We all know we need to drink water. It doesn’t matter if you our enjoying some outdoor recreation or doing what you must for the freedom of others. The plain and simple truth is you need water. If you wanted you could put a canteen in your cargo pocket and roll out but chances are there is a much better way of going about this. When I think of what makes a hydration system effective I would say number one is versatility.

Like I already mentioned, canteen in the cargo pocket. It is an effective means to transport water but not very versatile. This is where I think the GeigerRig Tactical 1600 hits a home run. First off the RIG 1600 is made of durable 500D Cordura and only weighs 3.2LBS. It has a tight compact shape but with plenty storage room to carry larger loads. This is where I think it is really nailing the versatility. It’s not every day we are out bushwhacking or door kicking. Some days we are running errands, taking kids to practices, going to work or whatever else is required of the day to day urban warrior. The Molle style pack has 2 full size pockets 1 of which has mesh and elastic separators for better organization. It also has 2 small pockets located on both sides at the hip and a top handle for quick grab and go. This simple compact set up makes it ideal for short day packing. Whether you are going to work, running around town or out for a day hike I am confident that this will be sufficient.

GeigerRig Tactical 1600 Hydration System: First Impressions
Interior pocket and removable waist belt

When it’s time to pack on some pounds and still be comfortable, the RIG 1600 has some additional features. First off there is the easy to attach waist belt. All you do is slide it in under some padding and it stays secure with velcro backing. The waist belt has 2 small pockets on both sides of the hips plus it’s also covered with Molle loops. The shoulder straps has a chest strap to help keep everything pulled in tight to your body. Plus there are more Molle loops on the shoulder straps and cover a large area of the back of the pack. If you end up running out of room inside the pack or in the additional storage you attached to the Molle system you will have 2 straps on both left and right for external side storage and 2 more straps on the bottom for a bed roll. Now last but not least, to increase comfort especially when loading the pack up there is a light weight formed plastic plate located in the bladder pocket which protects the bladder and keeps the pack formed correctly to your lower back. Needless to say, this thing I believe is built for great versatility.

GeigerRig Tactical 1600 Hydration System: First Impressions
Padding designed to allow for increased air flow and comfort

Now that we know the RIG 1600 has enough storage to take you were you need to go let’s talk about the actual hydration system. You may be thinking, it’s a hydration system. You put water in it and you drink it. Well I will have to say you are only half right. While the system is exceedingly simple to use it does have some additional features with some big benefits. First off and probably the coolest feature is the fact that you have a small hand pump to pressurize the bladder.

GeigerRig Tactical 1600 Hydration System: First Impressions
Hand pump used to pressurize the bladder
GeigerRig Tactical 1600 Hydration System: First Impressions
100 oz hydration bladder

This is not just a gimmick. So what can you do with a pressurized hydration system. You can share your water with you hiking mate, hunting pal, battle buddy and even your dog. You can wash your hands before you eat, wash your face or whatever else you need to clean up. How about cooling down. Nothing like shooting some water down your back, on your neck or on your face while on the move for that little extra “get some” energy. The first thing I thought when I found out it was pressurized, no more kneeling on the bag to get it to spray or pushing up against a building to share with a buddy. A pressurized bladder simply adds to its overall versatility. Then when the day is done and you want to clean the hydration system it is a simple as a reversible bladder for easy cleaning and button activated release for the tube. The GeigerRig Tactical 1600 is in my opinion a well thought out highly versatile load carrying hydration system with plenty of room for personal customization so each person can get out of their gear what they want from their gear. As my Drill Instructors used to say “Drink Water”.


Guest Author: Joe Gross is a US Army Veteran with 2 Iraq deployments. First deployment was with the 4th Infantry Division in 2003 and the 2nd with 10th Mountain Division in 2005. Joe is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.  He was medically discharged as a SSG (E6) in 2006 due to combat injuries.