At first blush, Shimano’s rendition of the hydration pack shows some serious promise. This definitely isn’t a pack that you would ever wear for a hike: it is designed specifically for comfort when you are on the bike–and that’s a good thing!
One thing that has annoyed me about hydration packs in the past is how they tend to jump around on me when I take air. I like riding with a hydration pack, and I like riding aggressively, and basically every pack that I have ever used has failed to ride silently–some to lesser degrees than others. It seems like Shimano’s X design might have resolved this issue! Of course, I can’t be sure unless I actually get one loaded with water and gear and out on the trail, but the design is promising.
Add in the fact that is spec’ed with a Hydrapak reservoir (which I am a big fan of), and Shimano’s initial hydration pack offering may be setting itself up to make a real dent in the market!