Prologue: At the time that this review update magically appears on the interwebs, I will have my backside hanging out completing a promotion course in the delightful, vista views of Canungra. Because of that I have completed this a month or so ago. Hope you enjoy it more than what I am no doubt currently enjoying.
As you no doubt remember, I reviewed four hydration packs back in March (for those that missed it you can see it here) one of them being the VestPac Wilson Pac, a product that Rob is the distributer of for the Australian market. In the review I mentioned that there was a new 1.8 litre bladder on the way. So instead of getting a full review of a new product this month, this is an update or supplemental review of the updated bladder for the VestPac range.
So here it is, the new VestPac 1.8 litre bladder, in all it's water carrying glory.
The bladder has been really well thought out, much like the rest of the VestPac line. In addition to bumping up the volume by 800ml it features some new features. I will cover those shortly.
Despite the aforementioned increase in volume, the bladder still fits in the appropriate bladder pouch across the VestPac range. It is a snug fit but it fits nicely. Definitely no issue of it moving around though. The mouth of the bladder has been redesigned with the lid now attached by an external loop instead of the internal plastic coil. It is neither better or worse for the use of securing the lid when it is open and being filled or dried out (although it is probably a me thing but I am struggling to get the lid back on correctly/straight). Where it is better is that you can now direct the drinking straw to either the left or right shoulder by using this loop. Clever.
Another new feature is the nozzle. No longer can the nozzle be rotated through 360 degrees or be turned "off" when in 0 or 180 degree position. The new nozzle now is locked in a permanenet 90 degree angle and has an on/off switch on the back of the nozzle . This was a little stiff to begin with but has become easier to use as time has gone by. Since the cool weather has started in Canberra though, the new on/off is a little uncomfortable to use with frozen fingers
The feature that I like the most of the new additions is the magnetic attachement system. Gone is the clip arrangement and in it's place is this very easy to use magnet system that has one half located in the nozzle while the other half is a clip arrangment that can be fitted/placed anywhere on the strap system of the pack. The design of the clip allows you to place it on either side of the pack and slide it into a position that suits you. The best part is that you can grab anywhere on the straw and it is free of it's attachment, while placing it back does not require to much dexterity.
All in all this is a great addition to the VestPac line and allows for some flexibility for paddlers who may require a little more hydration for longer paddles or in hotter climates. If you had this bladder and the standard 1 litre version then you should be pretty set for whatever you may have planned out on the water.