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.
After last year's review, we liked the Editors' Choice Duthie so much that we continued using it beyond 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, continuing to excel in all of our testing 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.
The Editors' Choice Duthie was comfortable whether hiking, biking, or smooching.
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 flexible polyurethane material and has plenty of length, although not excessive. A magnetic drinking tube retention system is also included and provides quick access to water when it's needed, although it 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.
Though this model was easy enough to drink from, extreme gulpers could consider swapping out the mouthpiece for a Camelbak Crux mouthpiece.
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 a sturdy velcro hook to keep your water securely attached at the head of the bag, preventing any movement.
Our Editors' Choice Award winner from Platypus has a convenient large opening.
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 tube free. No more disassembling your entire pack just to fill up! The Osprey Syncro 12 and the Hydro Flask Journey also have this handy feature.
The separate bladder pocket and quick release tubing make refilling the Duthie very convenient.
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 12, 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.
The FloatAir back panel kept us comfortable even when pushing the pace.
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 CamelBak models may be a better choice.
The contoured back panel and padded waist belt hug your body for a secure fit.
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 has several interior storage compartments to keep all your specialized gear organized.
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 raincover 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 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 burlier Deuter Compact Air EXP 12.
The reasonable weight and snug fit of the Duthie make it ideal for tackling hard to reach places!
Ease of Cleaning
As you'd likely imagine, with the fully-opening hydration bladder, the Platypus Duthie is a breeze to clean, tieing with the Deuter Compact EXP 12 as the top performer in this rating category.
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.
The quick release tubing and wide mouth opening of the Duthie make it one of the easiest hydration systems to clean.
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.
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.
The Duthie offers plenty of storage for long days in the saddle.
The Duthie is a fully-featured hydration pack, and the price shows it. At $140 list price, you're paying a top of the line price for top of the line features. If you're willing to sacrifice some of the higher end details and just need a simple and reliable pack, our Best Buy Award Winner Gregory Nano 18 H2O provides the same water capacity and a larger storage volume 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.