Geigerrig Rig 1600 Tactical Hydration Backpack Review

Anyone who loves the outdoors needs to have a go-to hydration pack. Whether it be for hiking, biking, trail running, hunting, or just plain adventure the right hydration pack will help get you further and keep going. I have had my fair share of hydration packs over the year varying from Camelback to Osprey however, it always felt like something was missing. I loved having access to water straight from the hose without having to take the pack off, especially for mountain biking. That was never the problem, it was always the actual pack that felt off. Both previous hydration packs I had did not have enough organization to grant using it even with the water bladder. 

Enter the Geigerrig Rig 1600

When it comes to a complete package for a quick day-trip adventure pack, the Rig cannot be beaten. We will start with the specs of the Rig first. The whole pack is built from 500D Multicam Cordura, which if you have followed RMK at all you know this is hands down my favorite fabric - mixing in all the best attributes, weight, abrasion resistance, tear strength, and feel. Truthfully if you are making packs without Cordura right now you are doing something wrong. 

The Rig comes in at 1600 Cubic inches, hence the name which equals a 26L volume. I did notice during my testing this pack did not feel like a 26L pack when I had it on riding or hiking. The Goruck GR1 26L also comes in at the same size and feels much more bulky than the Rig. 

To start off, on the very front of the pack you have your typical Military style Mollee webbing to give multiple attachment points as well as connect to any mollee backed pouches you may have. Above the mollee webbing sits the front admin pocket. Upon opening this pocket, you are greeted with a decent sized pocket with plenty of organization up top to keep all of your smaller items secure and ready when you need them. On the very top, there is a section separate from the pocket that lays down. This flap has two small zippered compartments and a place for cards, pens, and pencils. In the top most zipper I kept my keys on the key strap and right below is where I would store my wallet and whatever other small items like chapstick or gum. 

Underneath the top zippered organization pockets you have two larger mesh pockets for any other items you want to keep in the front pocket. 

On either side of the Rig, there are two heavy duty compression straps the help keep the load close to your back or make the pack very slim when not holding a ton of gear. At first I did not think I needed compression straps on a smaller hydration pack however when I took the Rig on my mountain bike ride packed with a full bladder, my DSLR, GoPro, gorilla pod, med kit, and a few other items I was loving the straps. They do a great job at staying out of the way and not flapping all over the place but are right where they need to be when you have to strap up. When strapped they also can act as a second closer system if you need to have the zipper open to carry taller items. At one point I was able to carry my DSLR on the Gorilla pod and have it held in by the buckles for quick access while the pack stayed on my back. 

Below the compression straps on either side of the pack sits a small but great side pocket. The side pocket can not hold a ton but does a great job at storing small quick grab items like spare camera batteries, a fire kit, gloves, etc. On my bike ride and hikes I loaded one pocket out with my spare camera batteries and the other with my work gloves. This is a great feature of the Rig. 

The main compartment of the Rig is exactly how it should be. Large and simple. The main pocket is just one large empty pocket perfect for the larger items in your loadout. While testing this pack I was able to fit my DSLR, Gorilla pod, GoPro and its Gorilla pod, my Med kit EDC pouch, an extra layer, and still had some room. When the water bladder is loaded fully it can push into the main compartment somewhat but that is to be expected. I love the emptiness of the pocket so I can easily slide in and out my camera without catching them on pockets, hooks and whatever else doesn't need to be there. One thing I would like to see added to the main comparment is some light padding on the bottom for some extra peace of mind when carrying Camera or other expensive eletronics. 

Another feature that separates the Rig from other hydration packs is the included, removable, padded hip belt. Not many packs this size offer a fully featured hip belt and I am not sure why because after using the Rig's I am in love. The hip belt is perfectly padded, not too much that it is uncomfortable while riding my bike but enough to support a 30lb Goruck Ruck weight. The hip belt also has a small pocket on either side that was large enough to store my iPhone 6s and would work great for keys and other small items. The belt can be removed effortlessly as it is attached with some heavy duty velcro at the base of the pack. This is one of my favorite features of the Rig. 

The back panel on the Rig is also more than expected from a typical hydration pack. The panel is home to three large separate padded mesh islands to help with not only padding but ventilation. When riding my bike with the pack my back did get sweaty but that is fairly hard to avoid while mountain biking. When just hiking the pack did a great job at venting. At the bottom of the back panel, there is a large lumbar mesh pad which houses the velcro for the hip belt.   

 

Right behind the padded back panel runs a zipper which reveals the water bladder compartment. The Rig comes with an included 3L bladder which is not your average bladder. The Geigerrig bladder does not only hold water and give you a hydration hose but has a separate "pressure hose" which the user can pump full and give the water hose pressure. At first, I really thought this was just a marketing technique however upon using I doubt I will ever be happy with another bladder. Pumping air into the bladder allowed me to pinch the outlet and use the hydration hose as more than a hydration outlet, I was able to spray my face to cool down with water, fill up my pup's water bowl and spray off my boots at the end of the hike. On the right shoulder strap, the Insulated water bladder hose runs down and connects to the plastic hold. The left strap houses the pump hose in a small pocket which can be pumped while zipped shut. The addition of the Insulated hydration hose really helped to not blasted with a stream of warm water on the first gulp after a while. 

 

The shoulder straps on the Rig are lightly padded and backed with the same mesh material used on the hip belt and back panel of the pack. The Rig comes with an included sternum strap and plenty of attachment points. Each hose runs down the straps and stays low profile due to the loops and clips holding the hoses down.

The Rig 1600 Tactical Hydration Pack by Geigerrig is not only my favorite hydration packs I've used but one of my favorite day hiking/adventure packs. The attention to detail is very apparent from the stitching to the small mesh parts in high contact areas. The pressurized water bladder is an awesome feature and the removable padded hip belt brings it all together to make a monster day pack. The pack comes in at $210 which is not cheap but completely justifiable with the Cordura construction and top-tier features. The Rig also comes in the Mulitcam verison I have, Black, and Coyote Tan. I look forward to seeing what other great packs come from the guys over at Geigerrig. 

+

  • 500D Cordura
  • Padded Removable Hip-Belt
  • Compression Straps
  • Padded Back Panel
  • Great attention to detail
  • Pressurized Water Bladder
  • Great Organization for a Hydration Pack
  • Mollee Webbing

-

  • No padding on bottom
  • No Velcro patch on Front for Morale Patches

Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Cooler Review

"Your New Outdoor Buddy"

Every now and then I get a product in my hands that is everything I could have ever imagined and more. The Yeti Hopper Flip which came out last month is that product. I have taken this thing every day to the Fire Academy as my personal lunch cooler and to a few trips up in the mountains of Colorado, it has done nothing but continue to impress the hell out of me.  

Yeti is the Rolls-Royce of outdoor coolers and is the go to for anyone serious enough about keeping their food/drinks cold as can be while being able to last a lifetime and look damn good doing it. The Hopper Flip hit the shelves last August and has been a hit since. I was able to get my hands on one for testing after seeing it in person at Outdoor Retailer. 

If you have ever owned or dreamed of owning a Yeti Cooler you know they are not cheap by any means. The Flip follows this same principle coming in at $279.99.  I will go further into detail about the price and my ideas on whether or not the Flip is worth it later on. The Flip is Yeti's first real "personal" cooler at only 3lbs and measuring just over 11" x 12". 

"Perfect Size for the Day"

The Yeti to me is the perfect size for a day cooler or a personal lunch cooler. It fits my lunch at the Academy with ease and plenty of room to spare. I did put it to the test to see how many beers the Flip could hold and it stayed true to the 12 listed on the Yeti site. Yeti was nice enough to throw in their Flip-sized Ice pack which I put on the bottom of the beers and lay them down to pack in tight with some room to spare for ice on top if you wanted. The beers stayed ice cold the entire day only with the ice pack which is amazing. The ability to only throw a small ice pack in the bottom of the cooler and be able to keep everything on top without ice in between and getting all your food wet is great. 

"Cold As Ice"

To build on that, I decided to do a test with only the ice pack I was sent from Yeti and the beers. Over a 24 hour period, the Temperature in the beers only raised 3 degrees F while sitting outside on my back porch. Any cooler that can hold a temp like that is a winner in my book. 

Not only does the Flip keep things extremely cold, it looks great while doing it. On the back of the Yeti, there is a 2x3 Velcro patch to throw all of your hard earned morale patches or even a name patch. On either side of the Logo or Velcro patch, there are two rows of mollee style webbing which allow you to attach anything you want. On mine, I decided to throw on a Black Diamond Caribeaner for some looks and a possible attachment point for keys or whatever else. Yeti also sells a bottle opener which can be attached easily to the mollee which is a great idea and way to always have one near your booze box.   

"Shoulder Strap To Match The Cooler"

Each side of the Flip is paired with side grab handles and an attachment point for the included shoulder strap. The side handles are a great option if one does not want to use the strap or needs a quick way to grab the cooler and go. The shoulder strap on the Flip matches the same build quality as the cooler itself. I hate seeing a quality built duffle only to be greeted with a half-ass shoulder strap, which is honestly, a huge part of any bag or cooler you are going to be carrying from place to place like I will with the Flip. The shoulder strap is built from the same material as the cooler itself their "Dryhide Shell" on the outside of the strap and a very soft and comfortable neoprene on the inside. The shoulder strap made carrying the cooler packed with 12 beers much easier. 

"Element-Proof HydroLok Zipper"

Above each side handle runs the patented Yeti HydroLok Zippe. The HydroLok is by far the largest and most secure zipper I have ever used here at RMK and for a god reason. Obviously, a major difference with the Hopper line of coolers compared to the normal hard-sided coolers most people are used to is the zipper on the top. In order to keep everything on the inside of the cooler, you need to have a bombproof zipper that not only keeps the cold in but keeps the water out. I did a quick test up in the Blue River in Dillon Colorado to see how the zipper held up with our lunch inside. The cooler as one would probably guess floats so I had to jump on top of the cooler which helped check off two tests instead of one, however, we will get to that later. After pulling the cooler out of the rocks and water I opened it up to not one drop of water. The HydroLok zipper is the real deal when it comes to a zipper that will no matter what keep your drinks cold and the elements out of the Flip. Below I am going to show mulitple pictures of the HydroLok  (I'd love to run these guys on some of my packs)

While testing the Yeti I was trying to find something I did not like or would change about the cooler. The only thing I found which is really not a big deal but I thought I would mention is when the lid of the cooler is opened and pulled back it will not stay in the open position but swing back shut. I didn't find this to be too big of a problem but it did make grabbing things out with only one hand a little bit harder. It is nice in the way too that you won't ever have to worry about leaving the lid of the Flip open!

As mentioned above the Flip while getting submerged was also able to stand tall while support my 200lbs frame, for a soft sided cooler I feel that this only shows the type of build quality by Yeti on the Flip. This section of the review is where I feel the $279 price tag gets completely justified. Will the Flip keep your drinks cold? Yes. Is the Flip the same size as other personal coolers on the market? Yes. Do other coolers have handles and shoulder straps just like the Flip? Yes. Could you throw other coolers off of mountains and down a river like the Flip? No. 

The Flip is my first Yeti as stated at the start of this review and it will not be my last. It is truly amazing the type of build quality Yeti has built themselves on and you can feel it firsthand with the Flip. The DryHide Shell that the Flip has on the outside is literally as tough as nails, it is scratch-proof and puncture resistant. Throughout my testing, I would slam the cooler down, kick it over, and walk over it. All while the Flip holds on to over 10lbs of beer. Never once did I feel like I damaged the cooler or was worried about what I had on the inside. The soft sided nature of the Flip also acts as a padding layer for the goods inside. 

+

  • It's a Yeti
  • Padded Shoulder Strap
  • Side Handles
  • Velcro patch and Mollee webbing for Attachments
  • Will keep cold for 24+ Hours
  • Water and Element Proof
  • Crush, Puncture, and Scratch Proof
  • Looks Great

-

  • $$$
  • Does not stay open when lid is pulled back

Could you get by with buying a $50 cooler from Walmart? Yes, without a doubt. You just have to ask yourself how many of those $50 coolers will you have to purchase over the years. After testing and getting to experience the Flip for myself I have no doubt that this cooler is worth the $279 price tag. Yes, it is a lot of money for just a cooler but if you use it enough it is well worth it. Each Yeti comes with a 3-year warranty in case you feed the cooler to a walrus or something, but other than that I doubt you will need it. The Yeti Flip will be coming on every adventure I need to keep a few drinks or a lunch cold on here at RMK Outdoors. I will be trying to get my hands on the bigger Hopper 40 for longer trips like camping or hunting at the cabin in Wisconsin. 

 

 

OLIVERS Apparel Convoy Tee and Capital Short Review

I was recently sent over the OLIVERS Apparel Convoy Tee and Capital Short to test out and review. OLIVERS Apparel is a performance wear company dedicated to producing top-tier apparel. 

"This company wasn’t founded with venture capital, a team of MBAs, or even a detailed business plan. We started with a handful of fabric swatches, a small workshop in California, and a passion for athletics and the culture of sport. Fast forward 3 years, and what began as a fresh take on gym shorts has grown to much more.
Piece by piece, we create athletic apparel essentials, updating them with the best performance fabrics and detailed tailoring to nsure they will last for years to come. But we aren’t only focused on the pursuit of athletic excellence - we’re about the spirit of adventure, and we’re here to help you tackle it head on."

"Handmade in the US with Merino Wool"

I love reviewing products made by companies like OLIVERS not just because of their attention to detail and the high-quality products they make, but also for the fact that they produce every product right here on American soil. As said before, it is hard to find a clothing company in today's day that takes enough pride in their work and will go the extra mile to produce here in the US.

Starting off with the Convoy Tee from OLIVERS. The tee is made from 100% Merino Wool. Merino Wool is not the same as your Grandparents wool blanket, Merino Wool is much more fine, soft, and more suited for a performance tee. Merino Wool is breathable, strong, odor resistant, quick drying, static-resistant, has great wicking capabilities and sun resistant. Literally, everything you could want in a sports/performance tee.  

"Athletic Fit for the Perfect Fit"

The Convoy has a natural slim fit which is perfect for showing off your hard-earned muscles while pumping iron. But really, the fit is spot on with perfect length sleeves and waist. The neck stays high and tight without being uncomfortable, while the chest does the same. 

"Wear it Anywhere"

Not only is the shirt great looking with some of the best material available, the stitching from the guys over at OLIVERS is top notch. When it comes to a shirt that I will be using to not only workout with but, hike, run, climb, camp, and many more strenuous activities, I want something I can trust and not have to think twice about. I have ripped countless tee shirts while hiking and camping hiking through the brush and I have no doubt this tee will prevail. If for some reason it doesn't everything OLIVERS makes is backed by a 6 month guarantee from anything outside of normal wear. 

The Convoy Tee is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the best of the best when it comes to everyday wear. The Merino Wool will last a lifetime while giving the best active wear has to offer. At $68 the Convoy is not the cheapest of tee-shirts, however, the Merino Wool is some of the best fabric out there and the Convoy is hand made in California, which is enough for me to back them. The only "negative" I found with the Convoy was the first outing with the shirt was somewhat scratchy until I first washed. After the wash the shirt felt great. 

+

  • Handmade in California
  • Merino Wool
  • Great Fit
  • Tons of features 

-

  • Somewhat on the pricey side
  • Wool can be somewhat "scratchy" on first wear until washing 

The second work of art I was sent over from OLIVERS was the Capital Short. I want to start off by saying I have grown up playing hockey my entire life and in the gym. I am no body builder, however, my legs and back end have always been too large for the right waist size shorts.. Forcing me to buy much too large waist sized shorts and suck them in with a belt. This has never been the problem when buying workout shorts due to their stretch, however when trying to buy nice looking, pocketed shorts it a huge problem. 

 

"Finally a Short That Moves With You"

When I first saw the Capital shorts by OLIVERS I figured they would be another lost cause and would not be worth it. I then read the details on the shorts, the 87% Nylon and the 13% Spandex means the short is tough enough for any activity yet, it will finally move with me instead of against.

  • 87% Nylon, 13% Spandex
  • 4-way stretch. 170 GSM
  • Water Repellant (DWR)
  • Slim, athletic cut. Fits true to size
  • Stainless steel Italian tack button
  • Gusseted crotch 
  • Bar tack reinforcements 

The short also has a 4-way stretch and Gusseted crotch feature. I cannot stress how amazing this is. I have used these shorts for running, hiking, and a full backyard leg workout. The fact that these shorts can look amazing paired with a casual dress shirt or a cut off while doing squats is truly amazing. Another great feature of the Capital is the Water repellent DWR treating. The coffee can find its way on your lap early in the morning runs right off. 

The Capital features four extremely soft and light pockets. The two on the front are perfectly placed and sized for everyday carry items. 

"Hiking, Climbing, Running, Netflixing" 

The Capital Short is hands down the most versatile short in my lineup. I have worn them dressed up for a movie and dinner with the girlfriend, camping up in the Rockies of Colorado, and in the gym. For anyone who wants a bombproof pair of shorts with the ability to move with you into any setting, look no further than the Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. The Capital comes in at $98 which is in no way cheap, although this price is easily justified by the countless features and the fact they are handmade in California.

+

  • Handmade in Californa 
  • 4-way stretch
  • Gusseted crotch
  • DWR treated

  • Not cheap