Gear Test: Camelbak vs. Stash Pack

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Feb. 4, 2002--Since their inception, hydration packs have helped thousands of hikers, bikers, and even soldiers get their H20--at least when it wasn't too cold. The hose and bite valve on most hydration packs are notorious for freezing. Manufacturers have tried many different insulation methods to keep the hose and bite valve free of ice, but none seem to work as well as Backcountry Access' new technique. According to a study by Backcountry Access (BCA), their Stash Pack outperformed Camelbak in cold weather field tests.

During November and December and using Summit County, Colorado and Jackson, Wyoming as field laboratories, BCA analysts regularly tested water temperatures inside the hoses of a "fully winterized" pack from Camelbak against a Backcountry Access Stash Pack. Backcountry Access reported that in 26 skier days the Camelbak froze 35 times and the Stash Pack froze only once. Furthermore, the average water temperature in the Stash hose was 42.9 degrees Fahrenheit and 28.9 degrees in the Camelbak.

The Stash Pack system keeps the hose and bite valve warm because the components are actually "stashed" inside the insulated shoulder strap of the pack. According to the study, the average air temperature in the shoulder strap was 23.3 degrees warmer than the average air temperature of 15.5 degrees.

The Stash Pack line has three models: the Stash, Stash bc, and Stash Pro. The Stash is designed with resort skiing in mind. It has a low profile and no loose straps so it doesn't need to be removed when riding the lift. The Stash BC, however, is designed for daylong backcountry trips. It is larger, has more pockets, and features built-in ski carriers. The Stash Pro is an even bigger, more expedition-oriented backcountry pack. In addition and keeping with BCA's dedication to backcountry safety, all Stash Packs have internal pockets for shovels and proves.

For more information on the Stash Pack visit Backcountry Access, Inc.