The Wingnut Gear Hyper 2.5 is a versatile hydro pack that features two defining characteristics. The Lowrider System and wingpockets. The Lowrider system puts the pack lower on the back, creating a better center of gravity. The weight is over your hips and legs, rather than sitting atop your back and shoulders. The lowrider system works. The pack is very comfortable for the long haul. The other defining feature are the wingpockets. These side pockets wrap around the waist and are easily reached while riding. I was able to dig into them even while bouncing down a dirt road on my mountain bike. Because they are so easy to get into, they are the perfect place for gels, food, camera, phone, or anything else you want to access while still moving forward. There are 2 parts to the wingpockets. An outer mesh pocket, and an inner zipper pocket. Both are large enough to stow an extra water bottle.
The Lowrider and wingpockets are probably the two most unique features about the 2.5. However, they are not the only strong points. The pack is made from sailcloth, so it is durable and light. The bladder loads from the top of the pack, into a mesh puoch. The mesh keeps airflow at a maximum between your back and the pack. More airflow means less wet, sweaty footprint on your back. Another strong point are the mesh shoulder straps. These save weight, keep things cool and also come equipped with a nice pouch that can hold a gel flask, cell phone, mp3 player or keys.
The 2.5 holds 95oz of water. This is a lot of water for the size of the pack. The bladder is a unique square shape that instead of sitting lengthwise on your back, it sits horizontilly. This makes for less contact on your back, and better fits with the style of the lowrider system. The thing I like the most about the 2.5 is that it is very versatile. It is small enough that it can be used in a XC race, but large enough to be packed up for an all day epic. It can be cinched tight with the compression system, or it can be expanded to hold enough gear for many hours in the saddle.
Is the 2.5 a perfect pack? Almost. There are a few quirks to it. The nozzle on the bladder can be tricky to figure out at first. It doesn’t really lock like many other nozzles, instead it works like a beach ball, you have to bite down on it then suck for the water to come out. It isn’t a big deal, and once I got the hang of it I really like it. Also, the bladder is not included with the pack, but is a necessary add-on due to the unique shape of the pack. Overall though, this is a very solid hydro pack. It is light, well built, and ready to be abused.
MSRP: $80 (add $18 for bladder)