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windels11
01-30-2014, 23:41
Right now I'm using a 2 liter hydration pack , which I am pretty happy with. But I've been wondering why people use water bottles instead, are there any benefits to using a water bottle compared to a bladder?

HooKooDooKu
01-30-2014, 23:51
Weight.
If you are a gram weeny, there are many water bottles made thin enough today that the water bottle will hold more water per gram weight of the container than many hydration packs. After all, hydration packs are designed to be used over and over and over. Water bottles are designed for single use, though tough enough to be reused several times.

Trail Ponderer
01-30-2014, 23:55
1. Weight of bottles compared to hydration bladder.
2. Easier to see how much water you have remaining.
3. Easier to clean.

Tipi Walter
01-31-2014, 00:10
I clean both my Nalgene 48oz tritan bottle and my 2.5 liter Platypus with bleach at home but in the field I will not use a hydration bladder with the tubes and bite valves, etc due to low temps (think 0F) and the hassle that comes with water at such temps. And I don't want to bother with cleaning the tubes. And I hear stories of hydration bladders leaking in packs or at night in the tent with the bite valves.

Odd Man Out
01-31-2014, 00:19
I enjoy taking a break, sitting on a rock, looking at the view, and drinking water from a bottle. Somehow sipping from a tube in that situation just doesn't seem right.

Rocket Jones
01-31-2014, 07:04
I just prefer bottles.

pipsissewa
01-31-2014, 07:17
I thought my hydration pack was going to be the be-all-end-all. I recently switched back to two bottles hung from my shoulder straps. Why? Weight savings, yes. Being able to see how much water I have left. Yes, that too.

But the main thing I like about bottles is the weight BALANCE on the front. Water is so heavy that having it on the front really makes a difference in how I carry my load. That's my two cents, anyway. :D

mark schofield
01-31-2014, 07:31
I agree with Pipsissewa's post. And I have an Ospre Exos which is more difficult to pack properly (for me) with a bladder. So far I haven't been able to fine nice sacks/bags to slip the bottles (Gatoraid) in to hang from the sholder straps.

Tipi Walter
01-31-2014, 07:56
I enjoy taking a break, sitting on a rock, looking at the view, and drinking water from a bottle. Somehow sipping from a tube in that situation just doesn't seem right.

And you bring up an overlooked point---taking off the pack and taking a break to get to your water bottle. It's an incentive to dump the pack and relax.

pipsissewa
01-31-2014, 08:02
I agree with Pipsissewa's post. And I have an Ospre Exos which is more difficult to pack properly (for me) with a bladder. So far I haven't been able to fine nice sacks/bags to slip the bottles (Gatoraid) in to hang from the sholder straps.


I use two shock cords attached to each of my shoulder straps. The top one has a cord lock on it to make it grip tighter. The bottom one goes around the Gatorade bottle right in a groove near the bottom of the bottle. The top shock cord goes over the neck right under the cap. Works great!

Coffee
01-31-2014, 08:09
I use hydration packs for running. Every bladder I've ever owned eventually leaks. I've used both the Nathan and Camelbak bladders. This is tolerable risk on a run but not on a backpacking trip. I also like to see how much water I have and easily refill without taking off my pack.

mark schofield
01-31-2014, 09:33
any chance of a picture the next time you pack up and head out? thanks

bigcranky
01-31-2014, 09:57
Bottles are easier to use with chemical treatment, and easier to keep clean. +1 on being able to see how much I have left, too.

lonehiker
01-31-2014, 10:00
3+ quart bladder. None of the benefits, at least mentioned so far, even remotely outweigh the convenience of a bladder.

AkaMirage
01-31-2014, 10:01
And you bring up an overlooked point---taking off the pack and taking a break to get to your water bottle. It's an incentive to dump the pack and relax.

On the same token, when I'm in a rhythm and thirsty I don't want to have to stop to get a drink of water... I guess this would be different for someone who is coordinated enough to juggle two sticks and a water bottle, too though. :D

All joking aside, I just plain prefer the bladder for a couple reasons:
1. it's easy to have a drink whenever you want to, even on a grueling climb when you don't want to stop.
2. Having the bladder right up against my back in my pack helps me stay balanced.

Disadvantage: it would be more difficult than a bottle to fill directly from a water filter, if you filter your water. For this reason, I usually carry a nalgene with me too, which can also serve as a back up.

I obviously don't hike UL...

lonehiker
01-31-2014, 10:06
Disadvantage: it would be more difficult than a bottle to fill directly from a water filter, if you filter your water.


Why? I pull off the bite valve and attach my Sawyer directly to the outlet hose and gravity feed right into the bladder. This method also worked with my old General Ecology filter.

rocketsocks
01-31-2014, 10:09
Bottles are easier to use with chemical treatment, and easier to keep clean. +1 on being able to see how much I have left, too.
and cheaper, I'm starting to move away from my bladder and skip the middle man.

Turk6177
01-31-2014, 10:17
I like platypus water containers for my storage while hiking, but I use a 20 oz. gatorade bottle I affix to my backpack straps to drink from. The pros are that I always know how much water I have left. It also allows me to monitor my water intake. For example, I generally drink 10 ounces every time I take a drink. I have kind of gotten into a rhythm to where I know how much to drink to just run dry as I am approaching the next water source. That way I am not lugging more water than I need. I have used a bladder before and I have not been successful at figuring out how much water is left. At times I have run dry too soon, and at times I have ended up with over a liter left. I do have a 4l platypus that I have not put into use yet for either dry sections, or to fill up for around camp so I don't have to get water in the morning (I generally drink all mine at dinner and throughout the night). Also, if you use the sawyer squeeze filter, and one of your bags breaks, you can use a platypus in its place since the threads match. I am sure no matter what you choose, you will figure out a rhythm of your own.

RCBear
01-31-2014, 10:17
I used to think bladders were the greatest invention. Although I still use them for long dayhikes, they are way too much trouble on overnights. Weight, volume inside pack, accessibility to refill, potential leakage, cleaning, all made me switch to 2 one liter smart bottles. Plus with the mini Sawyer squeeze, you can just put the attachment on the bottle and move on down the trail quickly if need be.

Son Driven
01-31-2014, 10:29
Right now I'm using a 2 liter hydration pack , which I am pretty happy with. But I've been wondering why people use water bottles instead, are there any benefits to using a water bottle compared to a bladder?

I like being able to add, Gatorade crystals, coffee, nido, coco, honey, maple syrup, breakfast mix... to my mountain spring water. I also like knowing exactly how much water I have, rather then the unknown of what is nested inside my pack.

AkaMirage
01-31-2014, 10:50
Why? I pull off the bite valve and attach my Sawyer directly to the outlet hose and gravity feed right into the bladder. This method also worked with my old General Ecology filter.

I use an MSR Miniworks, but I guess if you had a different type of filter, or even and in-line filter, that disadvantage wouldn't be a disadvantage at all.

Tennessee Viking
01-31-2014, 13:37
I use both a Camelbak bottle, and 1 & 3 quart Platypus bladders. One being my father helped invent the Tritan plastic for most bottles now and use it primarily for my powdered drink mixes, and the bladder because I drink water like crazy.

For yourself, you will just need to decide what your desired treating/filtering method of water will be, and what kind of weight you want to carry.

The bladder is great for heavy water drinking or carrying on long distances between sources. But its going to be heavier (1-3 quarts) and require more maintenance. Treating/filtering/cleaning. You will need to pre-treat your bladder with lemon juice and bleach before using. You will need an insulating sack and tubing for winter hikes, or sleep with your water. They tend to me more durable than bottles. Duck tape fixes most leaks. Just don't get the cheap Walmart ones because the seals break easily and you can squeeze your water out from you pack weight, and plastic taste takes forever to get rid of.

Bottles are great for those who don't drink a lot of water or when you around lots of water sources. They are pretty lightweight. It will need an insulating sleeve or sleep with it during winter hikes. Other than that, water filtering/treating in bottles is a lot quicker because of the smaller volume of water. You can bretty much handwash or dishwash the bottles and bitetubes. Camelbak and Nalgene are probably the most common brands. They are somewhat durable. But if you drop one or get a good cold spell, bottles can crack. But they are getting better in durability. I have also used Mtn Dew and PowerAde/Gatorade bottles as cheap replacements.

And be sure to get a bottle that has is carabiner compatible or you can get to without having to take your pack off.

pipsissewa
01-31-2014, 17:47
any chance of a picture the next time you pack up and head out? thanks

We hiked today! Drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway (closed because of snow and ice) and hiked around Victor Fields. Set up the hammocks and had lunch.

Here are the loops I made for my daypack:

25776

The top two are ponytail loops from the dime store lark's headed on to loops on my shoulder straps. I added cord locks to tighten. The bottom two loops I tied myself with shock cord I had.

25777

I carry 40 ounces of water this way. Works great!

Kc Fiedler
01-31-2014, 21:40
I thought my hydration pack was going to be the be-all-end-all. I recently switched back to two bottles hung from my shoulder straps. Why? Weight savings, yes. Being able to see how much water I have left. Yes, that too.

But the main thing I like about bottles is the weight BALANCE on the front. Water is so heavy that having it on the front really makes a difference in how I carry my load. That's my two cents, anyway. :D

When I lead backpacking trips I never let participants dangle things from their packs front or back. Having things swinging especially heavy water bottles. Every back and forth motion throws you off balance and saps energy from the forward progress of your stride. It's inefficient.

CarlZ993
02-01-2014, 00:32
When I lead backpacking trips I never let participants dangle things from their packs front or back. Having things swinging especially heavy water bottles. Every back and forth motion throws you off balance and saps energy from the forward progress of your stride. It's inefficient.
I would think that two 20-oz water bottles on the shoulder straps would shift the hiker's center of gravity slightly forward (not necessary a bad thing) and a little up (a little more top heavy). That might make the technique a 'push' at the very least. Maybe a slight advantage. Some physics brain could probably figure it out.

Hanging stuff off the back of the back (especially if it is heavy) really shifts your center of gravity to the rear. Not good.

Personally, I use Jandd Mountaineering water bottle carriers on my hip belt. Water bottles on each side. Right at the hip. Sometimes only one is filled. Sometimes both on longer hauls.

Kc Fiedler
02-01-2014, 00:45
I'm not talking about center of gravity. I'm talking about the bottles shifting around with every step. There's a reason packs have compressions straps, it's to prevent weight shifting of gear in your pack. Letting things dangle loose on the outside defeats the whole purpose.

pipsissewa
02-01-2014, 06:52
I'm not talking about center of gravity. I'm talking about the bottles shifting around with every step. There's a reason packs have compressions straps, it's to prevent weight shifting of gear in your pack. Letting things dangle loose on the outside defeats the whole purpose.


Using two loops on each bottle (one at the neck and one at the bottom) keeps the bottles from shifting at all. My multi-day pack (a ULA Ohm 2.0) has virtually the same set-up from the manufacturer.

25788

That's what I copied for my day pack. This system works very well for me.

gumball
02-01-2014, 07:01
I use bottles, I find them to be far easier for me.

urbansix
02-01-2014, 07:09
I was using a Camelbak when I started out because 1) my pack did not have bottle pouches, and 2) I was using a pump filter, so it was convenient enough to fill the bladder without removing it from the pack. The last few years I have switched to bottle, saving quite a bit of weight ditching both the pump filter for aquamira, and the camelbak system.

I like the white Nalgene because it can take boiling water for use as a hot water bottle to cuddle up with on winter hikes. I also carry a Platypus 2 liter pouch bottle for camp water.

ladytaz
02-01-2014, 09:24
We hiked today! Drove up to the Blue Ridge Parkway (closed because of snow and ice) and hiked around Victor Fields. Set up the hammocks and had lunch.

Here are the loops I made for my daypack:

25776

The top two are ponytail loops from the dime store lark's headed on to loops on my shoulder straps. I added cord locks to tighten. The bottom two loops I tied myself with shock cord I had.

25777

I carry 40 ounces of water this way. Works great!Thanks for the pics

Kc Fiedler
02-01-2014, 10:16
Using two loops on each bottle (one at the neck and one at the bottom) keeps the bottles from shifting at all. My multi-day pack (a ULA Ohm 2.0) has virtually the same set-up from the manufacturer.

25788

That's what I copied for my day pack. This system works very well for me.

Good solution.

mark schofield
02-01-2014, 10:37
thanks for the picture

Seatbelt
02-01-2014, 10:46
It only takes one time of not getting the cap back on properly or the little rubber seal rupturing to potentially soak everything in your pack. This happened to me(once). Since then I just use a bottle and don't have the worries. It also takes extra time to partially unload the pack to retrieve the bladder and then fill it. I do carry a Nalgene 48oz bladder for water use at camp to avoid having to go back more than once to the water source, but I leave it empty while on the move.

Malto
02-01-2014, 11:17
I went from a bladder to 32 oz. gatoraid bottles. Why?
1) Lighter weight.
2) no chance of leaking inside my pack.
3) easier I drink. I keep the bottles in pouches on my hipbelt so they easily accessible.
4) reduced funk. I don't want to have to clean tubes and valves.
5) quirkier to refill. I can refill without dropping my pack.
6) water management. I can clearly see what's left.
7) ability to mix. I often will have one malto bottle and one water. I would never add Malto to a bladder.
8) cold. While you can manage a bladder in the cold, I found bottles easier.
9) expense. Basically gatoraid bottles are free if you ever drink the stuff.
10) pack volume. I have a very small volume pack and would need a larger pack.
11) weight distribution. I keep the water on my hipbelt and off of my back.

For my situation I'm not sure there is any other decision as one sided as this one.

nu2hike
02-01-2014, 11:27
I use both a bladder and SmartWater bottle! My water bladder is kept in my pack but outside the trash compactor bags that contain my gear. If it leaks the inside of the pack may get wet but my gear stays dry! I never remove it from my pack! I just hook my Sawyer mini filter to the tubing and refill it in situ! I find that I drink more using the hydration bladder than just bottles.
I keep a SmartWater bottle whack I use for flavored drinks in an outside pocket.
I've never tried attaching bottles to my shoulder straps! ThT system may work well but I don't like having too much stuff hanging on my pack! For those of you who use this method, do you find that it causes pressure on your shoulders?

Seatbelt
02-01-2014, 11:28
I went from a bladder to 32 oz. gatoraid bottles. Why?
1) Lighter weight.
2) no chance of leaking inside my pack.
3) easier I drink. I keep the bottles in pouches on my hipbelt so they easily accessible.
4) reduced funk. I don't want to have to clean tubes and valves.
5) quirkier to refill. I can refill without dropping my pack.
6) water management. I can clearly see what's left.
7) ability to mix. I often will have one malto bottle and one water. I would never add Malto to a bladder.
8) cold. While you can manage a bladder in the cold, I found bottles easier.
9) expense. Basically gatoraid bottles are free if you ever drink the stuff.
10) pack volume. I have a very small volume pack and would need a larger pack.
11) weight distribution. I keep the water on my hipbelt and off of my back.

For my situation I'm not sure there is any other decision as one sided as this one.
You said it better than I could have--I found most of these to be true for me as well---the hard way.

Nooga
02-01-2014, 16:27
1. Weight of bottles compared to hydration bladder.
2. Easier to see how much water you have remaining.
3. Easier to clean.

I agree. I prefer sports drink bottles. Just replace rather than trying to clean. Plus, with my pack, I have to basically remove half its contents to get at the bladder.

Hill Ape
02-01-2014, 16:33
i got sick of messing with bladders, gatoraide, poweraide, whatever, they work just fine

Airmed802
02-02-2014, 11:47
Easy to replace and you get to drink a Gatorade

bamboo bob
02-02-2014, 11:57
Smart Water bottles fit nicely in reachable outer pockets. Just replace them when they get yucky. I had a dude's bladder leak into my boot in a shelter one year. The dufus became a good friend. But not right away.

nu2hike
02-02-2014, 17:51
I guess it's just me but I'm unable to easily retrieve my water bottles from the side pockets of my ULA Ohm. If I'm lucky enough to finally fumble them out of the pocket there's no way in the world I can get them back in without removing my pack!
I'm considering giving the shoulder strap method a try. Ive noticed that most of you who attach their bottle to their shoulder straps use Gatorade or Powerade bottles! They're a heavier weight more substantial plastic than SmartWater but you can't connect a Sawyer Mini directly to them. Is there another brand of bottle of similar quality to the Gatorade that is compatible with the Sawyer filters ?

windels11
02-02-2014, 20:40
I went from a bladder to 32 oz. gatoraid bottles. Why? 1) Lighter weight. 2) no chance of leaking inside my pack. 3) easier I drink. I keep the bottles in pouches on my hipbelt so they easily accessible. 4) reduced funk. I don't want to have to clean tubes and valves. 5) quirkier to refill. I can refill without dropping my pack. 6) water management. I can clearly see what's left. 7) ability to mix. I often will have one malto bottle and one water. I would never add Malto to a bladder. 8) cold. While you can manage a bladder in the cold, I found bottles easier. 9) expense. Basically gatoraid bottles are free if you ever drink the stuff. 10) pack volume. I have a very small volume pack and would need a larger pack. 11) weight distribution. I keep the water on my hipbelt and off of my back. For my situation I'm not sure there is any other decision as one sided as this one. these are all great points, I think I might be converting !!

LDog
02-03-2014, 15:55
I carry two 600ml Gatorade bottles on my ULA shoulder straps, and two empty 1L Sawyer bags in my pack. I use the Sawyer mini filter and the two bags give me a spare, and extra capacity for cowboy camping, or for long hauls between water sources.

CaseyLee
02-10-2014, 16:56
I have a 3L platypus, but I was thinking it may be better to carry a couple water bottles instead. I can drink from one bottle, while the other bottle is being treated. I can also add electrolytes to the bottles when needed. My major concern is the water bottle freezing in the cold months. Thoughts?

kennyxedge
02-11-2014, 09:05
I have a 3L platypus, but I was thinking it may be better to carry a couple water bottles instead. I can drink from one bottle, while the other bottle is being treated. I can also add electrolytes to the bottles when needed. My major concern is the water bottle freezing in the cold months. Thoughts?

It can definitely happen. I use two 1L sized Smart Water bottles typically and there were a few nights where I woke up and they were partially frozen. I've heard of people putting them in their sleeping bags with them to help keep them from freezing.