Do you wish you could carry more diverse hydration on rides, or you could change the ratio of mix-to-water on the fly? Maybe after a long ride, your stomach wants H2O in place of carb-heavy mixes — if you’re nodding in agreement to any of the above, the new hydration pack from MXXY could be the answer.
What is MXXY?
The concept has been in the works since 2017, championed by World Champion rock climber Sasha DiGiulian as a way to add more variability to in-sport hydration. In its most basic form, MXXY allows the user to adjust the dilution of water and sports drink mix on the go. The design, internals, and system itself were designed by the tech wizards at Whipsaw Inc. They usually craft cool tech to make your life easier, and the MXXY was right in their sweet spot. The system uses Hydrapak reservoirs that are super easy to clean and have proven themselves after years on the market. The MXXY mixing dial allows the user to dose the right amount of sports drink or what you’d like (think caffeinated mix, amino acids, etc.) as your ride progresses.
MXXY is a broad product for anyone looking for an easy way to keep hydrated on the go; hikers, runners, cyclists, etc. The initial pack offering is very general but crosses many outdoor categories easily. The pack volume is plenty for a small day hike and more than enough for a mountain bike ride. It feels like MXXY is introducing the tech to the outdoor community and plans on dialing in the packs for the individual sports shortly after.
MXXY: How does it work?
It’s complicated but straightforward; there are two separate reservoirs — one 750ml for mix concentrate and one 1.5L for water. Each reservoir runs individual tubes that connect to the MXXY mixing valve. The valve is simple; it pinches the outside of the lines (never touching the mix) and regulates the flow of concentrate and water for the desired mixture.
It differs in appearance slightly from the traditional hydration pack as hoses run down each of the shoulders. The mixing valve falls on the right lapel, the hose and bite valve rest on a magnet in the middle of the chest — easily accessed on the fly.
To use the MXXY, fill the 1.5L side with water and the smaller 750ml with a sports drink mixture (up to 2x as potent as you typically drink). Fold over the reservoir bladder top for each, slide the secure strap to snap them together, and slide the pair into the holster. MXXY ensured us that the complex tubing in the dial was easy to clean, and the drink mix flowed through a single rinse hose.
MXXY — Real-world impressions
The MXXY brand impression is excellent, and I appreciate all the extra bits they put into the presentation of the product. The box, the info cards, and the usage instructions are all very thoughtful and informative. Out of the box, the bag is noticeably a bit heavier than most hydration packs that come through. This extra weight could be the MXXY valve or the pack itself, which has many (many) magnets for holding various pieces of the MXXY.
Using the MXXY is very straightforward. The only tricky part for me was dialing in the concentrated dosage. For my first rides, I went with Flow Formulas mix, standby for my longer endurance days. I went with the usual amount of mix and halved the suggested water amount. The MXXY worked perfectly, allowing me to change the mix concentration and on the fly.
I later moved to a super concentrated mix for intense rides. The more potent mix gave me the ability to dial it up when I wanted some extra caffeinated mix at the start and tapper off to more water in the end. I was mixing different “sport drink potions” throughout the review, it was pretty fun, and I never bonked, but the 1.5L reservoir can run out fast if you don’t watch it.
The MXXY unit works just as advertised. The flow rate from mix to water is easy and seamless. The dial is accessible and easily switched while riding with one hand, and the turning resistance is minimal.
Being used to a traditional-style hydration pack, I didn’t venture far off the middle-of-the-road mixture of the MXXY dial preset. I did, however, find that later into the day, on challenging rides, I preferred less mix and more water — having that option was excellent.
Cleaning was much easier than expected. I thought I was in for a pipe cleaner mess, only to find the couplers easy to take off (Hydropak style) and the hoses easily flushed with hot water. If you leave the MXXY in the car for weeks and need a complete cleaning, the unit is fully serviceable, and replacement parts are easy to find on the MXXY site.
When you purchase the MXXY, you get a free year of their Repair Program, just in case you crash, neglect, or randomly break something. “If your MXXY is malfunctioning, we’ll ship it, repair it, and return it at no cost. No worries, no waste.” — MXXY
I wasn’t so impressed, however, with the pack…the craftsmanship seems subpar for a piece of gear that will endure the elements and constant abuse. There is no padding on the back support, and the material on the shoulders is a bit harsh.
The strap cut on the top is a bit tight for someone in a cycling position and easily irritates the neck if you’re wearing a bulkier winter garment. The zippers are no-name, and the top velcro enclosure doesn’t ring of construction that will go the long haul.
Fortunately, MXXY also offers the hydration system separately so you could retrofit it to an existing hydration pack if you wanted to.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the MXXY; it made me ponder more about how I want my hydration delivered on the bike. It showed me I should probably bring an extra bottle of water and fewer mix bottles or just take the MXXY.
The pack has some room for improvement, but the MXXY unit itself works great, and I can see it incorporated into many fantastic outdoor gear offerings.
MXXY Price and availability
- The MXXY goes live on Jan 4th, 2022
- MXXY hydration pack: $130, available in black and white.
- Weights: full pack with MXXY: 2lbs 05oz, MXXY system solo: 1lb 05oz.