High Sierra Tokopah 6.0
Test by Coy Starnes
Initial Report: February 4, 2017
This hydration pack is not yet listed on the web site but the High Sierra Tokopah 6.0 looks to be aimed at the runner or biker who will be out for several hours and needs to carry 2 L of water and have a way to keeps few other odds and ends with them. The camo color I’m testing might lend itself useful to a hunter out for a few hours but I’d actually prefer a brighter color for bike riding. I’m guessing that the 6.0 may indicate the volume of the pack pockets, but regardless, it is a small pack, basically sized just big enough to fit the 2.0 L bladder inside the back panel and with a corresponding main compartment on the front of the pack. This pocket measures about 8 inches wide by about 16 inches tall and is about 2 inches front to back. There is a small pocket on the inside back side big enough for a wallet, cellphone or camera and a key keeper just above it. The zipper goes all the way around the top half of the pack, stoping where the top of the helmet pocket starts. The helmet pocket is held snug around a helmet with adjustable straps but will also hold other small odd shaped items or even a rain jacket. It is not so big that a helmet wallows around inside the pocket. Here is the helmet holder deployed.
On the very front of the pack, over the helmet pocket, is another pocket that measures about 7 inches wide and 9 inches tall. It is not really thick front to back but it is plenty big to store even the biggest smart phone and still have lots of room left over. Inside it are 3 small mesh pockets to further organize the contents.
The material for the pack appears to be pretty rugged. I’m not sure if it is waterproof but the zippers are not so it would still let in some rain, which is why I like to carry a light rain jacket. I can easily fit one inside the main compartment or the helmet pocket. The pack is big enough to carry most of the things I like to carry on a bike ride of a few hours. Besides the 2 L of water and a rain jacket I will have room for a few snacks, my bike tools, a spare tube and most importantly, a small roll of toilet paper in a ziplock bag.
The bladder for this pack is a basic bladder with a basic mouth piece. In other words, it has no fancy disconnect or shutoff valve. Sometimes simpler is better but I do like my hydration bladders that have quick disconnects which make it easier to remove the bladder for cleaning and filling. And speaking of cleaning, I prefer flat top bladders that close like a big ziplock. It makes cleaning much easier and drying a snap. This bladder features a big jug type lid much like a Nalgen bottle would have. It is secured to the bladder with a plastic strap so there is no danger of loosing the lid. However, that strap is fastened to the pack with plastic clip located in the top of the bladder sleeve. This is nice for holding the bladder upright but I have found it almost impossible to disconnect the lid keeper from the clip. I finally managed to unsnap it but it was so difficult I’m seriously considering cutting the snap since the bladder sleeve is sized just big enough to hold the bladder and it should remain fairly upright inside it. Here is the snap.
Trying it out
After getting the snap undone I washed the inside with warm water and then refilled with cold. I shoved the bladder back in the sleeve and routed the hose back into the pack. The hose is plenty long and I also discovered it can be routed out either side of the pack. It is easy to drink from and does not leak so that is good. When I first tried to get a sip it wouldn’t let any water pass but I finally pulled on the mouth piece to try and remove it from the hose. When I did this it moved easily just a short distance and then felt stuck. I decided to try and get a drink again and water came rushing out. The instructions printed on the bag did not mention this so I just chalk it up to dumb luck.
I do have one small negative to point out. When the pack arrived the first thing I did was try it on. The shoulder straps are lightly padded and felt fine but the hip belt proved to be a tad short. I let it out all it would go thinking I would then tighten it to fit but it was immediately apparent it was too short. Now I’m not a skinny guy by any means but I was just a tad bit insulted. I stand about 5’11”, weigh about 240 lbs and wear size 38 jeans, however, this belt was a good 4 inches too short. Fortunately, the belt is not a big deal on this type pack unless I were planning to be doing a lot of running and jumping around. My knees won’t allow that and by tightening the shoulder straps good and snug it seems to ride just fine. I just tucked the straps inside the area they were fastened so they are out of the way and I can’t really feel them through the padding that rides next to my back.
That’s all for now, stay tuned for my next update to see how the hydration pack is working for me. I would like to than 4alloutdoors and High Sierra for this testing opportunity.