Sunday, October 6, 2013

Purchasing a Hydration Bladder / Reservoir - Advice - The Outdoor Gear R...

Advice : Purchasing a Hydration Bladder

Hydration Bladders generally come in three sizes but there are some variances.  1L, 2L or 3L are the most common.

My personal advice when it comes to selecting size is to go with a 3L model.  It’s better to have a bladder than can hold 3L of water for when you need it.  If you need less water, simply don’t fill it as full. 

The weight difference between a 1L bladder and a 3L is minimal.  An example of that weight is with the Platypus BigZip line.  A 2L weighs 5.5oz while the 3L is 5.8oz.  Ultimately you won’t notice the weight difference by going with a larger bladder but the versatility that is gained will be noticeable. 

Also the price difference between models is generally very little.  Just a few bucks between liter sizes.
-           One factor to consider before purchasing a bladder is what carrier or pack are you going to be using it with?  If you pack can only handle a 2L bladder and you don’t want to get a bigger pack, don’t buy a 3L bladder.  Otherwise, get the 3L and enjoy all of the benefits of having additional water capacity. 


In general there are two types of bladders.  Non-pressurized  (where you have to suck) and pressurized.  Personally I like non-pressurized bladders the best namely because of their simply use.  You fill it up and you drink what you want.  Pressurized models add additional hoses and steps that I have never found to be beneficial for my use.  Geigerrig is a great company and offer good systems but it’s not something that I would consider important for my needs.  They are also more expensive, heavier, and more complicated but if you rather have a bladder that squirts instead of requiring you to suck, it might be something to check out.


When it comes to filling a bladder with water, there are two main types.  Bladders like the camelbak that have a screw lid and bladders like the Platypus with the zip top. 
Personally I prefer the ziptop as it makes drying and cleaning the bladder extremely easy and simple.  If your bladder has the screw lid/cap it makes the cleaning process a bit more complicated and depending on model, you may be required to use some cleaning instruments. 


Another thing to look at when purchasing a hydration bladder is the hose and how it connects to the reservoir itself.  Some have a quick connect/release that allows you to effortlessly remove the hose to clean it or to even replace it.  Some others don’t and that makes for replacing or cleaning a bit more of a chore.  Also some bit valves have the quick connect and release as well which is very nice in case you need to replace it.


Generally prices are very competitive when it comes to hydration bladders.  This Antidote bladder runs around $31. And the Platypus BigZip runs about $32.  Little Difference. 


Of course for winter use insulated tube covers and packs can be purchased but that area is for another video in the future.

Again my advice is this; get a 3L bladder and fill it with the amount of water that you need for the adventure you are going on.  Also get a bladder that fits your pack and is easy to clean and replace components when needed.

Of course if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.  Happy to help.

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