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Hydration Backpacks


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Im in the market for a new daypack. i need to be able to fit at least two 100oz bladders in it and still have room for some gear. the sticking point is the double bladder, but that is a necessity for the longer hikes here in tucson during the summer. i saw mule ears post about the motherload form camelbak but im hesitant to order a pack online without trying it on first and nobody carries it in stores near me. any other ideas?

 

Check out the previously mentioned Mountainsmith Approach 3.0. I know Dicks carries it if you have a Dicks somewhere near you.

 

How do the bladders fit inside the pack. My preferred bladders are camelbak. I've looked at the internal sleeves on other packs and they always seem to be weird size/shape that dont seam to match the bladders

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Im in the market for a new daypack. i need to be able to fit at least two 100oz bladders in it and still have room for some gear. the sticking point is the double bladder, but that is a necessity for the longer hikes here in tucson during the summer. i saw mule ears post about the motherload form camelbak but im hesitant to order a pack online without trying it on first and nobody carries it in stores near me. any other ideas?

 

Try Miller's Surplus in downtown Tucson. They carry most of the Camelbak mil-spec line, and the packs are on an open rack for easy try-on. If you don't need something as large as the Motherlode, the Camelbak web site says that the H.A.W.G. will accept two 100oz bladders.

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I never even thought about Miller's...its been a few years since ive been over there to stock up on ammo cans. btw id be curious to see photos of your setup with the two bladders rigged together

 

397d36b4-d1ef-4a24-8001-d9d90b8456a6.jpg

 

There you go. The white joiner is a 1/4" nylon T from Ace. Joining the tubing is a lot easier if you dunk the ends in hot tap water (not boiling, just hot) before pressing it onto the connectors.

 

Also bear in mind that the Camelbak tubing has two layers. The inner layer is thin and delicate; it can peel away from the tough outer tubing at joints and cause leaks. Inspect it closely and cut off damaged ends as necessary.

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sweet. wouldn't you run into problems if one bladder empties before the other and then you just start sucking the air from the empty bladder instead of the last few oz of water from the other?

 

as for Bob's Bargins Mart, i dont even remember the place so it must have been gone for awhile--id settle for having Popular back

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Im in the market for a new daypack. i need to be able to fit at least two 100oz bladders in it and still have room for some gear. the sticking point is the double bladder, but that is a necessity for the longer hikes here in tucson during the summer. i saw mule ears post about the motherload form camelbak but im hesitant to order a pack online without trying it on first and nobody carries it in stores near me. any other ideas?

 

Check out the previously mentioned Mountainsmith Approach 3.0. I know Dicks carries it if you have a Dicks somewhere near you.

 

How do the bladders fit inside the pack. My preferred bladders are camelbak. I've looked at the internal sleeves on other packs and they always seem to be weird size/shape that dont seam to match the bladders

 

The Approach has a large internal sleeve made of an elastic material. It easily fits my 3 liter Camelbak Unbottle or my 2 liter Platypus. With a bladder in the sleeve there is still plenty of room for another bladder and your equipment inside. There are also 2 water bottle carrier pockets on the bottom and two side pockets that will fit a liter water bottle each.

 

So you could conceivably have a 3 liter bladder inside and 4 extra 1 liter bottles to refill it, as well as room for another 3 liter bladder (at least) inside. It's a pretty big pack (2,600ci I think).

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sweet. wouldn't you run into problems if one bladder empties before the other and then you just start sucking the air from the empty bladder instead of the last few oz of water from the other?

 

Doesn't happen. Can't happen unless there's a kink in the tubing. As one bladder empties, water flows from the other to balance the levels. If you're talking about the very last few drops of water, see my 2nd suggestion below.

 

A couple more hints:

 

- If the hydration sleeve is snug, you should load the bladder(s) before loading and cinching the cargo portion of the pack. It pays to slide your hand into the sleeve and check to make sure that the tubing is routed smoothly and not kinked or stressed in any way that might undo the connections or block water flow.

 

- To prevent sloshing and ensure to-the-last-drop access to your water, you need to eliminate the air bubble from the bladder. After filling and closing the bladder, invert it so that the air bubble is under the hose connection. Pinch the bite valve open and squeeze the bladder until all the air is expelled through the mouthpiece. Now the bladder contains nothing but water. Don't blow air into it while you're drinking. No sloshing and 100% water access.

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I have one that still has the plastic taste to it. any good way to remove that taste?

 

Ive cleaned it. Its an off brand so Im not sure who actually made it.

 

Try filling it with water and leaving it sit for a couple days, then empty and repeat. You'll probably never completely eliminate the plastic taste, but the worst of it leaches out with use.

 

Separate question. When I was a kid in Tucson AZ. we would go on 7 mile, one way hikes with 2 days of camping on 64 0z total for the entire 2.5 days. We didn't suffer or get really thirsty. When did we suddenly need all this water?

 

I have thought about this question myself. Seems to me it's a matter of having become accustomed to being fully hydrated and unconsciously operating at a higher level of exertion as a result. At lower levels of water intake you automatically slow down or go down. No choice in the matter. With ample water (and electrolytes, food, etc.), a well-conditioned, acclimatized person can go nearly full-tilt all day. I can operate on lower levels of water intake by consciously reigning myself in, but I don't like it, so I carry lots of water.

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I have a 3L Platypus Hoser and a couple of different packs I can slip it into. One of them is a full size hiking pack with a pocket for a bladder, and the second is a day pack and I just slip it in. It works really well and I like the fact that I can move it from one pack to the next.

 

Cleaning is easy, I just drop a couple of denture cleaner tablets into it and they do all the work.

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sweet. wouldn't you run into problems if one bladder empties before the other and then you just start sucking the air from the empty bladder instead of the last few oz of water from the other?

 

as for Bob's Bargins Mart, i dont even remember the place so it must have been gone for awhile--id settle for having Popular back

Bobs died in 1997. Victim of too much growth. Before that they were THE place to get anything from surplus to high end gear. Here is an old write up about them from the Best of 1995 awards.

 

Best Outdoor/Adventure Store 1995

 

Bob's Bargain Barn

2230 N. Country Club Road

 

READERS' PICK: It's possible there are a few of you out there who've never been to Bob's Bargain Barn, though judging from the concert of readers' votes it is only a few. Well, just like the great outdoors, Bob's has something for everyone. From Swiss Army knives to freeze-dried Shrimp Newburg and camp-oven focaccia mix, Bob's recognizes the traditional to the trendy. Completing a list of what Bob's does not sell might be a little easier, but entirely beside the point. The very fact that Bob's is a mercantile and not a museum might elude you if not for the ample and friendly staff on hand to guide you back to your truer purpose: You came to buy catfish bait ("Yes, Sir, right this way"); your kindergartner needs hiking boots ("Yes, Ma'am, they're on the other side of that wall"); you're thinking a canoe might be just the thing ("Sure. They're in the next room, hanging from the ceiling"). As luck would have it, Bob's is also a large supplier of regulation BSA and GSA accouterments, right down to the flowered, stretch jersey leggings and green scrunch socks. If these don't sound familiar it's only because they weigh in closer to the focaccia mix. Maps are on file next to a wide collection of excursion and trail guides. Along the way, pick up a set of white-on-green speckled, enameled cappuccino cups; binoculars are coming up in the case on the right. Just for fun check out "Bob's Hall of Fame," a cork board covered with photos (untouched) of the greatest fish stories you'd ever hope to see. Across the parking lot and Bray Street to the north is the annex, filled mostly with sleeping bags, cots, tents, backpacking and rock climbing equipment. The "Environmental Board" hanging inside the door accommodates announcements for events and used for-sale items. Keep Bob's in mind whenever gift-giving looms. For the kids there are Hacky Sacks and Klutz books and T-shirts and balloons. Soft and fluffy outerwear and the lightest, warmest innerwear are all on hand; you were thinking of something kinda sexy for your boyfriend ("Well, uh, how do you feel about camouflage?").

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Im in the market for a new daypack. i need to be able to fit at least two 100oz bladders in it and still have room for some gear. the sticking point is the double bladder, but that is a necessity for the longer hikes here in tucson during the summer. i saw mule ears post about the motherload form camelbak but im hesitant to order a pack online without trying it on first and nobody carries it in stores near me. any other ideas?

 

Check out the previously mentioned Mountainsmith Approach 3.0. I know Dicks carries it if you have a Dicks somewhere near you.

 

How do the bladders fit inside the pack. My preferred bladders are camelbak. I've looked at the internal sleeves on other packs and they always seem to be weird size/shape that dont seam to match the bladders

 

If you go the Motherload route, Camelbak has a 6L Water Beast reservoir that drops right in with no fuss:

 

mg_omega_reservoir_6L.jpg

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If you go the Motherload route, Camelbak has a 6L Water Beast reservoir that drops right in with no fuss:

 

mg_omega_reservoir_6L.jpg

 

Did you buy the 6L bladder for your pack Coggins? If you did, i'll have to stop by, and check it out. I've carried a 100 oz and a 70 oz in my Alpine Explorer when I hiked to the remote C-130 wreck site. At the conclusion of the day, I had one cup of water left. <_< . That 6L bladder would be the way to go!

Edited by Kit Fox
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Yep, that 6L bladder looks like the way to go, though I don't much like the mil-spec "quick disconnect" pieces. Maybe the hardware on the bladder that came with my pack was especially tight, or maybe there's some trick to breaking it in properly, but it was difficult to manipulate and lacked the positive "click" that I was expecting. I continue to use the consumer-grade stuff and swap it between my various packs. No 6L reservoir yet for the consumer market, though. I guess you could cross a Camel with a Dromedary...

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If you go the Motherload route, Camelbak has a 6L Water Beast reservoir that drops right in with no fuss:

 

mg_omega_reservoir_6L.jpg

:D:D Now I'm wishing I was walking a desert so I could justify purchasing that jug! <_<<_<

 

I like that connecting tubing idea. What I started doing is carrying two separate bladders. One of them is actually a 48 oz. nalgene collapsible canteen and I put 3 Zip Fizz in that and fill it to the lid line which is measured at 60 oz. I'll have the water bladder hose coming over my right shoulder and the go juice over the left shoulder. This way I can alternate what I drink and keep up with my electrolytes usage through the day.

 

To the question of the wierd shaped or oversized pockets. You'll notice the divider is silicon coated and most pockets (with exception to those bags designed for the bladder such as CamelBak) I've seen are fitted for the size of the bag, not the bladder. That's all they are is a pocket to hold the bladder separately from the rest of the gear. The idea is in the event it should burst the water leakage will still come through the bag, but give protection to the gear inside. Fortunately, it allows one to hold two bladders comfortably. Packing your gear around it in the outside pocket will keep it centered and steady.

Edited by TotemLake
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Yep, that 6L bladder looks like the way to go, though I don't much like the mil-spec "quick disconnect" pieces. Maybe the hardware on the bladder that came with my pack was especially tight, or maybe there's some trick to breaking it in properly, but it was difficult to manipulate and lacked the positive "click" that I was expecting. I continue to use the consumer-grade stuff and swap it between my various packs. No 6L reservoir yet for the consumer market, though. I guess you could cross a Camel with a Dromedary...

 

Maybe it's just me, but I find the quick disconnect feature as a drawback. I've noticed that my 100oz mil spec bladder is harder to suck water from then the standard camelbak bladder. I'm thinking the connection represents a "choke point" that restricts water flow. I experienced the same thing, when I tried using one of the quick connect kits for garden hoses. The water flow to my hoses dropped by half. <_<

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Yep, that 6L bladder looks like the way to go, though I don't much like the mil-spec "quick disconnect" pieces. Maybe the hardware on the bladder that came with my pack was especially tight, or maybe there's some trick to breaking it in properly, but it was difficult to manipulate and lacked the positive "click" that I was expecting. I continue to use the consumer-grade stuff and swap it between my various packs. No 6L reservoir yet for the consumer market, though. I guess you could cross a Camel with a Dromedary...

 

Maybe it's just me, but I find the quick disconnect feature as a drawback. I've noticed that my 100oz mil spec bladder is harder to suck water from then the standard camelbak bladder. I'm thinking the connection represents a "choke point" that restricts water flow. I experienced the same thing, when I tried using one of the quick connect kits for garden hoses. The water flow to my hoses dropped by half. <_<

I guess because I went straight to a quick disconnect system I never really noticed this problem. I guess the end result is I do take in water a little bit slower instead of gulping it all down in nothing flat.

 

I prefer the quick disconnect because I hate taking off the backpack just for a water refill. Click click and 37 strokes later I have 32 oz. more than when I started. oh yah... better adjust that waist belt now... <_< ...it's feeling a little tight.

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been thinking about getting a camelbak blowfish for biking/hiking, it seems to be well balanced between having a good amount of water and enough space to store a GPS and a first aid kit among other things, anyone have experience with it?

 

oh another question, how bad is the 'sweating' problem with non insulated bladders? its the big reason i'm looking at the blowfish, it has insulation.

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I have a Blowfish and it is barely acceptable for a short day hike. This is probably due to the fact that I don't really feel comfortable out trekking, especially in the colder times and when the days are shorter, without the gear to stay out overnight. The Blowfish may be "insulated" but when the temp is in the 90's and the dew point is in the 70's, the bladder is going to sweat just as much as you. I had hoped that the pack design which establishes a small air channel between the pack and the wearer's back would do much more to keep it comfortable but that falls short, also.

 

Bag o' Tricks

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I use my blowfish for biking. Just enough space for some necessary repair items/tools, a lightweight jacket for rain, snacks, and it holds my platypus bladder just fine.

 

I haven't noticed any sweating from the bladder, but I always tend to put room temp water in it and noticed that it doesn't go up too much, even if the outside air was in the 90's with high humidity. (It always remains cooler than 'me'.)

 

No idea how it would work for caching gear.

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I found a Outdoor Products Cyclone hydration pack at Walmart, $30.

 

I bought it as a daypack, but with my hammock in the mesh pouch and bedroll wrapped under the compression straps, it works well for overnighters. I've yet to see it in any online catalogs. Figure it's one of those odd big box store versions. Limited internal space, but it's got a 2L Cyclone bag, hip belt and comfy yoke shoulder straps.

 

pack.jpg

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I ended up going with the Approach 3.0. I tried out the motherlode and although i liked that it was built to hold 2 bladders it just didnt seam to fit right. I took the approach out for an 8 mile round trip, 2000' elevation gain hike yesterday and even with it loaded with nearly 40lbs of gear (mostly water, i took 8 liters-2 bladders and 2 32oz bottles) it was quite comfortable.

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I ended up going with the Approach 3.0. I tried out the motherlode and although i liked that it was built to hold 2 bladders it just didnt seam to fit right. I took the approach out for an 8 mile round trip, 2000' elevation gain hike yesterday and even with it loaded with nearly 40lbs of gear (mostly water, i took 8 liters-2 bladders and 2 32oz bottles) it was quite comfortable.

 

 

Glad you enjoy your new pack. I also decided to go with the Approach 3.0 after the great review from Briansnat. I have had this pack now for several weeks and have hiked quite a few miles and find this pack quite comfortable and very stable. I got one heck of a deal from Campmor for $59.99, however I did see that they are no longer on sale but they are still cheaper at Campmor, than at other online outlets. Did you go with the 100oz omega or the 100oz omega unbottle? I was just curious to know if the 100oz Unbottle fits in the sleeve. <_<

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I just got the Camelbak RimRunner posted on the first page of the thread. This is my first hiking pack & I was pretty impressed with it. The 3 liters was plenty of water for a pretty easy 6.5 mile hike on a cool day. I would say that there was enough pack space for an overnight hike, if I packed it carefully. (i have no real experience with this sort of thing) It is also compact enough for short hikes in local parks/forests. When its full of water it is much heavier than I thought it would be... The first day I had it out, I did a couple of smaller trails, & while it took some getting used to, the water lasted the entire afternoon. We did about 5.5 miles of hikes that day at two locations, & found 4 caches. I dont know how much time that was, but on the walk from the trail to the Jeep, I slurped up the last of the water.

 

The water capacity, plus the fact that I can load the pack up, or keep it empty & it still be somewhat streamlined are huge bonuses for me. I am broke 99.9% of the time, so buying two packs is not an option. This pack will serve two purposes, & I am VERY happy with it!

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I've had a Kelty Whitney 1900ci pack for a few years now and I love it. It has a hydration pocket that holds a 2 liter comfortably and I think you could squeeze a three liter in there. The only thing I didn't like was the bladder. It was one of those blue ones similar to what they sale at Walmart now and it always made the water taste like plastic. A 2L platypus fixed that issue though. The Whitney is able to hold just enough for over night trips and be comfortable. It's also the perfect size for extended day trips when I'm caching. My large pack wasn't designed for hydration bladders but the two water bottle pockets on the side hold 2l bladders just fine.

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I use the Granite Gear Wisp for day-packing and shorter overnight trips. I don't like hydration bladders but this pack will take one. I'm not sure how Granite Gear did it but this pack only weighs in at 1.5 pounds yet it has a very nice (well designed) waist belt and shoulder strap harness that is exceptionally comfortable under load (my load is usually around 20 lbs.). I've heard the pack is waterproof as well but haven't been out in a soaker with it yet so I can't verify that claim. My only complaint about this bag (and most small packs) is that they do not have four rings or loops on the bottom of the bag to carry a rolled mat etc.. I have gotten pretty good at sewing them on which allows me to carry my 1 man tent on the bottom of the bag... I wish the manufacturers would appreciate that we use these bags for more than day hiking!

 

Link to Wisp (mouse over image will rotate the bag):

 

http://www.granitegear.com/products/backpa...wisp/index.html

Edited by ergomaniac
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