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Alternative to defecitve Platypus bottles
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Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Alternative to defective Platypus bottles on 12/31/2007 08:58:11 MST Print View

I used to be a big fan of Platypus bottles. During my 04 PCT thruhike I only carried Platypus and despite extensive use only 1 bottle broke in 5 months.

Therefore I used Platypus again on my 07 CDT thruhike. The result was desastrous: All Platypus bottles I used inicially and then as substitutes for defective bottles (3 x 1 liter bottles and 5 x 2 litres bottles) broke!

The defects were not due to misuse. They usually started leaking at the seams or where the opening is inserted into the bottle. In most cases I could repair the damage with Seamgrip, but that lasted only a couple of day before they started leaking again.

When I brought the defective bottles back to my dealer in Germany to exchange them, I was told that in the last couple of months there has been a big wave of customer complaints about these bottles. In all seriousness I was advised to just get my money back - exchanging the bottles with new ones would only result in another return.

By the way: The defects affected bottles I bought in Germany as well as those bought in the US.

My question is now:

Did you have similar experiences?
What is the UL alternative Platypus? I would like to use collapsible bottles again.

Greetings from Germany,

Edited by chgeth on 12/31/2007 08:58:54 MST.

Andrew King
(drewboy) - F

Locale: Arizona
Platypus failures on 12/31/2007 09:22:22 MST Print View

I also had a couple of 1L platys fail on me this year which eroded my confidence. I've started using Nalgene collapsibles, but am tempted to try out the Evernew collapsibles as well. BTW, I still use the platy 4L water tank for overnight treatment and have had no issues with that.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Platypus on 12/31/2007 09:40:31 MST Print View

I've been using Platy's exclusively in the last four years. No mishap whatsoever. They are light and convenient as heck.

I suspect Platy probably let loose entire batches of defective products??? Having read numerous posts about bottles and bladders, what I get are:

1. All the popular brands -- Camelbak, MSR, Platypus, etc. -- are very dependable.

2. All the popular brands above have the occasional lemon. Maybe most mishaps are due to user carelessness, but lemons do show up as well.

Edited by ben2world on 12/31/2007 09:41:17 MST.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Platypus on 12/31/2007 10:03:24 MST Print View

I have a 2005 Platy 2 liter that I have used for hundreds of miles and probably in upwards of 50 days on the trail. Although it looks rough in some places, I have never had it leak. Hopefully this was a limited "bad batch" and not an indication of reduced quality. Are they still made in the USA?

Camelback, MSR, Evenew, and Source all make similar botles.

Edited by Mocs123 on 12/31/2007 10:04:21 MST.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Alternative to defective Platypus bottles on 12/31/2007 10:27:15 MST Print View

I have noticed that when I treat water with iodine that the bladder seams tend to come apart.

Did you treat with iodine?

Christine Thuermer
(chgeth) - F

Locale: Germany
Platypus on 12/31/2007 10:39:01 MST Print View

I never treated water with iodine - I exclusively use Aquamira.
And I don't believe in the occasional lemon either. As I have written before the failure occured with bottles bought in Germany and the US. One bottle even broke after less than a week of use.

But the big question is: What is an adequate alternative to Platypus? Lightweight and more reliable.


John Kays
(johnk) - M

Locale: SoCal
Platy Seam Failure on 12/31/2007 11:06:50 MST Print View

My first Platy Zip Lock Top Bucket failed while still fairly new and REI replaced it and the replacement failed as well. The Nalgene collapsibles, in my experience have been only slightly more durable. Empty Crystal Geyser and Kirkland water bottles, on the other hand, have been pretty much 100% failproof so far.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Platypus on 12/31/2007 11:15:56 MST Print View

But the big question is: What is an adequate alternative to Platypus? Lightweight and more reliable.

1 liter soda bottles are almost as light, approx 1oz vs 0.6oz, the diff being perhaps a factor in SUL kits but definitely not a deal breaker for UL.

I don't know about more reliable than platy's but I've been using the same bottles for three years now ... which exceeds my reliability threshold.

They don't stow as small when empty so I take the re-used bottles for everyday use but pack a couple platy's empty to use only when future water is in doubt. The only platy problem I've had is with the ziplock top of a several years old six liter being very hard to close.

Edited by jcolten on 12/31/2007 11:17:07 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Platypus on 12/31/2007 11:54:19 MST Print View


I don't mean to minimize your negative experience with Platy failures... but if you think about it, you've got a handful of failures out of literally thousands and thousands that are out there and used by folks for years.

Now, if you define a handful of failures as "unreliable" -- then I just don't see how anyone can recommend anything else that's sold by the thousands without even a small handful of failures! I'm not saying you should stick to Platy's but I really think that whichever brand or type you buy, you can expect a big chance of trouble free use -- but there's just no way of guaranteeing against a very small but very real chance of failure.

I am sure you know the usual brands out there...

Edited by ben2world on 12/31/2007 11:55:32 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Platypus on 12/31/2007 12:06:46 MST Print View

I have only light use with platy's and have had only 1 fail, but from abuse.
Try checking the seam to see if the older ones have a wider sealed surface.

I would love to use the Evernew's but they don't come with the option for a hose to use a bladder, nor do the Nalgenes.

I will just keep using Platy's but bring a plastic bottle as back up.

I actually usually use Gatorade bottles so I can mix stuff in with them. They never wear out.
I just with the Nalgene made a conversion tube for there collapsible bottles because they would work better to mix the stuff in them.

On the other hand, other than Camelbaks, I have only had 1 hydration bladder not fail on me, (about 8 or so).
Half of them have been defects and leaked on the first outing.

Edited by awsorensen on 12/31/2007 12:07:30 MST.

Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
No failures yet on 12/31/2007 14:57:00 MST Print View

I have used several different sizes of Platypus containers and never had any failures yet. I could see how this could happen at the seams and near the opening , but I have been able to avoid this misfortune. All companies seem to let some lemons pass sometimes, it is just unfortunate when it happens on a trip. All we can do is inspect them from time to time and keep our eyes open for growing weaknesses.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
One Note of Caution on 12/31/2007 15:00:54 MST Print View

Just a general note of caution... For those of you who wash and "air dry" your various plastic bottles and bladders, do not expose them to the sun. Sure, they'll dry faster, but UV rays will break down the 'plastic' -- causing them to become increasingly brittle -- just as UV breaks down tent fabrics after prolonged exposure.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Platy's have been pretty durable for me so far on 01/01/2008 22:01:23 MST Print View

I've used Platy's for about 4 years now, and only had one failure on a small sport bottle (.5 liter), which leaked around the seam where the cap connects. I had a lot of use out of the bottle before it started leaking, but Cascade Designs replaced it for free.

I always try to have at least two water containers so in the event one fails, I have another left. I'm sold on the light weight of the Platy's and the guarantee. At least if one fails, it doesn't cost me anything but postage to replace it.