The Everfun 18L hydration backpack is advertised as a reliable outdoor companion built for fast-paced sports and pursuits. That’s why this hydration pack has accompanied us on hikes in a variety of settings.
Staying hydrated when on the trail or whilst riding a bike, running, or doing any other sport or activity is vital, especially during the warmer months. However, it’s easy to not drink enough fluids regularly especially when you get back to nature enjoying every minute of a delightful walk. Here come hydration packs. They make drinking convenient so you can drink as you hike, without the need to stop.
There are many hydration packs on the market but what sets the Everfun 18L apart is… Well, keep reading and you will find out.
Quick specs: Everfun 18L Hydration Backpack
Weight (unfilled): 770 g (1lb 11.16oz) including 658-660 g (hydration backpack); 112 g (2L water bladder)
Dimensions: 47cm x 26.7cm x 15.2cm (18.5 x 10.5 x 6 inches)
Hydration bladder opening: Large mouth (5 cm or 2 inches)
Material: 100% Synthetic
- External: 200D Nylon
- Inner: 100% Polyester
Where to get it: Amazon
- Comes with a 2L water bladder but the hydration sleeve inside can accommodate up to 3L reservoir
- Main compartment with large clam-shell opening and multiple pockets to stash various items
- Ultra-Elastic 3D breathable padded back for better ventilation
- Adjustable (and expandable) chest and waist belt
- Adjustment points to provide easy access to trekking poles and helmet; detachable high-visibility rain cover is stowed away in the bottom pouch
- Nice style and design (we consider this a bonus) without significant weaknesses. What’s more important is the good construction and the storage volume that can be used to store a surprising amount of gear and keep smaller items organized. Additionally, it’s easy to have your trekking poles lashed to the pack.
- Best for day hikes, running, riding a bike, etc.
- Easy to adjust the backpack straps so that you can try to get the best possible fit.
- We absolutely love the idea of having an integrated rain cover and think that is one of the best features of this pack (rain and mud can be really annoying) as it prevents damage to your gear in wet weather.
- One of the pockets has a velvet-like lining making it suitable for sunglasses, cameras, mobile phones, and other objects you wouldn’t want to have scratches on them.
- Whether having a “breathable back” or not, most daypacks make your back sweat and this process is even more intensive when negotiating difficult terrain. And this hydration backpack is not an exception. The good news is that once you take it off your shoulders, it dries out fast.
- The hydration backpack is not that easy to clean because of the pattern on the padded back and shoulder harness. Avoid putting your backpack in places where weeds such as foxtail and wild barley are abundant because once the weeds and weed seeds are stuck to the padded back, it is difficult to clean it. Other than that, it’s easy to clean the pack and maintain it in good condition.
- No zippered hip belt pockets, which will disappoint those who like high-end features.
- The hydration bladder is made of plastic and when new, you may find it tastes slightly of plastic. While it happens regularly with most bladders, it still feels unpleasant every time it happens. However, this is not something to worry about too much because it can be fixed (for more on this, see the Tips section below)
We used the Everfun 18L hydration backpack on several trips since we got it a couple of months ago. It’s a good, comfortable pack suitable for lightweight adventures.
As usual, we tested the product rigorously so that we could find all its strengths and weaknesses. And here’s what we’ve found about it:
Hydration system quality
By carrying plenty of fluid, you’ll stay hydrated no matter where you go. And this pack makes sure that you’ll avoid dehydration during your fast-paced activities. The Everfun 18L comes with a hydration sleeve inside and a 2L water bladder. However, the pack is compatible with up to a 3L reservoir. Tip: if two liters is not enough, the water reservoir that comes with the backpack can actually be filled with up to 2.2-2.3L fluid.
The length of the hose is more than enough for a person that is 186 cm tall and can be routed over either shoulder. This allows for keeping water flowing and taking a quick sip when necessary.
The hydration system is painless to use and take in and out of the pack. We’ve noticed that when the reservoir is full and is in the bladder compartment, the back feels a bit cooled. It’s a nice bonus for warmer weather. Tip: if you want the water to stay cool a lot longer, add several ice cubes in the water (tried and tested and works well) or fill and freeze overnight. The latter is much more dangerous as it can split your bladder if you don’t leave enough air space to allow for the ice to expand. Needless to say, disconnect the hose from the bladder first before freezing.
Cleaning the hydration bladder is relatively easy but it takes time to clean it properly.
Here are some tips to help your water bladder serve you as long and loyal as possible:
- Keep it clean to get rid of bacteria and prevent the growth of bacteria inside. Whatever you choose to use (baby bottle cleaner, denture cleaning tablets, washing-up liquid or soap), make sure that the water bladder and its mouthpiece as well as all the valves and tubes are rinsed thoroughly.
- Get rid of the plastic taste – rinse thoroughly with water, then fill the reservoir with some water (1-1.5L of water should be enough), one tablespoon of lemon juice, and one tablespoon of soda bicarbonate/baking soda. Shake it a few times and leave it overnight in your bladder. Then rinse repeatedly to remove all traces of lemon juice and soda. Note that to get rid of the plastic taste, you may need to do it a few times. Some people also use vinegar or denture tablets. The latter works well for cleaning hydration bladders too.
- If you keep sharp tools inside the pack that could damage your hydration bladder, keep them in a tool case. No need for a special tool case as an old glasses case, a first aid kit, and any other pouch would do the job.
Fit and comfort
The mesh padded back and shoulder straps are comfortable and work reasonably well but do not offer excellent ventilation. Actually, the mesh foam back and shoulders allow for some air flow to ventilate your back but it isn’t enough to keep it cool and dry. Despite the large mesh panel, your back cannot breathe well. Thankfully, once you take it off your shoulders, it dries out fast because of the quick-drying synthetic material. Honestly, it’s very difficult to find a backpack that provides sufficient ventilation to keep you cool during intensive activities when there are lots of ascents and descents.
An Integrated and detachable rain cover is included (its color is black and it has a reflective logo and a reflective strip for enhanced visibility in low light). We had to use it only once. And what was the result? No wet clothes/gear inside the pack, which means that the rain cover did its job well. Backpacking in the rain is much more dry and more comfortable when you’re prepared. And it usually doesn’t require much effort to prepare but could save the day.
The straps are relatively easy to fit even for bigger users. However, when the sternum or chest straps are attached, the shoulder straps do not fit perfectly to the shoulders, which is a bit uncomfortable. Now, there can be all sorts of reasons for this but I guess it is because of the wide shoulders. The solution is easy and intuitive – if you have wide shoulders, just don’t attach the sternum straps. It’s much more comfortable this way. The backpack is frameless so no rigid structure, which means that it does not ensure the most comfortable carry but we deem it’s OK (it’s a small pack, which presumably means that you won’t be carrying 10 kg or more).
Weight, internal storage, and organization
As we indicated in our post about the types of hiking backpacks, ultralight packs weigh about half a kilo and are designed for carrying loads up to 9 kg with no discomfort. Thus with its weight of 658-660 g, the Everfun 18L is closest to the weight of ultralight backpacks.
The dimensions of the Everfun 18L are 47cm x 26.7cm x 15.2cm (18.5 x 10.5 x 6 inches) but don’t be fooled by the seemingly modest volume of this backpack. In fact, the Everfun 18L is larger than you’d think as it offers plenty of space for your stuff and ensures that you can carry all the required water and gear to meet your needs.
In addition to the main compartment with a large U-shaped clam-shell opening for easy access to clothes and gear and a sleeve for water bladders, the pack has two mesh side pockets and two exterior compartments including one in the top with a velvet-like lining for scratch-free cameras, mobile phones or other electronics. The other exterior compartment is bigger and can be used for storage of different items and easy grab stuff.
Each of the zippers (five in total, the main compartment has a double zipper design) comes with a zipper pull and is easy to zip and unzip.
For an all-day hiking trip in the mountain (more than 9 hours), this pack carried 3.2L of water (2.2L water in the water reservoir and another liter of water distributed in two 0.5L plastic water bottles placed in each of the two mesh side pockets), some clothes (a pair of extra socks, pants, shirt, wind and waterproof jacket), first aid kit, headlamp, trekking poles, and some important small things (snacks, map, sunscreen, swiss army knife, wet wipes, keys, wallet, etc.) – everything that could be of use for a long and grueling day hike. Well, maybe except for an extra pair of shoes…
Thanks to the good configuration of the smaller compartments and pockets and the adjustable straps, this hydration pack can easily accommodate your day hiking essentials. Of course, don’t expect all the pockets to be able to be accessed with one hand on the go. It’s unrealistic and it won’t happen especially if you’re like the author of this post, i.e. you’re taller and/or have a wide back. You may also have trouble accessing the water bottle pockets.
External attachment and compression system
The compression straps can compress the load and secure trekking poles, tools, and other gear. They are placed along the sides of the backpack and we’ve found out that, similarly to the sternum and waist straps, they are expandable and easy to adjust.
There is a trekking pole attachment point as well as a bike helmet attachment point for a quick and secure attachment for your tools. The trekking pole attachment will help you secure trekking poles and ensure a better balance. You can also use it for other gear that won’t fit inside your pack.
We’ve never used the helmet attachment but it is there if you’re into motorcycle rides. Tip: if you do not intend to carry a helmet, you can use the bike helmet attachment to clip an extra pocket.
Price and comparable packs
The usual price is around $50, which places it among the budget-friendly hydration packs. Compared to rivals such as the Osprey Raptor 14, Gregory Nano 18 H2O, Deuter Compact EXP 12, CamelBak Octane 18 or Gregory Endo 15L, the price is extremely competitive.
Less pricey comparable options are the Teton Oasis 18L and the CamelBak Classic. The Teton Oasis 18L comes at a similar price (around $50) and is a very popular budget-friendly option that offers features similar to the features of the Everfun 18L except for the reflective graphics. Another difference is the availability of colors – the Everfun 18L is offered only in black or camo, whereas the Teton Oasis 18L is offered in seven different styles. The price of the CamelBak Classic is also comparable but only when it is on sale, plus it is much smaller i.e. for true minimalists, and does not offer most of the features the Everfun 18L has.
If you want to spend top dollar on a premium hydration backpack that offers comfort, performance, and style, you may find that the Everfun 18L is not your best choice. It’s in the low to mid-price range; however, the design, materials, construction, and workmanship of this pack are definitely way above average.
If you’re looking for a hydration pack to meet your needs for short to long-day hikes and multi-sport trips, you can consider the Everfun 18L a reasonable choice as we found it to be a great hydration backpack for the money. It features a good combination of simple design, top build quality, and an unexpected amount of space for your stuff. In short, the backpack is very practical and trustworthy, and we like it.
Disclaimer: Everfun provided Valentin Shekerov (Camotrek.com) with a pack for this review.
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