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The platypus hoser has been around for a few years now, I had mine for around 4 years now and its been a faithful friend, but now I have to get rid of it as its starting to go abit mank on the inside and I did not buy the proper cleaning kit and so im worried that it may have some balck dot mould in it...but I must stress that this is after some many years of use and if I had bothered to clean it properly then it would still be clean obviously. The other reason I had to lose mine was that I have gone from trekking to Mountaineering in some pretty cold places and so the platypus hoser can no longer support my needs.
The Platypus Hoser is manufactured by agreat company called Cascade Designs based in Seattle, USA. The had the bright idea of creating a bag thats holds water and can be drunk from easily because you lose allot of water on a hike and having to get a bottle out all the time if a pain in the back side. They also make the Thermarest blow up camping mattresses, of which I have a couple and are very innovative in this art of the industry as well.
The Platypus hoser is essentially a thick transparent plastic bag that is used to transport water whilst you are climbing or hiking It is made up of two main parts. There is the think plastic bag bladder, it comes in 1, 1.8, 2 or 3 litre sizes - the plastic is Polyethylene, like you get on microwave meals, except thicker. I have the 2 litre version and this seems to be enough for a full days trekking in temperate climates. The seam of the plastic bag goes along the outside as it is in fact 2 parts, but It has never split even though I packed a lot of water into it and then stuffed it into over-packed bags. The other part is a blue think plastic tube made of the same material, it is roughly half a metre in length and is thin to fit through most bag hydration slits at the tops of bags. Its best not to over load the bags too much, or to put sharp object like crampons or an ice ax next to it just to be safe. I think it would take quite a puncture to get through it though. The top of the bag seals like a re-sealable sandwich bag, except heavier and more robust, you then have a plastic sliding mechanism that you slide across the seam to properly seal it, as long as it is centred and in the right place there should be no leaking. The plastic sealer is held on with a piece of rope so you cannot lose it, and in the time I had the hoser, this slim rope never frayed. The sealer also has a handle on it so you can hold the hoser upright to drink from the very bottom or you can lay it flat I the bag.
At the end of the blue sucker pipe is a mouthpiece made of clean rubbery PVC plastic. It is easy to clean the outside, but after 4 years I had some grit in the inside of the mechanism and could never really get it out. I never tasted any nastiness though.
My 2 litre version cost around £18 back then, I think it may have gone up past 20 pounds now, and you should be able to get the hoser from most.
It is a bugger to clean without the official pipe cleaning kit that you can purchase, I tended to rinse it all out thoroughly, blow through the pipe to get as much fluid out as possible and put tissue on the inside to dry it out as the remaining water would not evaporate entirely even if you hang the bag upside down, the top slit stays shut enough even without the sealer to prevent much evaporation.
I loved this piece of kit initially but after I started to climb higher mountains the fluid in the slim blue pipe would freeze easily and stop the flow of water making the hoser excess pointless weight until I got down lower. I did buy the insulation kit, but it didn't work, more on that in another review.
Water bladders are really great inventions and Platypus are a great brand for durability and price.
If you are taking part in Ten Tors/Duke of Edinburgh or are an avid walker/rambler you will already know the advantages of a water bladder over a bottle, they provide easy access to liquid on the move making you drink more and keeping you hydrated. Platypus bladders are built very well and the one I had last me a good five years or more but now is starting to leak so I replace it with a different brand. In all honesty Source, Camelback and Platypus are all very good, it just all depends upon what features you're after and what is on offer/the cheapest at the time. All of these brands include bite valves and the recommended amount to take for a full day exped is 2ltrs and as a leader 3 wouldn't hurt. Many rucksack manufacturers now include water bladder compatibility making it ever easier to integrate the bladder into your rucksack.
Overall I would recommend this water bladder but before the purchase ask for some advice and weigh up price, features etc... before choosing one brand over the other.
When I first saw this item in a shop I thought to myself "WHY" but soon realised this is a fantastic idea.
The Platypus Hoser is basically a water holder for when you out walking, biking or even running if you run with a rucksack.
You fill the bag with water or whatever drink you like (don't recommend alcohol if your walking).
Once you have filled you bag you tip it upside down so the hose is on the bottom and place it into your rucksack. Now feed the top of the hose either through a hole in the top of your rucksack or just out of the top of it. There is a small clip on the hose which you can clip to your clothing or rucksack strap. Then when your ready for a drink just put the hose in your mouth gently bite the mouth piece to open it up and suck it like a straw.
The mouth piece is designed so that nothing can get into the hose when you're not using it. There would be nothing worse than sucking the hose wanting to get a nice refreshing drink only to discover that there is a wasp in it.
The unit is very easy to clean but I do recommend that every now and then you sterilize it.
There are a number of different sizes you can buy from 1 litre up to 3 litres.
Using this devise is a lot better than having to stop and take your rucksack off get your drink out then have to put everything back in and set off again.
A big problem with walkers is dehydration so having this in your rucksack is a great idea.
Water, that is. Experts tell us we should drink at least 8 pints of water a day. They also tell us that on a walk, we should carry at least 2 litres (about 4 pints) and drink regularly. In summer, take even more. If a muscle becomes just 3% dehydrated, it loses nearly half of its power. For every 1000 kCal of energy you use, you should replace it with 1/2 a litre of water. In summer, double that - you lose a lot through sweating as well. When you start feeling thirsty, it's too late. And of course, if you've been in the pub the night before, you'll be feeling thirsty straight away (not to mention the hangover!) What all these facts and figures mean is that you should make sure you drink enough while you're walking. But I'll confess, along with hundreds of others, that I don't drink nearly enough. My normal water bottle is 1 litre, and sometimes it's come home untouched. And then on really hot days, it's not been nearly enough. The problem is the bottle. Most of the time it's in the pocket in your rucksack. Having a drink means stopping, taking your rucksack off, digging the bottle out, then having a drink. Then put the bottle back, put the rucksack back on, and get going again. Most people couldn't be bothered, and on some places it isn't practical, or even isn't safe, to stop and take your rucksack off. One solution is a bottle carrier on the rucksack's belt. A handy solution, it means you don't have to offload to get your drink. But you'd still have to stop - it's not easy walking in a straight line with a bottle in your face! And most of these carriers can't take much more than a one-litre bottle. The real answer is in hands-free kits. The Platypus Hoser is one of these - the water is held in a plastic pouch in your rucksack, and a plastic tube runs from it to somewhere you can keep handy - most people clip it onto the rucksack strap. So when you want a drink,
you just unclip the tube, and you can carry on walking while you're drinking. That's the theory of it. So now I'll actually review the thing. Unlike normal bottles, the Platypus series isn't rigid, so it can squeeze into any space you have in your rucksack. My 1.8-litre pouch fits perfectly into the pocket my old 1-litre rigid bottle squeezed into. It also means it's lighter. Another handy thing about not being rigid is that as you drink the water from it, it shrinks down (since no air goes back in, as with a normal bottle). So if it's only half-full, it only takes up half the space. And when it's empty, it can be folded up and stored away. Being soft plastic like this, you might think it would split of burst easily. Not so. You could jump on it, sit on it, throw it off a cliff, and as long as you don't stick a crampon spike through it, your water will stay put. I've known some people to use the larger sizes as a pillow! The Platypus pouch is made of a triple-layer laminate with welded seams, so it's virtually indestructible. You can boil or freeze water in the pouch and it won't break. You might also expect a plasticky taste on the water after it's been sat in the pouch. Nope - you just get plain water (or whatever you put in it) with no added extras. The only problem is the water sat in the tube - on a hot day, the first few mouthfuls will be horribly warm. Handy hint - when you've finished drinking, blow through the tube to push the water back into the pouch. This is also recommended in the winter, to stop water sat in the tube from freezing up and making the tube useless. The makers recommend just using plain water, since the pouch can absorb flavours, and if you fill it with something sticky (such as juice), it's a pain to clean it, especially the tube. The Platypus comes in various sizes and forms. The sizes I know of are 1, 1.8, 2 and 2.6 lit
res. The normal Platypus pouch is filled through the screw-cap which the tube attaches to, but you can get the Big Zip range which has a zipped opening (I don't know how water-tight that would be), so you can fill it quicker and add ice cubes. The normal Platypus is just the pouch on its own without a tube - for these you can buy the tube separately to convert it to a Hoser. Other attachments include a shower attachment - put the tube somewhere above you, with the extra gadget, and squeeze the pouch (preferably filled with warm water). Or for using it during the winter, there's an insulator for the tube, to stop it freezing up. Or you could take the bite valve off the tube and attach it to a water filter - handy for countries where the water is polluted. Back to the normal drinking tube. The end of the tube has a bite valve - squeeze it with your teeth and suck through it. You get a surprising amount of water coming through - looking at the valve you'd expect a slow trickle. Since no air goes back into the pouch, there's no leaks. No review would be complete without the disadvantages. Luckily there aren't many. The first one I noticed was that it wasn't easy to see how much water you've got left, since the pouch stays buried in your rucksack, as compared to a normal bottle. I advise checking whenever you stop - the water is more accessible, so chances are you'll drink it faster. The other disadvantage was an obvious one. Drinking more means you'll probably need to find a toilet more often. I'll leave the rest to your imagination. That's it, I think I've described everything. There's not actually much to it, but a Platypus is an essential investment. At the time of writing, I've only used it on a walk once, and that was a hot day with a long stretch where it wouldn't be advisable to stop and take your rucksack off. It also encourages you to drink little amounts of
ten, as the experts recommend - tipping a bottle into your mouth tends to give you a few mouthfuls. Drinking from the tube, you only get as much as you want.