Platypus – Tokul XC 12


review by Brenda Marx

When I was asked if I would be willing to review this bag, I immediately knew what I would do to test it out. The pack is the perfect size for a day outing, and with the generous three-litre reservoir, it would be the perfect opportunity to take it on a fun adventure route, Eagles Folly. Alas, Lockdown put paid to those plans, but fortunately we were still able to do a hike into Donkerkloof to put the bag through its paces.
It’s a nice-looking bag, lightweight and slim. There is 9 litres of space for storing anything you might need on the outing. Inside the main compartment are several sections and pockets to keep your food, clothes, valuables, gadgets, etc. neatly organised, including a handy loop to hook your keys on for easy retrieval. There is an expandable section specifically designed for helmet storage, which can obviously also be used for stuffing in a down jacket or hard shell, depending on your adventure of choice. The only downside to this is that the stretchy mesh lining gapes open after you have used it, and there aren’t any compression straps along the sides to get them out of the way again (minor drawback). On the outside there is also a very inconspicuous flat panel with a zip where you can store your phone for quick retrieval. However, you will have to take the pack off to be able to reach it if you don’t have anyone else with you to assist.
The back support is sturdy and the RidgeAirTM technology allows for very effective airflow along your back to keep you cool. There is a zip compartment from which you can remove the back support if you need to clean it. However, the zip faces the wrong way, with the pull tag side positioned inwards, with no pull tag. I couldn’t figure out exactly for what reason they decided to do that other than trying to discourage you from removing the back support.
The compartment for the reservoir storage is pretty standard. Filled with its full three litres of water, there was no problem getting the bladder in position, and it has a standard velcro strap at the top to keep the bladder from falling into itself.
The straps have loops on both sides, allowing you to decide which side you prefer the reservoir tubing. The chest strap also has a little magnet for the mouthpiece to snap onto so that the tube doesn’t flap all over the place if you’re moving fast. The waist strap is literally only there to stop the bag from bouncing around or falling over your head if you need to bend over to tie your shoelaces.
All the zips are YKK, with finger loops that make it easy to pull, even if your fingers are dead from the cold or if you’re wearing clumsy gloves.
The highlight of the pack is the reservoir. It is really the best one I have ever seen. It’s made of thick, sturdy, BPA- and BPS-free plastic. Inside it’s got a spacer so that the bladder can dry properly when left open. At the top there’s a massive zip lock opening, with a slide-on clamp to make sure it’s securely closed. It doesn’t leak, even if I stand on it. Even though the outlet that leads to the mouthpiece is at the bottom so that gravity will always make sure you’ll get hydration as long as there’s anything in there, the actual removable part is a quick snap-connection positioned at the top of the bag, so you don’t have to dig your hand in to the bottom to disconnect the tube when you need to remove the bladder. The tube has a good flow, the self-sealing bite valve works excellently and there is an extra valve by the mouthpiece to stop leaks . . . just in case.

Weight: 710 g
Dimensions: 46 x 22 x 13 cm
Total capacity: 12 l
Gear capacity: 9 l
Reservoir: 3 l
Materials: 160D and 210D Water-Resistant Nylon


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