Aug 28, 2009 at 1:43 am #1238853Tim TestaMember
What are you an advocate of and why? I never quite understood the point of hydration bags, so Im tring to figure out what Im overlooking.Aug 28, 2009 at 2:17 am #1523373Hikin’ JimBPL Member
@hikin_jimLocale: Orange County, CA, USA
Well, if by "Hydration Bag" you mean something like a Camelbak or Platypus with a drinking tube, there are a several advantages:
1. Water is one of the denser, heavier things we carry. Carrying it close to one's back (as when one uses the hydration pocket in their pack) is the best way to carry the weight.
2. Convenience. You can drink as you go. You don't have to stop, get your bottle out, unscrew it, drink, put the cap back on, and put the bottle away. When I hike with a group of friends that all have Camelbaks/Platys, they get a little testy when I hold up the group to stop to drink.
3. Weight. Hydration bladders are generally lighter than a water bottle.
4. Bulk. An empty hydration bladder can be rolled up to save space. Most water bottles occupy the same amount of space full or empty.
Having said that, hydration bladders are more subject to leaks, tearing, punctures, etc. Water bottles, such as a standard 1L Nalgene, are a lot more durable. I generally take a hydration bladder with me but almost always have some kind of water bottle or secondary bladder with me a) because I generally need more capacity when in camp and b) I'm a little leery of being without any carrying capacity whatsoever in the event of a failure in my main bladder.
HJAug 28, 2009 at 3:22 am #1523377Dan DurstonBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
I'm not sure if you're referring to bladders that you'd use with a hose, or just a bladder type bottle like the platyBottle from Platypus.
I use the platyBottle and quite like it. It's really light (0.9oz) and it collapses to nothing. On the down side, it's harder to fill ( you gotta swim in around in the water to fill it up), the measuring increments seem less accurate and you can't use it with something like a SteriPen which requires a wide mouth.Aug 28, 2009 at 5:59 am #1523397Troy AmmonsBPL Member
99% drink on the go and the weight next to your back.
Big mouth or the top opens like on the platy hydration bladder so its easy to fill, but if its in a tight pack it might not be so easy. If you use one be sure all your gear is in a liner in case it springs a leak.
The real 2L hydration bags I have weighed, even the platy hydration bag complete weighs about 6oz, so they are not that light.Aug 28, 2009 at 6:50 am #1523406David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
If I don't need to carry much water, and thus will be refilling many times a day (think mountain hiking here in Montana, refilling from snowmelt without filtering) I carry bottles in sidepockets.
If I'll not be finding many water sources and need to carry liters and liters of water (think Grand Canyon off the main corridor) I carry a six liter Dromedary bag with a hydration hose.
If I want to hike fast, not stop to refill, and have easier access to my water on the go (big dayhikes), I'll take the Dromedary.
Platy products are IMO too fragile. I don't use them.Aug 28, 2009 at 8:52 am #1523424Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I happen to use a platypus hoser hydration system.
Using a hydration system vs. a water bottle is really a matter of preference.
I prefer to be able to sip water on demand without the minor fuss of having to pull out a water bottle. As such, I might be drinking water more frequently than if I had a water bottle. In that sense, perhaps it can give a psychological value just knowing that you have water at any time.
A platypus water bottle is always going to be lighter than a hydration system because of the weight of the tube.
Ultimately, I don't think you can make great argument on why one is better than the other. Yes, the weight of the tube on a hydration system is a negative, but the convience of sipping on demand more than makes up for the weight penalty. So it really is about your own style of how you like to hike and hydrate.
If you find that you have been hiking fine with a water bottle all these years, I don't think anyone is going to give you a good reason why you should switch to a hydration system.
-TonyAug 28, 2009 at 9:42 am #1523437S PMember
I personally prefer a bottle setup while backpacking. I keep one main drinking bottle stored in an outside side pocket on my pack. I can grab it/drink/put it back while on the go with out having to take the pack off. I like to use your basic gatorade type plastic bottle. Much lighter and I like to be able to see how much water is in the bottle. When drinking from a bladder/hose setup I never know how much water is available.
For any other water storage needs I use platypus containers. Light weight and small volume storage when not in use.
The only time I use bladders with hoses is when I am going on a short day hike where I will not be getting additional water while hiking. I fill the bladder up at home and that is that.Aug 28, 2009 at 10:13 am #1523442Tad EnglundBPL Member
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
I own and have tried just about every hydration setup… Platy, camelback, MSR, etc, and I still own them. After many years and much use I use an old Gatorade bottle and for extra storage I carry a 2 lt platy. This system is much lighter then the hydration systems and for me much more convenient.
Here is why I switched to a bottle:
1. have you ever tried to load a full (refilled) bladder into a fully stuffed backpack- it is very difficult without unpacking the pack to get it in.
2. I hate warm water- at 80* hiking the water in the tube gets WARM and yes, I have the insulation on the tube. When the water in my bottle gets warm I dump it out and add fresh cold water. (see #1 above)
3. You can't see how much you have without unpacking the bladder; of course you have to repack it after viewing it. I’ve sucked it dry and then had to do #1 above all over again.
4. Adding cold water to a bladder then sticking it in a warm pack can cause condensation (water) inside you pack, not a problem if you have your bladder outside a pack liner.
5. Were I hike water is always available making the need to carry more than a liter an act of plan old exercise. Went I was carrying a heavy pack I would carry a bladder that matched the pack- way too big for my needs.
I really don’t see that having a “sippy cup” (that’s what my wife calls them) readily available, on the go, gives me any advantages. I only see the disadvantages; though it took me a number of year to work through the above issues.
Maybe I show put them all up on gear swap for those who like that type of system- any takers? I probably have enough to get a new neoair!Aug 28, 2009 at 10:17 am #1523444Thomas BurnsBPL Member
@nerdboy52Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
I shove a 32 oz Gatorade bottle into my pants pocket, thus eliminating the need to carry water on my back. A second bottle sits empty in my BP waiting for a campsite near a water source.
IMO: Force a little water at ever water source. Load up on water when you don't have to carry it. Get it off your back and into your pocket. That way, a quart will do, and you don't have to burden your back with "a pint a pound," the heaviest single thing that you must carry.
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