On a scale of outdoor bravado, I fall closer to Disney's River Country then Sean Penn's Into the Wild. But, I wasn't about to let a lack of Eagle Scout skills keep from enjoying and evaluating a new backpack from Skull Candy. So this past Memorial Day, I took my own urban hike through downtown San Francisco from barbecue to beachfront.
The Link Hydro Pack features two key components intended for the enjoyment by "mountain bikers, hikers and snow enthusiasts," but easily altered to enhance a weekend of burgers, beaches and perhaps a few cold brews: speakers and a ½ gallon hydration pack.
Appropriate usage of the hydration pack requires no direction or formal training. More tactful and subtle then the beer helmet yet equally potent, our chosen form of hydration remained chilled after several hours in the sun.
A convenient straw is attached to the right strap just a head turn away from yourself or thirsty friends. The lone disappointment from the consumption capability was that a leaky bag of ice seeped through bottom of one of the pockets unfortunately wetting my backside.
The speakers offer an iPod connection powered by four AA batteries that also charge the player. The sound is sufficient for a small group on a windy beach and provides a mobile form of music a bit more classy than hoisting a three foot boombox onto your shoulder. With the iPod secure in a zipped pocket, users can switch songs and adjust volume using controls on the right strap. A secondary feature allows users to store, and charge, their cell phone in a separate pocket. An incoming call interrupts the tunes a la the iPhone allowing handsfree talk and hang-up. While potentially practical for someone more important than me, my phone wasn't supported by the handful of included connections and to be honest I can imagine no correspondence on a Saturday afternoon that justifies pausing Tom Petty.
At $149.99 the bag ain't cheap but by combining a cooler and a set of portable speakers and a decently spacious backpack into one package, justification this summer is merely a weekend away.
I myself being a marine i will say hot diggidie! This little contraption sounds like exactly what i would use on a consistant daily basis with my marines while i was running them into the ground :) The iPhone feature isnt all the appealing though the idea of the pack is to say go outside get away from home, so why would i want someone calling me while im in the middle of hiking or whatever i might be doing while equiped with this pack. Otherwise this sounds like an outstanding product and by jimminie i wish i was the tester of all these toys :) I will also add for some reason i just cant get the scenario out of my head. Your climbing up the side of a mountain while listening to your favorite jam and al the sudden mom calls and scares the britches off you and you loose your grip.... yup that was moms fault.
That Backpack looks very cool. But It is beyond my price range and I don't know how rugged the iPod speakers are so I wouldn't get this right now. Still it looks like a nifty little bugger that I might consider one day
kachow! i want it so bad ill be like; climbing on the top of a cliff and be like nows the time for a dew. mountain dew. then look over and smile at the cameras and sip some cold, frazzy mountain dew. :)
Leave it to the suburbanite to come up with another annoying useless gadget for the average bus rider. Understand the appeal for this type of "back pack" could be kin to the need to have a "tub thumping" sound system in your car that can be heard for miles.. Honestly, what happened to being considerate of others? Open air speakers on a back-pack! how about headphone jacks and ear phones? BETTER YET... if this was in-fact a day pack, and you intend to spend the day with Mother Nature, why would you need to supplement nature with noise?
SkullCandy, you may have packed more junk into a pack than everyone else, but honestly.. this is just another annoyance.. Heck, why not tie in some hands free devices for your cell phone?! Is this Blue-tooth ready?