By Colin Dennis
Size: 2LTR bladder
The best things come in small packages, and the Nathan Firestorm Hydration Backpack has more than a little of Doctor Who's Tardis about it
Strong, lightweight and very comfortable on your back, the Nathan Firestorm has plenty of room inside for all the necessities, plus a few luxury’s too.
You’re not going to ride far on a warm day without the need for water, and the BPA and PVC free bladder holds a full 2 litres, which is plenty for a few hours hard riding at least.
The bite valve still remains drip-free, even after a few months chewing. I would hesitate to pass judgment on the taste of any water that passes through the tube. This will be down to your tap, or wherever you fill up.
Keeping the Firestorm bladder free from bacteria should at least involve sterilising it now and again with Milton Baby Fluid, or such like.
Inside the Firestorm Backpack the main compartment is accessed via a top zipper that glides open easily enough. Of course, when there is a full bladder on board, volume is reduced quite dramatically.
That said, there’s added external carrying capacity that includes two mesh side pockets that hold pump, gels, tools and wot-nots securely thanks to the elastic straps. The main compartment is augmented by a further, small zip compartment that’s capable of carrying small tools or tube, plus a secure key holder should you rattle down the trails.
There’s a handy and robust light tab at the base of the pack, and thankfully it’s perfectly positioned for when you’re at full stretch on a road bike. The reflective strips light up like a Belisha Beacon.
Fitting and adjusting the Nathan Firestorm Backpack is a cinch, the slide-adjustable chest straps move freely and unhindered. The pack sits high on the body so there isn’t a waist strap as such, more like two chest straps. The top chest strap also houses the snug-fitting bite valve clip.
I feel that aside from its obvious, excellent build quality, another reason why the Nathan Firestorm works and fits so well is the design and shape of the shoulder straps. These are a one-piece affair and are thin, almost Gossamer-like to touch, and help reduce the weight of this highly durable hydration pack.
The material of the shoulder straps allow moisture to breathe out from this sweaty part of your body and are a welcome addition to going someway in controlling body temperature.
Either way, the Firestorm sits comfortably on your back without any hindrance at all. There are a couple of small external loops onto which you can fit your helmet pre-ride.
In summary: The Nathan Firestorm Hydration Backpack is a high-quality, tough as old boots hydration pack, that’s comfortable to wear either while out bashing the trails, or commuting on your road bike to work.
Not the cheapest hydration backpack out there, but the build quality is second to none and you get what you pay for.
If you want a small hydration pack that will do the mileage, look no further than my mate, Nathan.