Platypus Duthie A.M. 10 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Platypus Duthie A.M. 10 is the go-to pack for mountain bike riders, hikers, or any mountain adventurers seeking almost every convenience of today's hydration packs. It boasts well-thought-out storage and organization, a supportive and well-ventilated design, and a top-quality hydration system, making this model a standout in almost every scoring category.
Ease of Drinking
The Duthie A.M. 10 is outfitted with a Platypus Big Zip EVO 3-liter hydration bladder that delivers water through a drinking hose to their classic HyperFlow bite valve with a highly effective shutoff switch. When it comes time to start drinking, the hydration system delivers an adequate flow of water after finding the sweet spot to put our teeth on the silicone bite valve. Unlike some other bite valves, the HyperFlow bite valve is more positional, requiring the user to bite in a specific location just upstream from the flare of the bite valve for maximum water flow.
The Duthie's drinking hose is routed through a simple opening at the top of the pack and can be routed down either shoulder strap through webbing loops for extra security. The hose comes with a quick-release fitting that attaches directly to the bottom of the bladder. The hose is made of flexible polyurethane material and is not too short and not excessively long. A magnetic drinking hose retention clip is also included and provides quick access to water when it's needed, although it can only be used when routing the hose through the right shoulder strap.
The shutoff switch on the bite valve ensures you don't lose any precious liquid during your rides, runs, or hikes and operates by rotating the switch approximately 120 degrees. While this is a nice extra security measure, it likely won't be needed the majority of the time since the bite valve didn't leak a drop during our testing. However, a shutoff valve switch can come in handy while transporting the pack full of water, preventing accidental squeezing of the bite valve and leaking all over your kitchen floor, car, or pants (we know this from experience!).
Ease of Filling
When compared to some of the other packs in our lineup, the Duthie really shines when it comes to filling the bladder up.
The pack comes equipped with a 3-liter Big Zip EVO reservoir that opens wide on the top end of the bladder. The bladder is located in a dedicated hydration sleeve, complete with a sturdy velcro hook to keep your water securely attached at the head of the bag, preventing any movement.
This portion of the pack quickly opens with an easy-access U-shaped zipper to allow quick and convenient access for fill-ups. After opening the generous zipper, it's easy to unhook the water bladder, lift, and pop the quick-release drinking hose free. No more disassembling your entire pack just to fill up!
After putting on this pack for the first time, we immediately thought that it would be in the running for most comfortable. The foundation of the Duthie A.M. 10 is a wireframe suspension that incorporates an extremely breathable FloatAir tensioned mesh back panel. Attached to the main body of the pack are highly supportive and ventilated shoulder straps that feature multiple layers of mesh materials. A sturdy and relatively wide waist belt provides additional support.
When loaded down with a day's worth of riding gear, the Duthie provided us with excellent support and comfort, even while climbing on warm days. The ventilation of the FloatAir back panel is superior and kept our backs sweat-free during long climbs. The tensioned mesh and wireframe suspension prevent the pack from contacting the user's back with a comfy and breezy inch of space for sufficient ventilation.
Our pack weight was supported comfortably by the substantial waist belt which provides a solid connection to the hip bones of riders and runners. The belt is easily adjusted and has plenty of length for adjusting to accommodate different layers or different users. While the belt aids in carrying the pack and increasing the overall comfort factor, it does restrict movement a little bit, so if you're someone who prefers a more flexible pack fit, some other packs with a less substantial hip belt may be a better choice.
At 10 liters of pack space, the Duthie isn't the largest pack we tested but has a clever storage design with convenient bike-friendly pack organization pockets with a plethora of bike-specific features.
The Duthie has a main storage compartment that opens with a large zipper with a semi-clamshell design that creates excellent access. The outer flap portion of the main compartment has a zipper-secured mesh pocket that measures approximately 9" x 4" and also has a key clip. No losing your keys with this pack! The lower portion of the zippered flap houses two nylon sleeves that worked well for our tire and shock pumps, keeping them in a stable location. The inner side of the compartment contains two open-topped mesh pockets for storage of small to medium-sized items like bike repair tools, food, sunscreen, etc. The lower of the two is stitched into two independent portions that each span half the pack width.
Additional storage space is available with a front stretch stash pocket that carried our helmets, even full face, as well as pads and gloves. The lower portion of the stash pocket is an attached stretchy material and secures at the top with four small quick-release buckles. There is also a smaller zippered exterior pocket on the front of the stash pocket that can also carry small items. Platypus included a zippered, fleece-lined goggle/sunglasses pocket on the upper portion of the stash flap.
Our testers appreciated the convenient and stretchy pockets that are integrated into the belt and can stash small items like granola bars, lip balm, and even cell phones. This makes for fast phone access without having to carry it in your clothing pockets. The belt pockets are easily opened with looped zipper pulls that easily accommodate fingertips for quick access.
At the bottom of the front of the pack, a zipper accesses a small pocket with an included rain cover for those rainy days. The cover completely shields the body and can be unclipped and left at home for minute weight savings. With all of these storage options, it's easy to see why the Duthie is a standout and chosen as our Editors' Choice.
At a measured 1 lb 14.4 oz, the Duthie is in the middle of our test packs when it comes to weight. This Editors' Choice Award Winner is almost identical in weight to other similarly featured packs but weighs nearly a pound less than some of the burlier models in our lineup.
While there are certainly packs out there that are lighter than the Duthie, they certainly don't come with the same high-end features. The Duthie does a great job of balancing performance and weight.
Ease of Cleaning
As you'd likely imagine, with the fully-opening Big Zip EVO hydration bladder, the Platypus Duthie is a breeze to clean and is among the highest performers in our lineup in this rating category.
Once the fun is done, simply open up the hydration sleeve, unclip the bladder, pop the drinking hose loose at the quick-release, and clean to your heart's content. Want to wipe it out with a sponge? Go for it. Dishcloth? Definitely. Cleaning the Duthie is no problem and can be done in a flash. Another option is to flip the bladder inside out to reach every nook and cranny or throw it in the dishwasher.
Cleaning the pack's drinking hose is almost as easy as the bladder and a skinny cleaning brush easily does the job. With all of that being said, we only cleaned the pack once for test purposes…yes, we know that may repulse some of you, and are aware we're bad.
The Duthie is a fully-featured hydration pack, and the price shows it. As one of the most expenses list prices in our lineup, you're definitely paying a top of the line price for top of the line features. Users who want the best of the best may be willing to pay a premium for this model, but others who are willing to sacrifice some of the higher-end details and just need a simple and reliable pack will find options with adequate utility for half the list price.
If you're someone who wants a solid pack that can handle whatever adventures you throw at it, whether on foot or wheels, check out the Platypus Duthie A.M. 10. If you're out for long rides on technical trails and want excellent rider-friendly storage for all of your tools, pads, snacks, and extra layers, this could be your go-to hydration pack.
— Nick Bruckbauer & Jason Cronk
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