I have been fascinated with the concept of using a vest for hiking for a while now, and along comes Camelbak with one that has an integrated 3L hydration bag, the Delta 5 Tactical Hydration Vest. I like the idea of being able to have all those pocket and organization options for the gadgets I take on a trip, especially now that I take 50 lbs of photography gear on every hike. Having all of the weight close to my body, and where I choose for it to be is also a bonus. It would obviously not work in the summer months unless I want to sweat more like a pig than I already do, but it would be great for colder weather.

camelbak delta 5

The only problem is that it is a little too, well, tactical. I don’t have a problem with military gear at all, but I prefer not to look like I am about to storm a terrist stronghold on the trails (although, in the South, that might help me). Makes it difficult to approach another group of campers and ask them to borrow their shovel without having them reach for the (dull) 1.5″ blade on their Swiss Army Knives. Every similar style of a vest that is made to carry more than a fishing lure or two that I can find is oriented toward the military or law enforcement. Has anyone ever seen such a vest system that is made for the outdoor type crowd or am I the only person that has ever wished for such a crossover product? I might have to resign myself to buying lots of MOLLE pouches…

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