more than what’s already provided. The secondary compartment houses the usual valuables and document holders and it unzips all of the way down to give you great access to whatever you store inside. Finally the side pockets are big enough for you to store maybe a small medical kit or a hat and gloves, not quite large enough for a water bottle but bigger than a standard soft drinks can.
The shoulder straps aren’t heavily padded but there is plenty for the size of the pack and the weight you will carry in it. They are part of the frame of the pack rather than being stitched on to the back so they will be a lot more durable than most other packs. There a 3 strips on each strap so you can attach a radio or phone pouch securely (I use them for clip on lights) and as mentioned previously the left strap houses a pocket for the hand pump for the hydration bladder. Now with the mention of the hand pump I will be honest, I don’t like where it’s positioned. Maybe its just my frame, but it’s too high up and I feel it pressed against my chest, which isn’t uncomfortable, but I could ‘feel’ it. This was the only issue I had when first using the pack, however I compressed the bulb down and taped it for a couple of days and it went really soft which made it almost unnoticeable, so if you get the same problem, do as I did and you should be fine. If you still don’t like it you can always put the air pump somewhere-else and use the pocket for a utility item instead like a pocket tool, or you can always remove the air pump all together and use it as a regular hydration system. So the pump position is nothing to worry about, but I thought I should mention it as the tape trick really changed the whole thing for me, so I figured it might help some of you out if you ever have the same issue.
The waist straps are quite comfortable as well, and have a couple of strips of molle for more pouches. There are also two pockets on the straps which is a nice feature, but make no mistake these aren’t huge (especially when you are strapped in. I dare say they were designed with the idea of housing a map or cash (something along those lines) which is really nice, but you wouldn’t put anything other than documents in there or it would be uncomfortable. There’s also the usual compression straps to hold all of the gear in the pack together.
As a whole it’s not as big as I need for an everyday pack, I do carry a fair bit of gear when I go out as I test a lot of equipment, but you should easily fit in some spare clothing, a small cooking system and food and medical supplies. There’s not a whole lot you should be carrying for most day trips and I think this has enough space while also giving you the molle options on the front. I will be using it when hiking some of the larger mountains in Britain later this year when I wont be carrying a million knives, and I foresee it carrying everything I will require without needing to attach any molle pouches.
I think this is an excellent for mountain hikes and other lightweight exercise enthusiasts like joggers and bikers who might need the additional space some molle compatible pouches can provide. The quality as I mentioned earlier is one of the highest I’ve ever seen. I have another hydration pack that’s in the same price range as this and you just cant compare them on the same scale. I definitely will be keeping my eye on Geiggerig packs from now on and as soon as they get a good 40+ltr pack I’ll be on it like a hawk.
Geigerrig Tactical 1600 Review
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