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Hydration packs

Posted: Dec 22 2002 7:49 pm
by Nighthiker
My old hydration pack is a 70oz Blackburn which works very well. I would like to get a 100oz hydration bladder, tube and mouthpiece. I don't need a pack and I noted the comments on Platypus, Blackburn is no longer in business so I guess I am looking for a Camelbak. Any idea where I can obtain without buying the pack ? And how do the current generation of Camelbak work ? I noted earlier models the bladder would change color, the mouthpiece and fill cap tended to leak. Any positive experiences with the current Camelbaks ?

Posted: Dec 22 2002 8:12 pm
by bzachar
Popular carries the 50, 70 and 100 ounce bladders without the packs. The 100 oz is $24.99. I don't have any experince with the earlier bladders so I can't speak to the problems you mention.

Bill

Posted: Dec 22 2002 8:24 pm
by tracker
I got the new "big mouth" nozzle from Camelback and it has worked perfectly. I bought it at popular. It gives you better water flow then the old mouthpiece. 8)

Camelbak--no leak

Posted: Dec 22 2002 8:35 pm
by chihiggs
I use the Camelbak MULE...bought it in April 2001. It's a 100oz and I haven't experienced any leaking problems with it (from the mouth piece, seams or big mouth lid). The bladder it's self only changed color where the metal hanger touched it when I was soooo smart and used it and not the plastic hang dry thing Camelbak suggests--now I use it and it works like a charm--no problems. Matter of fact; I am going to buy the Transalp (Camelbak) after Christmas. The bladders are also sold at Sports Authority and Larada's--Army Surplus store. Priced more or less the same as mentioned in the earlier post.
I've only ever used Camelbak hydration systems so I can't comment whether they are better or worse than others; but this one I intend to buy will be my fourth. I haven't had any problems with any of them; which is why I've been loyal to Camelbak brand.
Good luck!!

Posted: Dec 22 2002 8:48 pm
by youngboy
also look at ultimate direction, they have a really fast "flow valve" and can have a lot of space for gear. I have the Ultimate Direction Horizon, its 96 oz and works great

Posted: Dec 22 2002 9:40 pm
by ck_1
I use the Ultimate Direction Epic pack, with its 1 gallon bladder. I like the Ultimate Direction bladders for the "fold and roll" closure. I hate, hate, hate their mouthpiece...total design flaw...it relies on a small rubberband to hold the mechanism closed until you bite on it to open...it ALWAYS leaks...so I've converted the tube and mouthpiece to the camelback brand. I use the right angle mouthpiece with the valve-closing lever....I like that I can totally shut off the flow.

Platapus

Posted: Dec 22 2002 9:45 pm
by tempe8
Maybe I haven't tried enough other bladders, but I use a Platapus 3L and I love it! As far as I can tell, what else do you need out of a bladder other than for it to not leak and have good flow through the bite valve? If that's true, my Platapus Hoser 3L has been fantastic. It's never leaked, and the flow right is good for me. Now on the downside, it only has a small 1" diameter opening where the hose attaches so you can't put ice cubes or something inside. BTW, I only put water in mine. I don't think it's worth the hassle with any bladder to deal with the gunk once you put a flavored drink in. I just take a small sport bottle with high concentration "aid" drink for the electrolyte kick on long hikes.

Posted: Dec 22 2002 10:59 pm
by ellehcim
ck1 wrote:I use the Ultimate Direction Epic pack, with its 1 gallon bladder. I like the Ultimate Direction bladders for the "fold and roll" closure. I hate, hate, hate their mouthpiece...total design flaw...it relies on a small rubberband to hold the mechanism closed until you bite on it to open...it ALWAYS leaks...so I've converted the tube and mouthpiece to the camelback brand. I use the right angle mouthpiece with the valve-closing lever....I like that I can totally shut off the flow.
The only thing I use a bladder for is peeing.....

I carry close to a gallon of water in my pack right now but I think I will need something more later... Is there any "bladder" that holds 2-3 gallons??

Posted: Dec 22 2002 11:15 pm
by GTG_AZH
I carry close to a gallon of water in my pack right now but I think I will need something more later... Is there any "bladder" that holds 2-3 gallons??
Look into the dromedary bags by MSR. You'll be haulin' 3 gallons like a mule soon.

GTG

Posted: Dec 23 2002 6:28 am
by Wiz
I want to comment on several of the above postings.

I also have a Platypus, a 70 oz model. I've never had a bit of trouble, no leaks, no nothing. And, the bladder setup, complete with a thin little pack just for it, only cost me $20.00.

As far as carrying multi-gallons of water: if you're doing that, you're probably on an extended hike and need all the water. I recommend carrying 2- or 3-liter pop bottles full of water, and not putting it all in a bladder. If the bladder should leak or burst, you are SOL. The pop bottles weigh almost nothing and are very tough. And cheap! You can refill the bladder as needed, and squash the bottles to save bulk in the pack for the return trip.

Personally, I only use the Platypus on hot-weather hikes, and when I'm pretty sure I won't be taking any hard falls. One time I had to do a tuck-and-roll onto my pack, and if I'd had the bladder it would have been history. The pop bottles were just fine, though.

Posted: Dec 23 2002 6:40 am
by BoyNhisDog
I have the Platypus in 2,3 and 4 liters and have put them through h#ll and no problema. I have used them in very cool weather to downright blistering heat. No problema. They don't leak.

I had a camelback years ago that I liked as well.

I also have a 4 liter Drom bag and it is good. This a a very robust bag. Out here on the perimeter we need lots of water and an easy way to drink it. Bladders are all that.

Posted: Dec 23 2002 6:54 am
by Wiz
BoyNhisDog wrote: Out here on the perimeter...
I like that!

Posted: Dec 23 2002 7:06 am
by Sredfield
That's good that you've all had such success with the "Platiply," but such has not been my experience. Several have leaked for me, one sprung a leak lying on the counter. So I sprung for the MSR Dromedary bag, and that has been the end of my water vessel problems. Tough as nails. I don't leave a TH without it full, and use it dayhiking and backpacking.

Re: Platapus

Posted: Dec 23 2002 11:13 am
by bzachar
tempe8 wrote: If that's true, my Platapus Hoser 3L has been fantastic. Now on the downside, it only has a small 1" diameter opening where the hose attaches so you can't put ice cubes or something inside. .

The current-generation Camelbak bladders have large mouths... so large you can dry them by putting your hand inside and wiping them out with a paper towel. They also have shutoff valves by the mouthpiece to prevent leaking.

Posted: Dec 23 2002 11:42 am
by azhiker96
I've had good luck with my 70oz Blackburn. I carry extra water in 1 and 1.5 liter plastic bottles recycled from various bottled water or sport drinks. The plastic bottles are cheap, light, and with a knife you can cut the bottom 1/3 off to make a doggy water dish. An added bonus is I can easily track my water consumption since it's not all in one resevoir and I usually premix a couple of liters of sport drink. :)

bladder seams

Posted: Dec 23 2002 12:15 pm
by Randy
I've had two platypus bladders leak at the seams. REI gave me new ones, no problem but I was a tad cranky about the leakage of Gatoraide on my pack contents. I may look at the MSR since their products are usually first rate. Sounds like Backpacker Magazine should do a test of the bladders (I'll go first...mine is about five beers, then about every ten minutes after that....) and rate them.

Annette McGiveny, are you reading this and lurking hereabouts???

-R

Posted: Dec 23 2002 12:41 pm
by Nighthiker
I have had better luck since I first posted this topic. Its Camelbak not Camelback. I sometimes carry a plastic pop bottle and use it as a water bottle. Since I have taken up biking I use the Blackburn pack and would like to add another hydration pack. Late last week at First Water trailhead I was talking to a hiker when he leaned up against the pipe fence. He was wearing a belt style hydration pack. Upon leaning up against the pack, he got blasted in the face with water.

Posted: Dec 23 2002 1:34 pm
by Wiz
Hee hee!

Posted: Dec 24 2002 8:30 am
by evenstarx3
One tip on the Camelbak bladders with the wide mouth; they can leak if you screw the cap on TOO Tightly! Suggest that, after filling and screwing cap on, put lots of pressure on bladder and check seal around cap for leakage then adjust cap as necessary.

Bladders and leaks

Posted: Mar 14 2003 4:27 pm
by CGJeff
I've used Platypus and North Face before and found them great for day hikes and occasional use, but try using 'em for more than a few days in a row, and they break. I bought a camelbak, have been using it for three years (including every day this past summer,) and the thing's still going strong. I have had trouble with my mouthpiece leaking, but I bought a new mouthpiece with an on/off switch, and haven't had a problem since. For my money, go with Camelbak! :)