Roc Gear’s Mad Water Waterproof Action Sports Pack is an adventure racing hydration pack with a lot of great features–not least of which is being waterproof.
I recently learning about the Waterproof Action Sport Pack from a Checkpoint Tracker tweet. But after searching the web for more information on it, I couldn’t find a single review or buyer comment. The company’s product page for The Action Sports Waterproof Hydration Pack (note the naming inconsistency when searching for this pack) contains some information, but is light on details and doesn’t actually show the pack being worn.
This waterproof adventure racing hydration pack continues to grow on me, with over 200 training miles logged with it thus far. I thought that it was going to be a bit ridged, but has proven to be a great fit and very versatile. The pack has a low profile that hugs your back really well, with very lightly padded shoulder straps and backing. The profile of the pack has been noticeably more streamlined than my other packs with very little wind drag. I didn’t really identify this as an issue with other bags, but realize the value now that I feel the difference.
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With a 10 liter payload capacity and 2 liter water bladder, I think this pack will be large enough for 24hr adventure races and possibly a bit longer. Being streamlines and fairly light weight at 1.7lbs with the water bladder, I’m going to use it for shorter races in the 12hr range as well. While 1.7 pounds is hardly the lightest 10 liter adventure racing pack on the market, it won’t gain the weight that other fabric packs will when saturated with water. Personally, I find my packs to always be soaked from either kayaking, swimming, sweating or rain.
The Waterproof Action Sports Hydration Pack (staying consistent with the inconsistent naming) lacks a few features that I had on my mandatory checklist, including water adventure bottle holders and waist pocket, but I’ve addressed the void with a Nathan Velocity Hydration Pack. I initially ordered the Waterproof Waist Pack by Roc Gear, designed to couple with this backpack, but found it to be a bit too large for me. It also did not contain sufficiently large enough side pockets to store nutrition bars and such. Nathan’s Velocity Hydration Pack, with a horizontal cradle for a 22oz bottle, fits perfectly below the pack.
The mouth off the bag is a vertical opening sealed with Roc Gear’s own plastic slide zipper. It’s very simple to open and close and provides easy access to the vertical length of the bag.
The shoulder straps have a number of attachment points, including hydration hose clips on both straps that swivel and offer more mounting angles than a fixed position clip. This is my first pack with this feature and I really like it.
Two spring-loaded metal clips are permanently sewed into each strap for attaching an adventure racing map case. I’m suspect of these hooks however and expect them to rust and foul up long before the pack wears out. I would rather they were detachable.
There are also some other attachment points on the straps, including some plastic D-rings and some buckle clips, designed to fit a separate chest pack attachment. This attachment from the manufacturer looks to be much too bulky for adventure racing–in my opinion–similar to the waterproof waist pack.
All in all, I give the bag a great rating. It’s the best adventure racing bag that I’ve used thus far and look forward to see how it performs on race day.