A hydration bag has become an essential part of motorcycle gear. Staying hydrated on a motorcycle is important for maintaining concentration, especially on a hot day, and we all know how important that is on our roads. So, when it was time to upgrade from my trusty, but old Decathlon-sourced BTwin Hydration bag, I happened to discover a new hydration bag made by an Indian brand, Raida.
The Raida Ultra hydration bag has been designed and manufactured in India, with materials sourced from ‘certified Indian manufacturers’, according to the company website. Speaking of materials, the bag is made of polyester fabric, which is tough and durable enough to withstand the environment which motorcyclists usually find themselves in. I’ve subjected it to a wide spectrum of temperatures, from hot, dusty and humid days to pouring rain, and it has had no effect on the integrity of the bag so far. That said, this bag is mildly water resistant, but not waterproof.
The rear of the bag has a generous mesh layer to allow wind to reach your back and the slim straps incorporate reflective patches.
We see a similar toughness in the build of the 2.0-litre hydration bladder as well. It is certified BPA (bisphenol A) free and is SGS (Standard Global Services) and FDA certified. This ensures the water that’s stored in it is not contaminated by harmful chemical residues, which would have been the case if it were made of cheap plastic. A nifty feature on the bladder is a printed measuring scale that helps you check on the amount of water left in it. The other feature about the bladder that I found convenient is that the drink tube can be detached by the press of a button, which makes it easy to refill. The drink tube itself is long and flexible, with an on/off valve to control the flow of water and a cover for the bite valve, an essential feature that keeps dust and grime away.
If I had to nit-pick about the bladder, the hard-plastic rail that slides over the fold to close the bladder could’ve been tethered to it for greater convenience. Also, a neoprene cover over the tube would help maintain water temperature when exposed to the sun.
In terms of storage, the bag offers five litres of cargo capacity, with cleverly integrated pockets that
optimise the available space. There are two slit-type pockets on the outside of the main compartment that houses the bladder. The primary pocket is large enough to store a 6.7-inch phone and other knick-knacks. I’ve also managed to squeeze in a T-shirt that I change into once I’m in office.
Then there are zippered pockets on the straps that go over your shoulder and fasten together around your chest. These are handy for carrying everyday essentials like a phone charger, wallet and ear plugs. While the amount of storage options is good, a shock-cord net arrangement over the main compartment could have improved the bag’s utility as it would have come in handy to hold things like a light raincoat.
The bag’s slim form factor and dual sternum straps result in a snug fit, and at no point did I feel the bag’s weight. This despite carrying a full bladder and cargo. On the bike, this translates to unrestricted movement while the bag stayed in place. At no point have I felt a sore neck or shoulders, no matter the type of motorcycle or the riding position. I also like the way the drink tube can be anchored to a dedicated clasp on the shoulder strap so that it does not keep flapping around.
Overall, I’m pleased with the product as it fulfils most of my needs and that too without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money.
Price: Rs 2,750