I needed a modest sized day pack for extended day hikes. It needed to carry my rain gear, lunch, maybe a few other essentials and water for a full day summer hike. Something that would work for biking as well would be nice but, not a deal breaker.

What I found it the most comfortable, perfectly sized hydration pack I could have dreamed. The newest Platypus Tokul XC 8.0 was conceived as a mountain bike pack but, it will likely be my "Go to" pack for anything that doesn't require me to carry my overnight shelter and sleep set-up.

To start, the pack is equipped with the Platypus 3.0 liter Big-Zip low profile bladder. I have found the Platypus bladder to be taste free, unlike the Osprey and Camelback bladders which both impart a plastic taste to my water. I also find the bite valve to be easier and to provide higher water flow rate than others I have tried. The Big-Zip filling and low-profile design also make this bladder easier to clean, fill and use than any that I have used before.

Storage wise, the pack offers much more capacity than advertised. The front panel expands to accommodate a bike helmet but, if I am hiking, this is where I'll stash my rain gear and possibly a tarp. If I am biking, the helmet is on my head so the storage is available if needed. The storage inside the pack itself is well organized with several mesh pockets, a zip pocket and key clip. Plenty big for anything I'd carry for a day-long adventure.

Did I mention is will carry 3.0 liters of water? You'll need to remind yourself of that as well because the pack is so well ventilated that it is easy to forget that it is there. The back panel is constructed of mesh with a closed-cell, ridged foam spacer that keeps my back well ventilated and cool.

Note, most online reviews for this pack are for a previous design. I have never seen that pack in person to make a comparison. I do like the new version enough to by a second for my spouse.


The 2016 Platypus Tokul XC 8.0 is available online. I tried to find it at REI but, it was not at any of the stores near me. If you need a Hydration pack or modest sized daypack, give this pack consideration.