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Hydration bladders... out of fashion?
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Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Hydration bladders... out of fashion? on 03/11/2013 19:32:06 MDT Print View

Hello. I plan to purchase a Steripen or Sawyer Squeeze (maybe both) in the next few weeks. After searching through the forum here, seems like larger bladders are not that popular. I currently use a Source Hydration WXP 3L. I like having 3L capacity even if I don't fill it up.

It seems like the Steripen requires a large open mouth container. The Sawyer system uses collapsable bottles. Does anyone still use a bladder with either the Steripen or Sawyer?

Thank you.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sawyer plus bladder on 03/11/2013 19:41:31 MDT Print View

I moddd my Sawyer squeeze to be inline with my hydration bladder. I used the included adapters and just added tubing to the output end and added a high flow mouthpiece. Connected input end to tube of my hydration bladder. I can use the filter alone or attached to the bladder. Just fill the bladder, easy to do with wide opening. Just fill with dirty water and drink.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Not for Me on 03/11/2013 19:56:59 MDT Print View

Not meaning this to be the last word or anything, but...

I just dislike the idea of placing a bulging 3L bladder into my pack. What a chore it is to refill -- when things have shifted and you need to 'almost' repack. No fun in the rain. And even with Sawyer's supposedly "radical" connectors -- I doubt the mere force of gravity can push away all other pack contents to bulge a bladder back up.

I place either liter-size or two-liter size soft Platypus bottles in my pack's side pockets -- depending on need. I then hook one up with Platypus drinking tube -- splicing an inline filter in between. Much easier to me then fumbling with pack contents.

Potential downside of water bottles in the side pockets?

1. Imbalance -- Frankly, I've never felt it -- not even a little bit.
2. Bottle falling off -- this can happen with smooth water bottles -- but much less likely with soft Platypus.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
large hydration bladder on 03/11/2013 20:03:36 MDT Print View

I used to carry a larger capacity bladder, but have given it up. I hike where there's plenty of water all around, so I don't need to carry as much. Less water=less weight. I carry a 1 L bladder with drinking tube, then 2-3 empty 1 L Platypus bladders so I can stop just before camp and tank up enough for my dinner/breakfast needs. I carry the 1 L full bladder on the outside of my pack, where I can monitor how much I have, and don't worry about any water getting to my gear.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Eggs in one basket on 03/11/2013 20:07:43 MDT Print View

One big bladder with a leak= one big problem. Multiple comtainer user here also.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Bladder leaking on 03/11/2013 21:16:21 MDT Print View

There's just nothing like having a 3L bladder start leaking in 40* weather!

That's when I gave up on bladders!

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
3L capacity, 2 containers on 03/11/2013 21:22:24 MDT Print View

I use a steripen with a cut down 1L platy as the zapping vessel. I can roll it up and store in a side pocket of the pack, and don't have to get inside my pack. I then pour this water into a 1L and/or 2L platy that feeds a hose. They go in the side pockets of my pack.

2 platys allows the pack to be balanced when that much water needs to be carried (not very often). And redundancy is nice.

I used to use the older "version" of the Sawyer Squeeze, the old Safe Water Anywhere inline filters (early 2000s). Still have a bunch. Both are great if you either want to suck water through a filter, or have time to let gravity do the work. At least with the SWA filter, squeezing was not the best way.


Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Salomon Bladders on 03/11/2013 21:30:26 MDT Print View

I really like the bladders that are in my Salomon running packs. The older one is a Source bladder I think. Both have a unique opening method in that the entire top opens up and folds over itself to close. They work great as scoops for shallow water and the huge opening makes it easy to use my steripen. Much better than Camelbak or Platypus bags in my pinion.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Love hydration bladders (CamelBak is HEAVY) on 03/11/2013 21:35:57 MDT Print View

BUT... I only use a 3 L. bladder in summer desert conditions here in the Mojave.

I never use my Steripen in my bladders, only in my bike bottle where I mix electrolyte powder. I use Katadyn chlorine dioxide tabs in my bladder and then usually at night when I fill up for the coming day.

P.S. For backpacking I still use ancient Gregory bladders with CamelBak valves because the Gregory bladders are 1/2 the weight of CamelBak bladders. CamelBak needs to offer a smaller lid on a bladder to save weight. Maybe a light weight blader protected by a laminated nylon cover would help as well.

For day hiking wear-and-tear I use the regular CamelBak bladders.

Edited by Danepacker on 03/13/2013 12:38:09 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Two thoughts... on 03/11/2013 21:59:40 MDT Print View

1. Whenever I'm hiking, and my water is in my bottle and I can't reach it, I think I drink less. Good or bad depending on conditions. When my friends have a bladder with a hose nearby, I'm jealous and I wish I had the same access.

2. The lids on a lot of packs seem like ideal places to store bladders, if the pack weight is distributed right for it.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Two thoughts... on 03/11/2013 22:02:51 MDT Print View

"The lids on a lot of packs seem like ideal places to store bladders, if the pack weight is distributed right for it."

You don't really want the heavy stuff high up. A small (1L) bottle, no big deal. But probably not 2L and defintely not 3L and up.

If you like hydration system, why not try out the 1L size Platypus and connect it to a tube with a bite valve at the end? Just make sure to screw tight (test for leaks) -- then insert upside down into your pack's side pocket. Voila. Hydration system.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Two thoughts... on 03/11/2013 22:11:30 MDT Print View

>You don't really want the heavy stuff high up.

If sitting very high, then yes. I find that on my Talon 44, when not stuffed to the gills, the lid is an ok place to put a water bladder. It sits just at my shoulders.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 03/11/2013 22:45:13 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/13/2013 00:03:21 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Hydration bladders... out of fashion? on 03/11/2013 23:28:34 MDT Print View

I'm a steripen user but will probably buy the Sawyer later this spring to see how I like it in comparison to the pen.

I have a platy bladder and I could take it or leave it. I like that it's convenient to drink out of. I can't walk and drink out a gatorade bottle without wearing half the bottle. There are the previously mentioned downsides to the bladder system so right now I'm migrating away from it to gatorade bottles or platy bottles.

I was going to sacrifice a platy bottle for my steripen but for the time being I'm using a 32 oz capacity yogurt container; it weighs one oz and my cook kit nest inside it. Seems like it will work well but we'll see.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Hydration bladders... out of fashion? on 03/11/2013 23:57:16 MDT Print View


Let me know if you want a chopped Platy. I sold my Steripen and I have one or two floating around here somewhere.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/11/2013 23:58:02 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Wow! on 03/12/2013 09:24:20 MDT Print View

Thanks Dale for the kind offer. I'll send you a PM later today.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Hydration bladders... out of fashion? on 03/12/2013 10:29:55 MDT Print View

I use drink mixes, gatorade, mio etc so i go with 2 powerade bottles that are easy to clean. they fit horizontally in my Osprey Exos for easy reaching. I have an extra 1.5L Evernew soft bottle for my Sawyer that can be used for extra storage. I never liked the idea of having to unpack my pack to refill water and on longer hikes inside storage is a premium so water goes outside.

(jpovs) - F

Locale: Arrowhead
Re: Sawyer plus bladder on 03/12/2013 10:44:31 MDT Print View


Edited by jpovs on 06/27/2014 22:23:40 MDT.

Mark Dijkstra
(Markacd) - F
bladder on 03/12/2013 11:33:24 MDT Print View

I use a 4L Ortlieb bladder. I rarely fill it completely though. A big bladder like mine is also multi purpose. I also use my bladder as a very comfortable pillow. Sometimes I even carry it in my neck to keep me cool and stop me from getting (more badly) sunburned.

I don't use it with a Steripen though. I'm affraid the UV will damage the bladder.

Edited by Markacd on 03/12/2013 11:34:46 MDT.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: bladder on 03/12/2013 13:24:11 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone for the feedback.

My Source WXP bladder, like the Platty Big Zip, has a slide off top. Is it possible to use the Steripen in the bladder if you slide the top off? Mark mentioned that he is afraid the UV will damage the bladder. Is it possible to use the Steripen in a Platty bottle without chopping the top?

I'm intrigued at the thought of dumping the bladder in favor of bottles. I would love to hear thoughts on Platty vs. Evernew. I like that both companies produce a drinking tube connector to the bottles, but wish they had the same zip off top as the Big Zip. Is it crazy to have two 2L bottles and filling half way or should I stick with two 1L ones?

With the Sawyer system, does one bag remain "dirty"? Still figuring out how it all works...

Thanks for the help.