Lots of good advice, thanks and happy day to you and yoursI've never used a hydration pack on my back. When I've used one, I put it in my tank bag.
You'd have to think that through. Some of the newer jackets are designed to go under your jacket and they don't balloon up nearly as much. There has to be room for the vest to expand. So if you put a hydration pack over the vest...when it balloons up, something has to give. I think you would be the weak link in that scenario. So I believe it can be done...but it'll take some thought.
One thing I'd do if shopping around is to look at the deployed vest pictures. Some cover more area than others. I might be wrong, but from the pictures I looked at, the Hit-Air looked like it covered more of the important body parts than the Helite. And now you have several others in the mix now. The Hit-Air will deploy to cover your neck and collarbone, and at the bottom, it covers the tailbone too.
I appreciate any recommendations/advice from anyone, i dont always wear my hydration pack and really don't like the weight of it on my back, but on the warmer days it is a good thing to have, after a long day of riding and drinking out of it i feel a lot better being hydrated, usually fill with ice and dump a bottle of gatorade in it, have also been thinking about a larger tank bag to put the hydration pack in rather then on my back.FTB 530, after a lot of comparing the Hit Air Models, and las spring some other brands, I went with the same one Daboo uses, in yellow with reflective. I have seen him wearing his at the Ride the Ribbon and it is not obtrusive. Must be getting old because now I think about how long healing takes and falling off the bike at a track day. I definitely was not impressed by the bluetooth/electronic activated ones, give me a good old DEAD MAN cord any day.
I know I was not asked, but on the hydration pack topic I have a nice one gifted to me but never used. To tempted to put a nice dry martini in it. Even with water, it would make me have to stop more to P, but I already stop every 1.5 hours anyway and rehydrate/empty on the average. I can see them for a hot race or trailriding though.
C,mon man, you have to test it, i have a couple self inflating fishing vest, the instructions i read when brand new says to test before use, only one way to test them and then you have to buy a $30 kit to reset, needless to say i did’nt test them first before useI have one of the cheap Amazon vests (sold under a different name). I took it with me to West Marine when I bought the needed air canister and it‘s pretty much exactly like their auto-inflate life jackets they sell, except it has a much longer ducktail and larger neck brace. I’ve handled the Hit Air before and construction seems similar, but I wasn’t holding both side by side for a decent comparison. Would be interesting if someone did torture test to see the differences.
I like the cheap one I have and I’m trying hard not to ever test it myself.