Rich,

A while ago, Alan sent me an email on some of the modifications he’d been doing on various Honey Badgers, and he mentioned he was planning to work on a hydration system. I don’t use a hydration system myself, and I don’t have one to experiment with, but I did have an idea for getting the flexible tube from the inside to the outside. For what it’s worth, here’s my idea:

Replace the hinge with 1 1/2” webbing, and make an additional protective strip from the webbing to protect the tube from the edge of the lid. I used my soldering iron to melt the holes (philistine), and seal the ends of the webbing with heat too. The screws will need to be longer to accommodate the extra thickness of the webbing, and additional washers are needed to sit under the nuts that sit on the webbing (inside the lid).

Sculpt cut-outs on the adjacent edges of the back panel and lid (seen here on the right), to accommodate the hydration tube.

Assembled hinge and lid. Note the protective strip above the tube on the right. (The tube is just one I had lying around that looked about the right diameter)

Showing the tube exiting the pack, replacement webbing hinge below, protective strip above.

View from the inside. (You can’t see the washers under the nuts on the webbing, but they’re there)

My original hinge—that you were worried had too deep a hinge and may fail—is still fine. (You supplied me with a replacement in case)

Having too much fun.

MarkB