All the reviews I've read for this pack are stellar but when I checked it out in the store I wasn't sold and had a few concerns. Does a Nalgene fit in the side pockets while the bag is compressed? Are you able to reach back and take out the water bottle while walking or do you need to stop every time to take it out and put it back? I want to use this pack for bike rides and for dayhikes, does anyone have experience using it on a bike?
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1. A full size nalgene works in the side pocket and while it is easy to take out, it is more difficult to put back in without taking the pack off--which is true for just about every pack I've ever used. I suggest getting a hydration reservoir--it upped my water intake about 200% just because I never have to take off my pack to access my water. For example: http://www.backcountry.com/osprey-packs-hydraform-hydration-reservoir
2. When you have a nalgene in the side pocket, you can feed the compression straps underneath/inside the side pocket. That will allow you to use a nalgene AND compress the bag at the same time.
3. This pack is superb on a bike or on a hike. Because of how close it fits and how it moves with you due to the lack of a frame, it really rides well by keeping the center of gravity close to your body--I know a lot of people love this pack for longer mountain bike rides. And this pack is also a great go-to for day hikes.
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