The Flash:

Space; COPIOUS amounts of space! 800 cubic inches to be exact
Lightweight: 1lb, 13oz.
100 oz reservoir for plenty of hydration materials
210D Baby ripstop nylon, and 100D Trilobal nylon construction

Thumbs Up:

The temps were on the cold side (mid 30s) when I tested this bad boy- never let it be said Colorado is tropical in wintertime. As stated above, there is so much usable space in the Morro; I counted 8 total pockets! The main compartment has enough space to fit an extra pair of shoes, snack, and spare tube, CO2/pump, and some extras (maybe a mid-ride can of your favorite ale or lager?). As a matter of fact, there is a special sleeve in the main pocket for a pump, which is always a nice feature.

On the upper portion of the pack, you'll find a vertically oriented pocket designed specifically for your music source, whether it is your phone, iPod, MP3 or for you real ancient readers, Walkman. This area doesn't sport a whole lot of excess space, but remember there are certainly enough pockets to stow the rest. Below this pocket is one with a bit more space; actually it's perfect for your wallet, keys, and a quick energy bar or gel pack. On either side, you'll find great pockets for storing a bottle of your favorite energy/recovery drink; I personally found them great to stuff Gu gel-packs in, or even a small camera. There are even 2 pockets (one per side) on the removable waist straps. I didn't use them in testing, but take comfort that they're there for long days in the saddle. The main compartment also boasts 2 buckles for extra security or cinching-ability when you don't have a full pack. Riding along your favorite trail with a pack flopping on your back is less than a good time, so it's really beneficial that Morro includes buckles to alleviate this.

The reservoir included with the Morro is the Hydrapak Shape Shift. What I really liked about this particular reservoir is how easy it is to open/close/fill/clean. Their Slide-seal closure makes it nice and effortless to get into and do what needs to be done. I'm used to the screw-off style cap found on many competitors' reservoirs, which over time can be tough to open; this is definitely a breath of fresh air.

The ziplock-type of baffling helps keep the shape of the reservoir as well as keeping the water from sloshing around too much. When it's time to clean, you simply 'unzip' the baffle, and turn the reservoir inside out, which makes drying a breeze as well. Another nice feature is the quick-connect fitting on the hose that makes for quick removal for cleaning. There is also a "Quantum Clip" holder that utilizes a magnet which you can place at a couple of different spots on the shoulder straps; this just helps keep the hose out of the way while you're trying to spot your line up that techy rock garden. The flow from the "Surge Bite Valve" is smooth and you don't feel like you're gnawing on a $4 t-bone when trying to get a sip.

Thumbs Down:

As you might have guessed, I'm a big fan of this pack, so the "Thumbs Down" is going to be short. My only real gripes with the Morro are that the pocket where the reservoir is stowed is a little cumbersome to get open, and the cinch buckles on the main compartment can be a little tough to clip into. Don't get me wrong; it's not hard to get to the reservoir, just a bit cumbersome. It's located underneath the shoulder-straps, so in order to easily get the reservoir in or out, you'll have to flip the shoulder-straps over the front of the pack. At this point, the zipper becomes much easier to access, and the hanger loop (which the reservoir hangs from) is right there. As I said before, the other thing that could be a tiny drawback is the cinch buckles for the main compartment can be a little tough to clip into when you have a full pack. They're not your typical 'backpack' buckles, so they might need a 2nd hand to get them snapped in.

Final Thoughts:

If you're looking for a new hydration pack that can handle all the gear/food/etc for a full day on the saddle, as well as the bare essentials for a quick few laps at your local trail system, the Hydrapak Morro is a solid choice. There is a pocket for just about anything you need, and the reservoir is tucked away in such a place that won't impinge on your overall storage area. This pack will definitely go with me on any ride/hike/music festival and a stronger gift for the rider on your shopping list, I can think of not.

www.hydrapak.com