One of the biggest problems with carrying a backpack is that you must stop and take it off to get access to anything. With the VestPac, however, you can keep the essentials close at hand while enjoying hands-free hydration during your short hikes, climbs, or on the slopes.
The VestPac is constructed out of a 3-D mesh and neoprene back hydration panel and a modular front panel. Four adjustable straps clip together and hold the two panels tightly against your body. The front panel comes in a variety of pocket combinations and is easily switched out depending on your activity for the day.
For testing, I was sent the CodyPac front panel with four pockets- two mesh and two see through vinyl. This particular front panel was the perfect size for storing my phone, some money, my handheld GPS and a snack or two.
The pack comes with a 1 Liter hydration bladder which is perfectly adequate, but feels a bit like something used in a hospital. You might want to change out the bladder for one of your CamelBak, Source or Hydrapak ones. A CamelBak Antidote reservoir would cut down on water slosh so you could easily wear the VestPac for trail running since the pack itself does not move once on your body.
The VestPac easily fits under your rain jacket so offers a practical solution to soggy hiking without worrying about getting your backpack wet. I even toyed with the idea of wearing my VestPac for multi-pitch rock climbing as if the weather is nice and you are rappelling back to the start, all you really need is your camera, some water and a few snacks.
Bottom Line: A convenient and novel way to carry water and have your camera or phone close at hand without having to take a full pack with you. A perfect setup for short hikes, running, skiing, snowboarding and possibly even climbing.
The VestPac can be ordered from the company website and retails for $60-$70 depending on which front panel you choose.