Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com/
Eons ago I recall seeing a Vaude (pronounced ‘Vhod’) tent at a local specialty shop, and I was highly impressed with its craftsmanship, innovation and functionality. Recently, Magura USA picked up the distribution for Vaude in the US for the bike related items, and they were kind enough to pass along the Vaude Hyper Air 14+3 hydration pack for a test. The pack has plenty of innovations, designs and features, including an incredible back panel system and water reservoir. The pack has been comfortable with excellent ventilation, and has proven to be a great hydration pack for mountain biking.
Vaude is headquartered in Obereisenbach, which is near Lake Constance in Southern Germany. The family owned business makes outdoor recreational gear and clothing, including apparel, shoes, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, panniers and accessories. Their subsidiary Edelrid, makes mountaineering and rock climbing gear, including carabiners, crampons, picks, harnesses, ropes, and helmets. Vaude is a strong proponent of responsibility, in both environmental and social commitment in their business practices and manufacturing processes.
Hyper Air 14+3
The Vaude Hyper Air 14+3, in which the 14+3 refers to a 14 liter carrying capacity, with additional 3 liters expansion (via a zippered bellow), comes with a 3 liter reservoir bag and a plethora of features. The pack is made with a coated 210 denier mini ripstop polyester fabric, for lightweight (955 grams/2.10 lbs.) and durability, and comes in Black/Anthracite (as tested), Black/Sap Green and Red/Anthracite.
The most obvious feature when examining the Hyper Air 14+3 is the Aeroflex back system, which uses a mesh panel and lightweight steel spring frame to hold the body of the pack away from your back. The system bows the pack out away from the mesh panel, offering excellent suspension, ventilation and breathability, so no more sweaty back due to the pack.
Hidden behind the mesh, is Vaude’s FLASH (Floating Length Adjustable Shoulder Harness) system so you can dial in the fit by adjusting the length of the padded shoulder strap sections. This system allows a large degree of adjustability for any torso length, so the pack fits better, and has improved weight and load distribution. By simply resetting the Velcro strip at the bottom of the FLASH system, you can lengthen or shorten the padded shoulder straps.