If you’ve been paying attention, you know Matador is in a league of their own when it comes to packable gear. Their Hydrolite puts the hydration pack market on notice, and takes their brand several steps further in the premium direction.
The most packable gear typically sacrifice features on the altars of space saving and ounce shaving, but the Hydrolite is actually better than most or even all of the rigid hydration competition. According to Matador, the Hydrolite is the only hydration pack with built-in filtration, and the included filters are no slouch:
- weighs just 2 ounces; 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter
- Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
- Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons
Comfort is among the most important metrics for most people when selecting a backpack, and the area you expect a packable bag to fail at hardest. Matador remedies this in the Hydrolite brilliantly with an inflatable back panel- basically a sleeping pad to put between you and the pack. The Hydrolite is also waterproof.
The Hydrolite is so versatile, so lightweight and packable, and compromises on so little, that I’ll be taking it on trips I would have otherwise just gone without a hydration pack on, and there’s no better measure of a successful product than that.
The Hydrolite is not cheap, coming in at 2-3X the price of great hydration packs like the Osprey Skarab, and $100 more than Matador’s Beast28 Technical Backpack, but like the rest of Matador’s lineup, there’s no analog in the competitive set.