I have been a on and off user of hydration packs over the years. The first hydration pack I ever had was a Ultimate Direction. This was back in the mid 90's. It was the first type of hydration pack that I can remember that had a waist/hip belt.It also had what was a yoke harness system that you could adjust and the pack would set lower on your back than most other packs at the time. Ultimate Direction got out of making hydration packs just for riding for a while. But they are back in that market again with packs like the Grind.
Since 2007 I have been riding with bottles most of the time. For an hour ride on the local trail it is just as simple to use and I don't need anymore than two bottles even with the hottest of temps. I would use a hydration pack on longer off-road trips that I would need to carry more stuff. On the C&O Canal the Park Service treats the wells at the campsites with iodine. I am not a big fan of iodine! The water would turn a light brown and had a bad taste.
I figured since I was wanting to do more bikepacking or ultra light cycling I needed to come up with a system that was going to work for me. I have spent hours searching the web for reviews and what others are using. Once I figure out what I think my requirements are it seems to take me forever to figure out what I am going to purchase to meet my requirement. For the longest time I have had my eyes set on some of the Wingnut Packs.
After I did some research I figured the Wingnut Enduro might be the one that would meet my requirements. The Enduro has some of the features of my old Ultimate Direction, like a harness that you can adjust up or down. It also sets low on the back.
Bedroom chair picture shoot..
One thing that is different about a Wingnut hydration pack is that it does not come with a bladder. In my research most people felt that it should come with one for the amount of money they were paying for it. But you know, this is a American made pack, that a small company makes. It is also about as different of a hydration pack as you can get. But this does give you a chance to pick any 3L bladder that you like.
In my case I am thinking about that water from the C&O Canal. So I find a MSR in-line filter that will hook into the drinking tube of a badder. The U.S.M.C. has what they call IWPS and the in-line filter is part of that system.
Please take note that you have to use the Source bladder
The bladder sets next to the back and is in it's own section of the pack.
To hook the in-line filter you must disconnect the drinking tube from the bladder. This is done by a quick disconnect.
Next is the filter. Notice that there is a arrow with the word flow. The arrow needs to point to the top of the bladder. You will also notice the the ends are different, so it is hard to get this wrong.
The next three pictures shows connecting the filter to the bladder and drinking hose.