Platypus is already a veteran to hydration systems. They’ve been around for 20 years (happy anniversary!), starting with their first collapsible bottle in 1996 and their first big-mouth bladder in 1998. This year, they added a line of hydration packs to their list of products. Our tester, the Platypus Duthie A.M. 10.0 pack, has all the necessary tricks up its hydration sleeve while still maintaining a slim, comfortable silhouette.

Platypus Duthie A.M. 10.0 mountain bike hydration pack review

We’ve taken the Duthie A.M. 10.0 out on rides ranging from five-mile hops to 30-mile epics. In every situation, it has performed well. We can’t think of a thing we’d change about it.

Hydration

Platypus includes their 3L Big Zip LP hydration bladder with the Duthie. While there’s nothing about the bladder that’s exclusive to the Duthie, it’s still a great bladder that we’ve loved and used in other packs for years. Once feature of note – Platypus welds a baffle into the center of the 3L bladder to keep things from sloshing around, which makes a nice difference when you’re railing berms.

Platypus Duthie A.M. 10.0 mountain bike hydration pack review

The hydration hose has a magnetic clip on it that attaches to the pack’s shoulder strap, keeping it in place. We never had a problem with the hose flailing around or disappearing on our rides; the magnet did its job.Platypus Duthie A.M. 10.0 mountain bike hydration pack review

The valve itself has adequate flow and is easy to bite. It opens and closes with a twist of the valve body, so you can make sure you don’t lose your water if you accidentally put the pack down on top of the valve.

Platypus Duthie A.M. 10.0 mountain bike hydration pack review

Pack Features

Platypus did a great job in designing their first foray into hydration packs. The Duthie A.M. 10.0 has good pockets and pouches without feeling overburdened with straps and zippers.

The hydration pocket integrates perfectly with Platypus’s Big Zip bladder. Two hooks at the top of the pocket clip directly and securely into slots on the bladder’s Slidelock. At the same time, it remains easy to access and detach the bladder for filling and cleaning.

Inside the main pocket, you’ll find sleeves to keep your pump and shock pump secure and four mesh pockets for organizing food, first aid, and other miscellany. There’s also a separate, fleece-lined pocket for glasses or a phone. Platypus adds one more zipped pocket to the outside of the pack – we used it for easy access to a multitool. Of course, there are hip belt pockets as well. They’re generously sized and easy to access – plenty of room for an on-trail snack, sun screen, or other essentials. The Duthie A.M. 10.0 also has attachment points for a full-face helmet and armor.

Our favorite feature of the Duthie has to be the FloatAir back panel. A mesh panel and curved framing combine to form an arched airspace that keeps the pack off your back. By maintaining airflow and blocking the sun, it almost feels like air-conditioning on your back. While the concept is not unique, it’s probably the best (and maybe only) execution in a hydration pack we’ve seen.

We’ll mention the rain cover, but, other than pulling it out to see if it fits (it does) we haven’t had enough rain on a ride to actually try it out. You PNW riders will probably love it, though!

Performance

Once we adjusted the straps properly, the Duthie A.M. 10.0 disappeared. It doesn’t flop or shift around at all, thanks in part to the fact that it actually has a wire frame. Most other hydration packs have no frame at all. This makes for an extremely solid pack that can carry a full load better than other packs we’ve tried.

Water flows quickly from the Big Zip bladder, though there were times we wished it was higher flow at the end of a long climb. The magnet did a good job of retaining the hose and it’s much easier to reattach after a drink. No fumbling or searching for a clip. We have experienced some problems in the past with magnetic clips picking up iron-rich soil and being impossible to clean. So far, though, not a problem with the Duthie.

Everything is well organized and easy to find within the pack – your multi-tool won’t sink to the bottom of the pack. And, while we wouldn’t go bombing downhill with helmet and pads attached to the pack (for various reasons), the attachments are almost secure enough to do it.

Final Thoughts

What a nice pack, and especially on a first effort. There isn’t a thing we’d change about the design and features of Platypus Duthie A.M. 10.0. In fact, the only way we can see improving the pack is by swapping out some lighter, maybe waterproof, fabrics – XPAC maybe? Regardless, we don’t hesitate to recommend the Duthie to any trail rider in any conditions.

Platypus also offers a Duthie A.M. 15.0 and a female-specific Siouxon 10.0. The Siouxon features a different back-panel (though still with the excellent FloatAir design) and the hip-belt is angled and shaped to fit female anatomy. Go grab one!