Why Should You Purchase a Hydration Bladder?
If you are fond of hiking, cycling or running, then quenching the thirst on the move is important for you. During long-distance races, it is rather important to have the necessary supply of water, because when passing a marathon distance, loss of body fluids reaches more than 6 liters. And without replenishing the body’s water losses, a runner can get heat stroke or dehydration. That’s why a drinking system in a special backpack can become an ally when passing extreme distances and conquering new peaks.
What Size Hydration Bladder Is Better?
It is possible to come across models with capacity from 0.5 to 5 liters. In fact, the capacity of the hydration water bladder, first of all, depends on the distance you are going and the personal preferences of a sportsman. A volume of 2 liters seems optimal as with this option you’ll have enough water and won’t need to refill it. In addition, such a weight on your back will not be felt and will save from thirst for several hours even in extreme heat. In case if you are planning a long-term adventure, choose a model with a capacity of 3 liters. At the same time, 0.5 liters of water will be enough for a short walk.
How to Keep Hydration Bladder Clean?
To keep the system clean, you should wash it with special meaning. If they are absent, you can use hot water. Another excellent method of cleaning is hot water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. This mixture should be put inside the bottle for 30 minutes or so, and then you need to run it through the tube. In case if you don’t have a chance to apply this method of cleaning, try to keep spare nipples with you on a trip.
How to Attach Hydration Bladder to Backpack?
It is possible to find special backpacks for hydration systems, but they are a bit expensive and would be ideal for runners and cyclists. If you need to take some clothes and other things with you on a hike, then you should consider a backpack with special holes and fastenings on straps for a drinking tube. In the case when you need to save money, there is no need to buy an additional backpack. Just buy the hydration bladder with a tube, put it in your backpack, take the tube out and fasten it to strap.
TYPES OF BEST HYDRATION BLADDERS
There are two main types of hydration bladders: reservoirs and hydration backpacks:
Reservoir for Hydration
It is represented by a reservoir with a tube, which is fixed at its base. Such the hydration bladder provides comfortable water consumption during movement and keeps it cold for a long time. It can be securely fixed in a compartment of a backpack and will not fall out when moving. The main disadvantage of such reservoir is a difficulty in filling the tank. At the same time, it easily fits a backpack and will be indispensable on hiking trips. Before choosing such a model without a cover, make sure you have appropriate fasteners in your bag.
It is the best drinking system with cover and shoulder straps. Favorably differs from the previous version with thermal protection of water and ease of carrying. A hydro backpack has openings and fasteners for fixing the tube. At the same time, such a system is more cumbersome and does not allow placing another bag upon it. Also, this model of the drinking system is more expensive.
HYDRATION BLADDER BUYING GUIDE – WHAT TO LOOK AT?
What hydration bladder to buy always depends on the budget, type of activities and personal preferences. However, you should know the main criteria of choice in order to understand why this or that model is good and most suitable for your needs.
It is selected depending on the intensity of the subsequent use of hydration pack bladder. Thus, a 3-liter drinking capacity is suitable for driving or hiking over long distances without the need to replenish the system with water. Its disadvantage is a lot of weight. The most popular option of this bladder is considered an intermediate 2-liter system for a backpack. A ratio of low weight and average tank volume is considered optimal. If such a system should be purchased for short distances, then it makes sense to choose a small container with a volume of 1-1.5 liters.
Type of Sealing
The hydration bladders differ in the way of sealing. The first option is a screw cap with a diameter of 5 cm. This method is convenient when filling a container with water without removing it from a backpack, and is also more airtight and reliable. To clean such a system with a lid, you need a brush for hard-to-reach places, as well as a special drying frame that straightens the tank.
The second option, in which hydrators have an open-top, hermetically clamped with a special clamp, has a higher price. Cleaning and drying are simplified, but pouring water into a container that is located inside the backpack is more difficult in this case.
Tube and Valve
At the bottom of the hydration bladder, there is a soldered mount for a tube. Most often tube is screwed on a thread with a seal. It is convenient for storage and allows you to quickly dry the system by disassembling it into pieces.
The length of the tube is chosen based on where you are going to wear the system. In general, the longer, the more convenient. The tube material must be soft and elastic at room temperature.
The valve is a tip of the tube, providing a supply of fluid only when it is necessary. A good valve should not poison liquid and have at least 2 locking systems: transport and operative. An operative is usually combined with nipple and opens by biting it with teeth. This is convenient, as nipple accidentally released from the mouth automatically closes.
Ease of Cleaning
Your water system should be always kept clean. So, before buying the hydration bladder, make sure that it can be cleaned easily without extra efforts. There are models that can be used in a dishwasher, but they are few. Other systems may require a special brush. But all of them should be equipped with a quick-release hose system.
Pay attention to those models of the hydration bladders that accept components developed by other brands. Keep in mind, that the majority of systems come with vertical hose orientation, and it means that it will be hard to find a horizontal one if you need to exchange it. So, component compatibility makes sense here.
Also, when buying, it is recommended to pay attention to special marking FDA approved and BPA-free. They indicate that toxic substances are absent in a product.
THE BEST HYDRATION BLADDER. FINAL ADVICE
After reading all the information, you know all the important details about the hydration bladder and can easily choose a model that suits you better. However, we’d like to speak a bit more about our top pick – Platypus Big Zip LP Reservoir for Hydration Packs. According to our research, this model is the best hydration bladder in 2020 due to numerous factors. First of all, it is time-tested as it first appeared long ago in 1998. With the invention of this quality hydration bladder, other manufacturers begin to develop models with wide opening mechanisms. Big Zip system of best hydration bladder uses a triple zip-lock clasp, equipped with a SlideLock locking slider. So, it is able to withstand high water pressure, even if a user falls on it. The outer layer of high-quality hydration bladder by Playtus makes containers flexible and durable, and it is not easy to pierce, cut or rub. Its inner layer consists of food-grade polyethylene. Thanks to its antibacterial treatment with silver ions, it is chemically inert. Therefore, Platypus containers do not give plastic taste to water. So, if you really look for a high-quality durable and safe drinking system, this one would be an excellent choice.