Longterm Update, August 2018
We liked the Editors' Choice Platypus Duthie A.M. 10 so much that we continued using it following the formal testing period. Between some hiking, a LOT of mountain biking, and even a couple sunny spring ski days, we continued to push the Duthie as hard as we could. The pack's overall performance and value have been exactly what we'd expected. The pack has excelled in all of our test metrics, only suffering a little in the Ease of Drinking category. After racking up several rides with the original bite valve, we replaced it with a CamelBak Crux bite valve and have been nothing but pleased with the performance, finding it incredibly easy to gulp away, even during heavy breathing.
Don't mind the salty stains...the Duthie with its new CamelBak bite valve.
This pack's comfort hasn't diminished over time, and we keep finding ways to push the limits of its storage potential. We've had it stuffed it to capacity for 6-8 hour trail rides, including pads, mountain bike helmet chin bars, and multiple layers and haven't been let down yet. We appreciate the beefy padded waist belt and its quick access pockets, as well as the supportive wire frame. The organizational pockets have been great for mountain biking and make it easy to keep things neat too. And when it comes to cleaning, because it's easy to do, we can affirm that we actually get to cleaning it much more regularly than we expected. The Platypus Duthie A.M. 10 has proven itself worthy of the Editors' Choice title during the testing months and the entire year!
Hundreds of miles in and the Editors' Choice is still none the worse for wear!
The Platypus Duthie A.M. 10 is the go-to pack for mountain bike riders seeking almost every convenience of today's hydration packs. It boasts well-thought-out storage and organization, combined with a supportive and well-ventilated design make this model a standout.
Early season testing of our Editors' Choice hydration pack meant spring backcountry skiing.
Ease of Drinking
The Duthie is supplied with an ample 3-liter hydration bladder that delivers water through a Big Zip Drink Tube to their classic HyperFlow bite valve. Like the CamelBak M.U.L.E., the Duthie also includes a highly effective shutoff valve. When it comes time to start hydrating, the Platypus HyperFlow bite valve delivers an adequate flow of water after finding the sweet spot to put our teeth on the silicone bite valve. Unlike the CamelBak 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. After comparing the Platypus bite valve to CamelBak, all of our testers prefer the greater flow rate of the CamelBak Big Bite valves. The ninety-degree bend of the bite valve makes drinking easier, especially on the mountain bike.
The Duthie's drinking tube is routed through a simple opening at the top of the pack and can be routed down either shoulder strap through webbing loops for security. It attaches easily to the water bladder with a quick disconnect fitting that attaches directly to the bladder at the bottom. The tube is made of a flexible polyurethane material and has plenty of length, although not excessive. A magnetic hose retention system is also included and provides quick access to water when it's needed, although can only be used when routing the tube through the right shoulder strap.
The shutoff valve ensures you don't lose any precious liquid during your rides, runs, or hikes and operates solely by rotating the bite valve itself approximately 120 degrees. While this is a nice extra security measure, it really wasn't needed the majority of the time since the bite valve didn't leak a drop. The shutoff valve may come in handy while transporting the pack when full, preventing accidental squeezing of the bite valve.
This award winner is easy enough to drink from, but if the flow isn't fast enough for you, consider replacing the bite valve with the CamelBak Crux bite valve, as they are interchangeable.
Ease of Filling
When compared to some of the other packs in our lineup, the Duthie shines when it comes to filling the bladder up.
The pack comes equipped with a 3-liter Big Zip LP reservoir that opens on the top end of the bladder. The bladder is located in a dedicated hydration sleeve, complete with hooks that keep your water securely attached at the head of the bag, preventing any movement.
Wide mouth means easy filling.
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 disconnect of the drinking tube free. No more disassembling your entire pack just to fill up!
The Duthie's bladder is secured with two clips.
After putting our pack on the first time, we almost immediately found the comfort of the pack was in the running for most comfortable. The foundation of the Duthie A.M. 10 is a wire frame that incorporates an extremely breathable tensioned mesh back panel. Attached to the main pack bag are highly supportive and ventilated shoulder straps that feature multiple layers of mesh materials. This design has a lot in common with the Osprey Syncro 10, which shares the tensioned mesh back panel and ventilated shoulder straps. 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 wire frame prevent the pack from contacting the user's back with a comfy and breezy inch of space for sufficient ventilation.
Testing the breathability of our Editors' Choice on the uphill.
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 for length and has plenty of length for adjusting for to accommodate different layers or diets. While the belt aids in carrying the pack and increasing the overall comfort factor, it does restrict movement somewhat, so if you're someone who prefers a more flexible pack fit, some of our other test subjects like the Osprey Raptor 10 may be a better choice.
The stretch mesh back panel and wire frame keep your back cool.
At 10 liters of pack space, the Duthie isn't the largest pack we tested. It was in a tight battle for the best storage design, along with the Osprey and Deuter packs. All of these models are designed with convenient bike-friendly pack organization 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.
The Duthie's storage earns the only 10 for this metric. It allows the user to cram in plenty of items, while still remaining comfortable.
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.
Shown here is the Duthie's small outer pocket.
At the bottom of the front of the pack, a zipper accesses a small pocket with an included raincover for those rainy days. The cover completely covers the body and can be unclipped and left at home for minute weight savings.
This award winner sports convenient mesh pockets on the pack's belt.
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 easy 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. With all of these storage options, it's easy to see why the Duthie was a standout and chosen as our Editors' Choice.
The rain cover is easily deployed to provide moisture protection.
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 winner is almost identical in weight to the Osprey packs as well as the CamelBak M.U.L.E. but weighs nearly a pound less than the Deuter Compact Air EXP 12.
Hydration pack testing the in the Tahoe area this spring included backcountry skiing. The model shown here is the Duthie, by Platypus. It earned a high score in the comfort metric and is our Editors' Choice.
Ease of Cleaning
As you'd likely imagine, with the fully-opening hydration bladder, the Platypus Duthie is a breeze to clean, and the pack scored a 9 out of 10, being narrowly edged out by the even easier to access Osprey Syncro 10.
Once the fun is done, simply open the hydration sleeve up, unclip the bladder, pop the hydration tube loose with the quick disconnect, and clean to your heart's content. Want to wipe it out with a sponge? Go for it. Dish cloth? Definitely. Cleaning the Duthie is no problem and can be done in a flash, much like the easy-access of the Osprey and Deuter packs. The easy cleanability of the Duthie's hydration bladder easily won out over the Camelbak options. Another option is to flip the bladder inside out to reach every nook and cranny.
Convenient quick disconnect fitting makes filling and cleaning easier.
Cleaning the pack's hydration tube 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.
Easy access for cleaning and drying is found on the bladder of the Duthie.
The Duthie is your go-to pack for your hydration needs if you find yourself spending long days in the saddle or on your feet, especially if your travels take you far into the trails of your backcountry area of choice. It has plenty of storage space for all of your gear, extra clothes, pads, and enough water for long efforts.
Our high flying Editors' Choice.
The Duthie is a fully-featured hydration pack, and the price shows it. At $140, the pack is at the top of the pack of packs in price. If the functionality of the Osprey Syncro suits your needs, it may be a better choice at $30 less. The other packs with similar features in our test stable have an even greater price difference, potentially saving you even more money.
If you're someone who wants a solid pack that can handle the long haul, 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.
The pack and its wire frame move well no matter what the activity.