The Quickload pocket in action; folding rigid walls are folded flat for maximum cargo capacity, but fold out to form a rigid pocket that protects the reservoir from puncture, and makes loading the reservoir last after packing the rest of the pack much easier.
The front stuff pocket on the Trail Hydro 30 also captures trekking poles, removing the need for additional pole carry hardware.
Early sketch exploration.
I built quite a few rough prototypes of the Quickload pocket before landing on the final direction. We also used the early proto to do user testing.
REI Trail Hydro Packs

The Trail Hydro was born of in-depth research and conversation with users new to hydration packs.
The greatest concerns were around a) puncturing the reservoir during use, b) comfort while carrying a full reservoir, and c) inserting a reservoir into a full pack before leaving for the trail.
The result was the Quickload pocket, the first rigid reservoir pack in a hydration pack. The Quickload pocket simultaneously protects the reservoir (or vulnerable food and technology), creates a reinforced cavity for last minute reservoir inserts (pack the night before, add the reservoir as you're heading out the door), and the cavity prevents the reservoir from pushing against the wearer's back, causing discomfort. The Quickload pocket also collapses easily when not needed.

Freelance, Full-time, Moonlighting
Graeme Wagoner
Industrial Designer - Softgoods Seattle, WA