With summer approaching, we asked Steve Coulston to review the Geigerrig G5 Rigger Hydration Pack for our readers.
Geigerrig G5 Rigger Hydro Pack Review
The Geigerrig pack I have been using for the past few weeks is the G5 Rigger which is part of their tactical series. This series, as the name suggests, is for our men and women in uniform. The G5 is a simple pack and bladder system that is very practical and functional. The fluid capacity for the system is 70 oz or 2 liters. It comes in Black or Coyote Tan and weighs in at 1.3 lbs empty. It is made from durable 500D Cordura, is 18.5 inches long and 10 inches wide. The G5 retails at $126, with free shipping from US Patriot.
Geigerrig was inspired by the outdoor community and the need for rugged and efficient hydration systems. They have taken the hydration pack concept and made it better. What sets them apart from the other hydration packs out there is they have found a way to pressurize their system.
Typically hydration packs consist of a bladder and a hose that connects to the bottom of the pack. Fill it with water, bite the valve on the end of the hose and suck. Geigerrig has taken that a step further and added a second hose. This hose is at the top of the pack and is attached to a bulb, similar to one used to take your blood pressure. Fill the bladder with water, seal it, and pressurize the system by pumping air into the bladder with the bulb. Now when the bite valve is activated, there is no need to suck. The water shoots into the mouth as a pressurized stream.
Unique Pressurization System
This is an excellent feature of the G5 Rigger for many reasons. The first obvious one is drinking. “How lazy do you have to be to not want to suck a hydration pack hose?” you may ask. Well, think about how you feel and what your body is doing after strenuous activity. Typically you are gasping for air. The last thing you need to do is deprive your lungs of oxygen to suck a hose, and then gasp again for air to fill your screaming lungs.
With the pressurized system of the G5, the mouth can be filled with water as your filling your lungs full of air. A full mouthful of water can then be swallowed whenever you wish without having to spend time sucking. Ever notice during a time out at a football game when the water crew runs on to the field and squirts a bunch of water or other athletic drink into the athlete’s mouth? Same concept. Get as much fluid into the body as quickly as possible with minimal disruption to the other bodily functions. I really hadn’t thought much about it until I tried it, and it then became very evident how much of an advantage a pressurized system has over a traditional hydration pack.
A pressurized system also allows the pack wearer to share water without getting cooties. Yes, cooties do exist. Simply squeeze the valve and you can shoot water at anyone you wish. I have done this with my children on numerous occasions and they love it. It’s like they have their own portable drinking fountain. It’s also great to share with pets. I know we all love our pets, however I doubt anyone wants to swap spit with one. The pressurized system allows the water to be shot into your bird dog or tactical hamster’s mouth without them licking the bite valve.
Also, on hot days or when the body temperature is raised, the Geigerrig G5 Rigger’s pressurized system allows water to be sprayed on the body, thus aiding the body’s ability to cool itself. You can also use the stream of water to clean yourself or your gear after a long dusty hike or a muddy bike ride. Think of it like a portable shower. The amount of water will depend on the size of the bladder, but you get the idea. When the system pressure starts to drop, simply introduce more air into the system by squeezing the bulb a few more times. Simple.
Easy to Clean
Geigerrig has also made it extremely easy to clean their products. The old school bladders were basically accessed via a round hole that was too small for an adult hand to get into. You would need to hire child labor to get their little hands in there to scrub out all the slime that would accumulate over time. Not so with the Geigerrig G5 Rigger, or any of their packs. The bladders are sealed by folding over the top onto itself and slipping a clip over the top, sealing off the bladder. This means the opening is as wide as the bladder itself. Simply insert your hand and turn it inside out and throw it into the dishwasher. Yes, it is dishwasher safe and BPA, PVC and Phthalate free so it won’t leach toxins into your water.
The tubes that attach to the bladder of the Geigerrig G5 Rigger hydro pack utilize quick connect couplers. This makes it extremely easy to disconnect the tubes from the bladder and fill it without all the extra stuff hanging off. Also, if for some reason the hose is damaged, it can be easily replaced. Simply disconnect the damaged tube and re-attach the new one. This also allows filtration devices to be used with the pack. Geigerrig offers filtration systems that can be run inline with the bite valve tube. Thanks to the quick connect, it is as easy as attaching the filter to the bladder and the bite valve hose to the filter. Fill the bladder with the turbid water, pressurize the system and activate the bite valve. The water is filtered and then it comes out nice and clean! What a great addition to you camping or hiking gear.
The Geigerrig G5 Rigger features Molle strips along the top and bottom of the backside of the pack and three strips along the front side. There are D rings along each side for additional gear attachment and can also be used to attach the G5 to other tactical gear such as body armor or tac vests.
The shoulder straps are easily adjustable and feature a sternum strap as well. All three straps connect using quick-connect buckles. This allows the shoulder straps to be separated and stowed in the rear compartment. The bladder can then be attached to other gear if desired. The shoulder straps also feature D rings that are used to route the pressure and fluid transfer tubes down the straps. The transfer tube is secured to the right hand strap via a plastic clip that is reversible. The pressure tube runs down the left strap and is held in place via a flap that is secured with hook and loop. The top of the G5 also features a handle that can be used to carry the pack if desired or used to hang it via a hook or a carabineer. There is also a strip of patch field on the top flap of the pack that would be ideal for a name or unit patch. The flap has the Geigerrig name stitched to the top and is secured in place by two zippers along each side and a small interior piece of hook and loop. There is a tab at the end of the flap that allows very quick and efficient opening of the pack to reveal the interior.
G5 Rigger Pack Interior
The inside of the pack is very simple. There are two compartments:
- The first compartment is the largest and is where the bladder goes.
- It has a rigid piece of plastic in it that runs the full length of the pack that is curved to mimic the spine. This adds support to the pack and can be removed if not desired.
- At the top of there is a loop of bungee cord. This connects to the clip that seals off the bladder which prevents the bladder from sagging down into the pack when it is less full or during very active evolutions such as running or jumping.
- The smaller compartment is for storing small items such as a phone, compressible wind breaker, music player, ID, etc.
- There is no integrated organizational system, so your personal belongings will just be crammed in there.
- There is a zipper that runs down the side of the pack for easy access. Just be sure you open it carefully or you may lose your precious belongings.
- At the bottom of this compartment there is a grommet that acts as a drain hole.
Instructions and Warranty
As mentioned before the bladder is very sturdy. In fact Geigerrig has a lifetime no leak warranty. The bladder is clear on one side and blue on the other. The blue side has instructions and arrows for which tubes go where. Pretty straight forward. The clear side has a max fill line noted as well as instructions on how to fill and clean the bladder. Easy day. Other than that, there were no other instructions included with the pack.
Wearability and Usability
Using the pack was and still is an enjoyable experience. For this review, I used the pack on hikes, runs and intense workout sessions. For the hikes and runs, the pack is very comfortable to wear. The straps are cinched down easily and the excess strap is held in place by hook and loop keepers. Originally I was a bit skeptical that a waist strap was missing from the pack, however the shoulder straps and the sternum strap do an outstanding job of keeping the pack in place even during high intensity evolutions.
The bulb to pressurize the system is easily reachable and simple to manipulate. It also features a relief valve to de-pressurize the system. The bite valve is adjustable with off and on positions as well as a protective cap that is tethered to the shoulder strap. The keeper for the hydration tube is on the right strap and opened to the right. I found this to not be ideal for my use, so I reversed the keeper to open to the left. I am glad Geigerrig added in user flexibility to the G5. For workouts, the pack is easily hung or clipped to a nearby piece of equipment or often in my case, a fence. I like the fact that I can hang it up, do push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups or other activities without the pack on, yet still have access to it.
Geigerrig G5 Rigger Review Summary
“The G5 hydration pack is the perfect, light weight, minimalist pack for the warfighter in PT formation or attached to the back of their battle gear.”
Over all I am very impressed with the pack. Personally there is little I would change on it. One request would be for a little more storage space that was better organized. That being said, there are a whole variety of Geigerrig packs that have additional space should you desire it. I would also like to see a larger hook and loop field on the pack for additional patch space. Maybe even a clear window under the top flap to store and view your ID, your concealed carry permit and a credit card or two. Personally whenever I go on a run I like to have those items on my person.
Lastly, for the civilian weekend warrior, a place to store a smart phone with headphone routing would be nice. While I personally don’t like to listen to music with headphones on while I run for security reasons, many folks do like that option.
The G5 hydration pack is the perfect, light weight, minimalist pack for the warfighter in PT formation or attached to the back of their battle gear. It is also ideal for the civilian athlete who needs an efficient way to carry their hydration fluid of choice. It is no wonder Geigerrig has won numerous awards for their hydrations systems. Their system works, is efficient and easy to use. They have a winner on their hands and a believer in this author.