Platypus Duthie AM 10.0 hydration pack review

Light weight, highly ventilated back panel, and ample cargo storage

Gear Hydration
No matter the terrain, the Duthie AM 10.0 has maintained a stable, secure and unobstructed fit.

No matter the terrain, the Duthie AM 10.0 has maintained a stable, secure and unobstructed fit.

Lowdown: Platypus Duthie AM 10.0 Hydration Pack

The best hydration packs are there when you need them, invisible when you don’t. They provide ample and secure storage, fit comfortably, breathe well, and don’t flop around or otherwise impede progress when you’re tackling tough terrain. With those critical criteria in mind, we spent the last couple months with the Platypus Duthie AM 10.0 hydration pack on our back to see how it measured up. Read on to find out how it fared.

Stat Box
Storage: 7 liters Back panel: Float air with tensioned mesh
Bladder: 3 liters/100 fluid ounces Color options: Carbon, Moss (tested), Red
Pack material: 160D/210D water resistant nylon Price: $140
Pack weight: 800 grams Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 out of 5
Bladder and hose weight: 150 grams

Pluses
Minuses
  • Durable material
  • Low bite-valve water flow
  • Ample storage
  • Some premature material wear
  • Fleece lined pocket
  • Long waist straps
  • Internal tool organization
  • Self-securing drink hose
  • Pack stable on rowdy terrain
  • Stable water storage
  • Pad and helmet carry system
  • Easy-to-access zippered waist pockets
  • Highly breathable back panel
  • Internal storage sleeves
  • Rain fly cover
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Padded mesh waist belt
  • Easy to secure and loosen pack
  • Understated look
  • Security clip for keys
  • Robust bladder
  • Quick disconnect bladder hose
  • No taste residue
  • Easy to fill bladder
  • Blinky light attachment point

Review: Platypus Duthie AM 10.0 Hydration Pack

Over the last few years, the hydration pack has fallen out of favor. Whether it’s SWAT storage, fanny packs, or overstuffed jersey pockets, riders seem intent on ditching the pack lest their back gets the least bit sweaty. And I’ll admit that for shorter rides (typically anything two hours or less) I usually don’t use a pack. I love the free feeling of having nothing on my back, and as long as your bike’s frame allows for a bottle cage, and/or you have a pair of SWAT pocket-equipped bibshorts or some other cargo carrying space, it’s pretty easy to transport everything you need for shorter rides.

Cargo capacity is 7 liters, plus a 3 liter (100oz) bladder.

Cargo capacity is 7 liters, plus a 3 liter (100oz) bladder. Photo by Dave Kozlowski

But let’s be honest, two hour rides are fun and all, but the best mountain bike adventures last longer and take you farther into the backcountry. And that’s why a high functioning hydration pack is a must. The best are there when you need them, completely out of mind when you don’t. They’re comfortable, breath well, have ample secure storage, and don’t bounce all over the place when you’re shredding the gnar.

In nearly all of these cases, the Platypus Duthie AM 10.0 gets high marks. Fit is dialed via a pair of shoulder straps, and adjustable waist belt and sternum strap, all of which stay in place once secured. The highly breathable back panel utilizes a layer of mesh tensioned around a wire frame to prevent the pack from compressing against your back. This increases airflow, helping to avoid that not-so-fresh feeling. And it’s super comfortable, closely conforming in my case to a protruding line of vertebrae. There’s also a subtle amount of suspension, which minimizes bounce during descents. You can see a rundown of all the pack’s features in the video below.

Fit is dialed in via a pair of adjustable shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and oversized waist belt.

Fit is dialed in via a pair of adjustable shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and oversized waist belt. Photo by Dave Kozlowski

However, the Duthie is lacking any sort of extra spine protection. So if for instance you’re racing enduro and want a little extra piece of mind, you’ll need to look at another pack such as the Dakine Seeker 15 L Bike (review upcoming), EVOC Freeride, or CamelBak K.U.D.U.

The highly breathable back panel utilizes a layer of mesh tensioned around a wire frame to prevent the pack from compressing against your back.

The highly breathable back panel utilizes a layer of mesh tensioned around a wire frame to prevent the pack from compressing against your back.

Weight for the seven liter Duthie pack is a reasonable 800 grams, with the 100oz bladder adding another 150 grams. The 160D/210D water resistant exterior nylon material has stood up to a summer’s worth of riding, and there’s tons of storage space. The main compartment has a zip mesh pocket with key clip, plus three more mesh pockets that are ideal for tools and such. A pair of sleeves secure a shock pump and tire pump, though my shock pump didn’t quite fit and instead just ended up loose inside this compartment, which also worked fine.

A pair of zippered mesh waist belt pockets allow quick access to snacks.

A pair of zippered mesh waist belt pockets allow quick access to snacks.

The waist belt has a pair of easily accessible zippered pockets that are perfect for a couple gels, an energy bar, or even your smartphone. The pack also has a system of adjustable straps, buckles, and stretch pockets that accommodate a helmet (or removable chinbar) and knee pads. Up top is a fleece-lined zip pocket where you can stash sunglasses or your phone. Finally, if you get caught in downpour there’s a rain fly that deploys from a pocket on the bottom of the pack, and can easily be removed for post-ride cleaning. It’s all well-conceived and expertly executed.

Continue to page 2 for more of our Platypus Duthie AM 10.0 hydration pack review

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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