The Deuter Hydro M3. I bought this pack back in ’06 for a mountain biking adventure with my husband in CO, UT, and AZ. I loved it then and love it now. Four years, and many adventures later, the pack and reservoir still work like new. I think this version has been discontinued, but it you’re interested it looks like it has morphed into the Compact EXP 8.
Biking in Fruita, CO. Yeah, it's the best picture I have of the pack - red arrow.
Deuter Compact EXP 8 Deuter Hydro M3 Deuter Streamer 3.0L Reservoir
In over 100 years of experience, it’s the features that make Deuter’s packs top-notch. These are a few that carry over in to their current packs:
- Airstripes Back System: 80% of my back gets free air flow when I wear this pack. Yes, an unbelievable 80%. This reduces heat build-up and perspiration, and also helps to keep the pack smelling a bit more fresh at the end of the day. There are mesh straps throughout (they may look uncomfortable, but they have a great feeling when it’s on) that also help with air flow. Overall, this makes the pack much more comfortable to wear.
- Streamer 3.0: Deuter uses Source reservoir systems (yes, they are BPA free). This was actually the first FDA approved antimicrobial reservoir! They use a coating that is as smooth as glass to prevent bacteria build-up and is lined with a high-tech film that keeps your water tasting like water instead of a rubber tire. They also have a leak proof Helix Bite Valve (and still doesn’t leak four years later) with a twist-on/twist off cap to prevent drainage (even if you happen to toss your pack down right on your bite valve). The cap also helps in keeping your mouthpiece clean – no more caked on dirt or grime when going for a drink of water. The reservoir has a channeled top seal with quick open/close = easy filling. I’ve used my reservoir in many packs hiking, backpacking, and biking – it is definitely my favorite.
- The pack has a helmet/jacket stuff pocket, compression straps, hip and sternum straps, and a nice sized main compartment.
I highly recommend Deuter packs for biking. I love this one and we also have a Deuter Super Bike (new version is Cross Air EXP) that my husband uses EVERY DAY for bike commuting.
Deuter Cross Air EXP
I don’t recommend the Hydro M3 for running, especially if you are female. My husband uses it for running and does ok with it. He doesn’t mind the size and is happy he can fill up the reservoir with water and have room for a water bottle filled with a replacement drink. I’ve only used the pack a few times running and my experiences have stayed the same. I can’t quite get the adjustment right. In order to have the pack not bouncing side to side on my back, I have to have the sternum strap, um, well, in a very uncomfortable spot. So uncomfortable, after about 20 minutes of running, I decide to deal with the bouncing of the pack. I also think the pack itself is a little overkill for my size. I’m not a tiny person, but I feel like it is too big and bulky to go running with.
To be fair, Deuter’s intended purpose for this pack is biking. I have no complaints when I wear it on the trails with my mountain bike. My husband has few complaints when running with this pack – he even ran the Grand Island Trail Marathon with it on (you are required to carry your own water). I’ve used it in a jam in searching for running hydration packs. If you’re looking for a hydration pack for biking, definitely look in to Deuter’s packs.