I have used many different bladders bought at lots of different prices.
If you are serious about walking long distances then picking the right bladder is one of the the most important things.
Things to think about are ease of filling, Ease of cleaning and durability.
The only area this particular bladder falls down on is the ease of filling. Ideally wide topped bladders are easier as, obviously, they have a wide top to be able to pour fluid in instead of a small neck to try and fill. This one is a small screw on the bottom of which is fiddly to fill from the tap or a jug and also I worry that it will leak. I must say though that none of my Bladders have leaked from here so if you screw the connecter on tight enough it will be okay.
However bladder which have a separeate fixture for filling up are better as you never need to undo the bottom connector.
Ease of cleaning is then the second thing to think about. This model is a bit difficult as the only hole is a small connector at the bottom. Wide mouth ones are easy to clean as you can get brushes in them easier. It is paramount that they are cleaned and dried after every use. If left unclean or wet bacteria will grow very quickly and make the bladder taste horrible. Cleaner solutions and brushes can be bought and are well worth purchases as they prolong the life of the bladder. Also another trick is to put the bladder in the frezzer after cleaning, this will keep bacteria growth to a minimum and help prolong the bladder life too.
Durability of these are excellent. "Country walking" magazine did a test of these and other makes of bladder for durability. They drove a car over the bladders when full with water. Most just expanded to accomodate the movement of water and did not break. This give confidence that the bladders will not break if a fall is had. They really are very durable and withstand a lot of abuse.
If hiking a long way this is a perfect way to stay hydrated. The straw coming over your shoulder means you can get at the fluid quickly and easily. The bite valve of these are excellent and do not require too much "Bite" to open the valve. Some cheaper brands have an awkward bite mechanism making it uncomfortable or difficult to get any fluid out. When you are pushing yourself to the limit the last thing you want is to have difficulty in getting fluids.
To stay Hydrated I would recommend this brand, sometimes paying more really does help!
I own two Platypus water bags one has a 1 litre capacity and the other holds 1.5 litres and they are excellent for carrying liquids while hiking or with the additional of a holding pack when bike riding however I primaily use them when hiking as they can sit within my day sack or rucksack and provide me with a constant supply of water, or at least until they run out.
They are basically a flexible plastic bag (bladder) container and on one end there is a hose, you either store the full up pouch into your rucksack, I place mine between the inside of my bag and the inner dry bag that way if it leaks only the rucksack gets wet rather than the contents of the bag, the hose then comes over the top of your shoulder and can be clipped onto a strap so that the end of the hose is close to your mouth, this means that you can walk and drink at the same time without having a bottle dangling from your kit or having to stop to remove it from your bag.
The plastic bladder is made from very strong plastic which means it is very robust, both of mine have been on a number of trips and have never leaked, one is showinmg a little sign of wear and tear but is still not leaking, the only real signs that they are not new are the stains from the iodine that I add to my water while in places where water purity cannot be guaranteed.
The one benefit with these is that when not in use they back down small whereas a water bottle takes up the same amount of room whether it is full or not, also you are only really carrying the weight of the water as they weigh next to nothing. The hose can be a little awkward to pack and it is important to ensure that you keep the drinking nozzle clean and out of the dirt, this is the only drawback with having them clipped to your rucksack straps if you forget to secure them when you take the bag off.
They are easy to fill, you just remove the hose at the neck of the bladder and fill, I have found them resonably easy to fill in mountain streams however it does help if there is a flow of water otherwise filling them by submersing does need a certain depth and of course your arms will get wet.
These are great items to take when hiking and retail for anything between £10 to £20 depending on size, they are robust and well designed and very easy to use.
I enjoy walking and cycling, but the same as most people, I never enjoyed having to stop every so often to take off my rucksack, dig out my water bottle, drink, put my bottle back, and put my rucksack back on. It doesn't sound like too much of a challenge I know, not like crossing a ravine on a tightrope blindfolded (not that I've ever done that!), but after the tenth stop it does begin to feel a bit inconvenient. Because of this inconvenience I tended to delay drinking until I felt really thirsty, which as we all know, is really too late to stay adequately hydrated.
I bought my first Platypus Hoser about 8 years ago, it was the 1litre version, and about 6 years ago I also bought the 2 litre version. The Platypus Hoser can be purchased from most outdoor shops, and online with some really good prices to be found at places like Amazon. The prices have reduced over the years and a 1 litre Hoser can now be found for under £10. In addition to the 1 and 2 litre versions, a larger 3 litre version is also available, as well as accessories such as an Insulation kit to prevent freezing in extreme cold, a cleaning kit, and a wide-mouth zip-closure version of the Hoser.
The Platypus Hoser is produced by Cascade Designs, a company based in Seattle, USA, who started by producing the Thermarest self inflating mattress in 1971. The company went on to produce a number of innovative products which are now familiar to most people who take part in outdoor activities, including camping stoves and sleeping bags. In addition to the Hosers the Platypus brand also produces hand-held bottles.
The Platypus Hoser consists of a transparent flexible bladder made of triple layered polyurethane, and lined with food-grade polyethylene. The size of the 2 litre bladder is 11 cms high and 7.5 cms wide. It has a strong thick seam running around the edge, and a gusset at the bottom. This gusset enables the bottle to stand up when full of water, but fold down to completely flat when it's not in use. Because it's so soft and flexible I was initially doubtful about how reliable it would be, and imagined taking it out of my rucksack to find everything inside soaked, but I'm glad to say this has never happened. They are deceptively strong, and after many years of use I have never experienced any leaks from my Platypuses. I have, however, always taken care to ensure it is protected from any sharp objects in my rucksack.
At the top of the bladder is an anchor loop. This is a sealed hole that can be used to secure the bladder upright in your rucksack. When I bought my first Platypus I used it in an old rucksack, and simply sat it inside with hose poking out of the top, this worked well whilst I drank the first half of my water, but as it became emptier the bladder began to fold down on itself and eventually collapsed and fell over in my rucksack, preventing the water from flowing smoothly through the hose. This resulted in making it difficult to suck through the tube, and caused me to look like I was entering a gurning competition every time I tried to take a sip (not a good look!). Shortly after this experience I invested in a new rucksack which has a purpose built hydration bladder pocket, and a clip inside I can attach the anchor loop to, ensuring that the bladder remains upright at all times. Since using this new rucksack I have had no further problems, and I find the water always flows smoothly.
Towards the bottom of the bladder is the spout through which the bladder can be filled and the hose attached by means of a screw on lid. This spout is located at an angle on the side at the base of the bladder, enabling almost all of the water to flow out. The attachment is very tight-fitting and secure, and I have never experienced any leaks.
Those hose is made of transparent plastic, mine is clear but I believe newer models have blue hoses. It is very flexible, and sufficiently long, at just over 100cms, to easily fit through a purpose designed hole in the top of a rucksack and comfortably reach around the wearer, so the end can be conveniently located. There is a clip towards the end of the hose, which can be used to attach the hose to an appropriate place and prevent it flapping around. I usually attach mine to the shoulder or chest straps of my rucksack. At the end of the hose is the bite valve, which is made of soft silicone. This valve is very secure and even after years of regular use I still don't experience any drips from it. It is operated by biting down gently to open the valve and sucking to draw up the water through the hose from the bladder. As long as the bladder is upright, only a gently suck is required to get a good mouthful (no more gurning for me!), and because the silicone is so soft, biting down on it doesn't make my jaw ache at all, even after using it all day.
Although Platypus produce a cleaning kit I have never felt the need to buy this, as I only ever put plain water in mine. I simply rinse it through, paying particular attention to the bite valve, and hang it up to dry thoroughly. Before I pack it away for the winter I soak it in a bowl of warm water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, rinse it through with plain water, and hang it in my airing cupboard to dry completely before packing away.
For me, my Platypus has now become an essential piece of kit, I take it on all my walks and cycles because of its' convenience and ease of use. I do, however, use it for additional purposes that I'm sure the manufacturers would not recommend. I like to travel light, because I'm carrying my gear myself, and after all I'm just a girlie not a 6' 6'' muscle man, but I still like a little comfort. My Platypus really comes in handy when camping in cold weather because I use it as a hot water bottle. For just over £1 I purchased a screw on cap for the bladder without a hose attachment. This plain cap means that I can fill the bladder with hot water (I boil a camp kettle and allow the water to cool a little before putting it in the bladder), screw the plain cap on securely, and pop it in my sleeping bag just like a hot water bottle. In warmer weather, when I don't need a comforting hottie, I partially fill it with water, wrap it in a sweatshirt or fleece, and use it as a pillow. In the summer, when walking in the heat, I pop my Platypus in the freezer for a couple of hours before setting off, this gives me slushy ice water, which slowly melts through the day, but stays beautifully cold and refreshing.
I have no hesitation recommending the Platypus Hoser, but with a word of caution that it's worth investing in a rucksack that that can hold it upright securely in order to get the best out of it. I now find that with my Platypus I drink more throughout the day, without consciously thinking about it, or disrupting whatever activity I am doing. The only real disadvantage to the Platypus is that it's not possible to see when you are running low on water, but as most people have a good idea of their hydration needs, and will use the appropriate size bladder to meet those needs, I don't see this as a major problem.
Thanks for reading.
I bought my Platypus hoser (affectionately known as 'Platy' in my house) when I got into walking when I lived near the Peak District about eight years ago. A Platypus is essentially a tough plastic bag which you can fill with water through a screw top and then drink through a long tube. You put the bag ('reservoir') in your rucksack and then clip the hose onto the strap of your bag so it's near your mouth and easily accessible. At the end of the hose is a 'bite valve' which stops the water coming out when you don't want it to, but means you can easily get a drink if you just put it in your mouth and bite on it.
I think that this is a brilliant invention for keeping hydrated, especially during walks or bike rides where the thought of stopping, heaving off your rucksack, undoing and doing up a water bottle is often enough to stop you keeping as hydrated as you should. Also, it's a handsfree way of drinking, so if you are cycling or using trekking poles, you can just sip away whilst carrying on your activity.
My Platypus has a two litre capacity, but the reservoirs are also available in one and three litres. Two litres has been just the the right size for what I have wanted for (all day walking), and it can obviously be filled less is you are only going on a little walk so you don't have to carry around the extra weight. I bought it for around £18 which seems expensive for a water bottle, but I don't regret this expenditure at all. The Platypus has proved to be very hard wearing and although it got one puncture, this was easily repaired by special Playpus patches which are available from retaillers which stock platypus equipment.
One thing to be aware of is that the tube component is quite difficult to clean. Mine now is tinged black on the inside because I haven't always ensured it's completely dry before packing it away. I have however recently discovered that you can buy a 'Platy Cleaning Kit' for around £10 with special long brushes so that you can give your platy a thorough clean. If I'd known about this, I'd have bought it at the same time as my Platypus.
Another thing to be aware of is to be careful of the valve when you put your rucksack down for a break from your exercise. I usually sit on mine when I stop for a break and a couple of times have accidentally sat on the valve which opens it and drains the Platypus!
The final issue I have had with my Platypus is finding the correct bag to put it in. Some of my rucksacks have a special pocket inside which is meant to hold a fluid reservoir, and the platypus works best when it is in one of these. You can use it in a normal rucksack, but because it is not so well supported, it can crease in the middle when there is less water in it, and so it is difficult to get a drink from it at this stage without rearranging your bag, which kind of defeats the object of a hands-free hydration system!
Oh, and one last thing. A platypus out of your bag looks a bit weird. I have been asked if it's a catheter before!
The Platypus Hoser is a plastic water bladder with a short plastic hose attachment capped with a flexible silicone bite cap. It comes in 3 sizes, 1L, 2L and 3L and is designed to fit easily into a rucksack. In fact, many modern rucksacks come with a specially designed section for water bladders or at least a hook in the main section to attach the bladder to. The Platypus Hoser is designed to allow for easy access to water while hiking, biking or climbing without the need to stop and extract a water bottle from your rucksack.
It is easy to use, simply remove the hose, fill with water or other liquid, reattach the hose and then place top down into the rucksack and attach the hose the one of the arm straps. While walking you can then simply bite down on the silicone cap and drink the water. In my experience the Hoser does not add any plasticy taste to the water, and the bite cap has a very inoffensive taste.
Depending on the length of my hiking trip, I will take a 2L Hoser, and either 1 or 2 1L Platypus bladders with sports bottle caps tucked into side pouches of my rucksack filled with fruit squash to drink when I break for lunch, when cooking in the evening or if the main bladder runs out of water.
If you are planning on using them in very cold environments (for instance while ice climbing or winter mountaineering), you may find that the exposed sections of the hose may freeze, however it possible to purchase insulation tubing designed for water bladder hoses in outdoor shops which will reduce the chances of the hose freezing.
I have been using my current set of Platypus water bladders for the past 3 years, and have never had reason to complain about the quality of the materials or design, and have never had any real problems while using them on trips. I bought these water bladders from the Cotswold Outdoors shop in Nottingham 3 years ago, and paid around 15 pound for the 2L bladder and 10 pounds each for the 1L bladder.
Thank you for reading
Platypus 2L water bag or Hoser as the official name says. In a nut shell I love mine. I've had it for about 3 years now and used in all seasons and areas of the UK as well as in the Italian Dolomites. Basically how it works is you fill up the bladder with water (I also like to add a multi vitamin fizzy tablet to aid taste and to help replace salts etc lost through sweat) screw the tube on and fit it into your rucsac. Place it upside down - screw top first- in the main part of your rucsac (most have specific compartments now) with the hose leading out through the top or specific hole in the rucsac. Attach the hose to your rucsac strap and bingo you have water on the move without having to stop and unpack your bag, fantastic when climbing. Hints and tips include have a minimum of tube outside your bag to avoid tangles and looking too daft, replace the clear hosing with green to avoid algae build up and the efferscent tablet tip above. The only disadvantages I have found are that it freezes when too cold and you cant see how much you have left, but the 2L will last for most full days in the mountains. And don't forget they can be filled with something a little stronger to get round the no glass rules at festivals and the such.... Happy drinking :-)
I'm sure I have mentioned a couple of times now that my partner and myself are lovers of the great outdoors and venture off most weekends on interesting walks around the cairngorms / highlands of Scotland as we are a mere 90 minute drive away from some of the most spectacular scenery there is.
I'm a strong believer that if you're going to embark on any outdoor activity such as walking then you need to have the right equipment such as the appropriate clothing, footwear, rucksack and accessories for example a hydration pack.
I'm sure everyone knows that it is important when engaging in any form of exercise to keep your body hydrated, My partner and I both own rucksacks that are compatible with hydration packs so we decided to purchase the platypus hoser 1 litre - a hands free hydration pack that you can fit into your rucksack.
==What is Platypus==
The Platypus range is a US manufactured product and is part of Cascade designs specialising in hand held and hands free hydration, water filtration and storage, wine preservation and accessories. The platypus hoser is part of their hands free hydration range and was awarded the Best Hydration System Brand in 2005.
==What makes up the Platypus hydration pack==
The Platypus hydration pack is basically a flexible plastic bladder that can hold 1 litre of liquid including frozen liquid and fruit juices without the risk of harming the reservoir and can easily be inserted into backpacks that are hydration pack compatible. There is a screw top attachment with a hose attached directly into it which has a bite valve on the end for starting and stopping the flow of liquid through the hose.
Our Backpacks are designed to contain hydration backpacks and so there is a hole in the top of our backpacks shoulder straps that has been specifically sized for the hose and bite valve of the hydration pack to pass through it and there is also a clip attached to the hose that you can clip onto your shoulder strap to keep the hose in place once you've found a suitable position.
===Filling it up===
To fill up the hydration pack, all you have to do is unscrew the cap and hose attachment and fill it with water or diluting juice or a drink of your choice. The hoser has a vertical design and so fits snugly into the main part of your backpack in an upright position. Of course you will need to reattach the cap and hose before you put the pack into your backpack. Feed the tube through the top of the backpack and clip into a position that you find comfortable and accessible so that you're not constantly looking for the bite valve when you're out walking.
===Ease of use===
Basically because you can clip the hose onto your backpack, when you're out walking, this product could not be simpler to use. All you have to do to rehydrate yourself when you're feeling a bit thirsty is simply bite down on the bite valve and drink - kind of like you would with a push pull cap bottle. As soon as you stop drinking and release your bite, no liquid escapes and you can just carry on walking without even thinking about it. It's so convenient as it means you don't have to go in and out of your bag looking for a bottle of water, the hose is right there and you don't have to stop at all to take a drink.
==Value for Money==
The Platypus hoser that I use I've had for more than a year now and I paid twelve ninety nine for it at the beginning of last year and have climbed 12 munros since it's purchase so I think I'm getting good usage and good value for money out of it. It's durable and I can't see myself needing to replace it for a long time.
==Would I recommend it==
Absolutely yes - if you're into your outdoor activities and are looking for something convenient and not too expensive to satisfy your hydration needs then I definitely would look into buying a platypus hoser, which you can use when out walking or jogging or even cycling so it is for multi purpose use.
===Where can you buy===
You can buy hydration packs from most outdoor shops, and there are a range of stockists on line. The ones I have seen vary from 1 litre versions to 3 litre versions so depending on how strenuous your activity is going to be will depend on what size you buy. I find that the 1 litre is a good option for hill walkers as it seems to hold just enough to quench my thirst when I'm out and about.
The Platypus hoser is designed to remove that terrible chore of actually getting a water bottle out to have a drink. It is a tough plastic pouch attached to a tube with a bite valve on the end. You bite it, suck and water comes. Praise be! The suprising thing was a lack of plasticy taste in the water. It came out tasting much the same way as it did when I put it in. Which is excellent. Previous experience has lead me to believe that plastic water bottles were always doomed to make water taste like the leftovers from a nuclear winter. Not so in this case. Strike one for the Platypus. The bite valve was easy to use, and didn't leak at any point during testing. Its silicone type texture was pleasant and taste free, leaving me to concentrate on getting that much needed fluid into my system, rather than thinking how odd the thing jammed into my mouth was. Stike two. The greatest thing was that my frequency of drinking was greatly increased due to the increased ease. This lead to me being more hydrated, and more able to enjoy the climbs and scrambles. As far as I can see, this is the biggest benefit of hydration systems. The only cons are that the screw on cap looks a little flimsy, and as my rucksack does not have a hydration pocket, the 1.8l pack has to be jammed into a side pocket. Otherwise, this clean tasting and easy to use system deserves a look in, as it has alterered the way I look at hydration on the mountain (no more dented metal bottles for me ;-)