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Source Summit Hydration Pack

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
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Source Summit 15L (Atlantic Deep Blue)
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Tested: Source Summit and Hipster UItra

New hydration packs from Source feature advanced materials and deliver a great experience out on the trail.

Rating: Vital Review
Tested: Source Summit and Hipster UItra

Source produces one of, if not THE best bladders in the hydration game. Thanks to some pretty advanced manufacturing techniques that render the finish of their bladders particularly resistant to build-up of gunk and bacteria, these bladders are capable of staying fresh with little to no maintenance for years. We have pushed this aspect to the limit and beyond, and we’re still here to tell the tale. Source also makes various hydration packs, like the Hipster pack that put a new spin on the good old bumbag a few years ago. For 2020, Source has prepared an update of the Hipster to add a little bit more storage space, and they’ve also produced an entirely new pack for those looking to carry more cargo, called the Summit. We covered both packs as part of our Gear Show, check out the packs in action in the video below or keep reading if you prefer to keep it old school.

The Summit checks in with 15 liters of storage capacity and up to 3 liters of hydration. It is absolutely loaded with features – in fact, short of a rain cover, it’s pretty much all here, and then some. Starting with the general construction, no corners have been cut. The main straps are heavily pre-formed and built around foam plates that help ensure they always keep their shape. There’s a breathable back panel with the same kind of foam plates in it, and a very wide waist strap to secure it all.

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There are external compression straps as well as a large helmet carrier, and the chest strap is both elastic and height-adjustable to ensure optimum comfort in action. In terms of storage, the Summit really provides plenty of possibilities. There are separate compartments for hydration and tools, and there is a clip-in tool pouch that also sits in its own dedicated sleeve.

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The wait strap has several pockets, and additional mesh pockets along the sides of the pack provide even more places to tuck away your gear. A padded pocket up top keeps your phone protected and accessible, while a side-loading pocket is a great place to store something like a map or a wallet. A drainage hole at the bottom of the insulated hydration compartment makes sure that any spillage or condensation has somewhere to go. The build quality is top-notch, and the Summit is Bluesign certified which is great for the environment and our resources.

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On the trail, the Summit had us impressed from the first ride. The fit is super comfortable and very stable in action, and the multitude of storage options made it easy to organize our gear in the best way. The pre-formed straps are easy to dial in, and even heavy loads are distributed well. The pack does not move around much if at all, even when things get hectic on the trail. We particularly appreciate all the little touches that show that Source put a lot into this one, like the clip-in tool pouch that can be pulled out in a flash when urgent trail-side repairs are needed – perfect both for racing and regular riding. The ability to compress or expand the pack as needed will also appeal to those who pack varying amounts of gear depending on the ride.

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The Hipster Ultra takes Source’s bumbag to the next level. There are additional internal and external storage compartments, coupled with a 1.5 liter hydration bladder. The addition of an external cargo flap means you have somewhere to store a rain jacket for those surprise mid-ride showers. Easy-to-access side pockets provide somewhere to store your energy bars and gels, while dedicated compartments keep your tools from bouncing around.

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This feature-rich hip pack is among the more stable options in action, thanks to the wide shape and the generous straps. The hydration strap stays put thanks to a strong magnetic buckle, and is easy to access when you get thirsty. If you love the idea of a smaller pack but you still don’t want to skimp on the storage options, this one could well be for you.

What's The Bottom Line?

Source has been making hydration packs for a few good years now, and it seems like the new Summit and Hipster Ultra packs really embody everything that the company has learned along the way. The materials are modern and confidence-inspiring, and the attention to detail and build quality are absolutely top-notch. In terms of product development, the company has worked with top-level enduro athletes to really refine the designs, and that really comes through out on the trail. Both the Summit and the Hipster Ultra are now among our very favorite options in this product category.

More information at: www.sourceoutdoor.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 47 // Years Riding MTB: 15 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Video footage by Nils Hjord / Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product Source Summit Hydration Pack
Rider Unisex
Hydration Pack Type Backpack
Bladder Capacity 3L (101.4 oz)
Storage Capacity 15L
Materials Durable, water-resistant 210 Denier Nylon fabric
Pockets
  • Main cargo compartment with additional pockets and loops
  • Detachable tool pouch
  • Separate insulated hudration compartment
  • Flat front compartment
  • Small padded top compartmnet
  • Flap for outside storage (i.e. helmet, jacket)
  • 2 hip compartments (1 zippered)
  • Colors Black, Chili Orange, Atlantic Deep Blue
    Miscellaneous
  • Widepac Hydration Reservoir with SQC (Source Quick Connect)
  • Co-extruded PE (BPA and Phthalate free) reservoir with absolutely no plastic flavor
  • FDA-approved and EPA-registered anti-microbial agents inhibit bacterial growth in reservoir and drinking tube
  • Bluesign certified production for responsible and sustainable manufacturing
  • 2020 product year release
  • Dimensions: 50cm height (max) x 25cm width (pack)
  • Weight: 1.10 kg
  • Price $149
    More Info

    A dedicated mountain bike hydration pack with a ventilated and padded EVA netting back design, hip-belt compression-straps, easy-access compartments inside and outside, a flap for a helmet and/or jacket, and a no-taste, zero-maintenance Widepac hydration system in an insulated hydration pocket.

    Source Outdoor website

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