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  1. #1

    Default Bottles vs. Bladders

    I'm a section hiker and love my 3L water bladder. But, I'm starting to rethink this and wonder what you guys think the pros and cons are of bottles vs. bladders. I'm carrying a Granite Gear Vapor Trail so it's not easy to reach anything in my side pockets. I like to have water within reach but it's probably not a bad idea to stop and grab your water and take a breather at times.

    Let's hear some good arguments on both sides.

  2. #2

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    I used to use a hydration bladder, in the hydration pouch in my bag, but it got to be such a pain to pull all my gear out each time I needed to refill that it wasn't worth it. Also the bag becomes pretty useless in camp, when I just want to drink out of a normal bottle that stands upright. So I've ditched the bladder and now use a small Nalgene (in Winter so I can put boiling water in it) or a soda bottle for water while hiking (I don't carry much water these days, just camel up at sources) and a large (64 oz) Gatorade bottle on a lanyard in camp. The Gatorade bottle just hangs on the back of my pack, empty, while I hike... Then the last source I hit before camp I fill it and throw it in the top of my pack.

    So far this system works well, but on trips where I need to carry more water I'll have to rethink.

  3. #3
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    Bungee a 20 oz Gatoraide bottle to your packstrap and be done with it. I only use a zip-type platy for water in camp. Simple and easy.

  4. #4
    Registered User patman25's Avatar
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    I was doing the platy bottles in my side pockets, but I've decided to go with a 3L bladder in my pack. I figured out that if I take the mouth piece off, my katadyn pump filter tube fits perfectly into my bladder drinking tube and I can pump the water straight into my bladder and never have to remove it.

  5. #5
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    bladders appear, to me, to be infernal gadgetry. Bottles, even re-used gatorade bottles, are simple and elegant.

    baldders allow you to sip small amounts as i walk, with bottles i seem to hike for a period of time and then stop and gulp ( usually too much ) and then feel bloated.

    I perform better sipping. Midday I will check the amount left in the bladder, i will reflect, for a moment, on the simplicity and elegance of bottles, and then go back to hiking............

    a philosopher once said "Its only drinking" ( if he didn't say it, he should have )

  6. #6
    PCT 2013, most of AT 2011, rest of AT 2014
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    I think I stay hydrated better when I have a bladder with a hose, and the water also stays cooler inside your pack in hot weather than bottles on the outside do, but there are two big problems with them: bigger risk of mechanical failure, especially leaking all over the inside of the pack (which can range from a minor inconvenience to a serious problem depending on where you are); and being pretty time-consuming and awkward to take out and refill. I prefer just bottles now for the simplicity/durability factor. But it took a while to teach myself to reach back to sip from them more often.
    "Hahk your own hahk." - Ron Haven

    "The world is a book, of which those who do not travel read only a page." - St. Augustine

    http://www.scrubhiker.com/

  7. #7
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Why not both? I have a 2l camelbak bladder in 1 side pocket and a 1l gatorade bottle in the other side pocket. I typically drink form the bladder while walking and drink from the bottle during breaks or lunch (use it to mix sports drink).

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by flemdawg1 View Post
    Why not both? I have a 2l camelbak bladder in 1 side pocket and a 1l gatorade bottle in the other side pocket. I typically drink form the bladder while walking and drink from the bottle during breaks or lunch (use it to mix sports drink).
    This................

  9. #9
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    I have found that I like both bladders and bottles. I fill my bladder before i start and then again at night when I stop (while the pack is empty or almost). During the day if I need to refill I use 2 collapsible 1L bottles.

  10. #10
    Clueless Weekender
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    I carry one Nalgene bottle, because once in a while I want to put a sock (or something else insulating) around it and put a hot drink in it. I don't carry a thermos. Also, a Nalgene bottle fits the flange on my water filter, so it's convenient to pump into. I typically don't carry more than one Nalgene bottle, because Nalgene bottles are heavy.

    In mild weather, I carry a 2 litre Camelbak, because I like the convenience of drinking from a hose. I'm like the previous poster in that respect: I've never been able to practice "camel up", because I can't just slam down a litre of cold water without feeling queasy. Being able to take a sip or two without even breaking stride works much better for me. The Camelbak hose fits the nipple on my water filter, so I can pump directly into it, but I usually decant from the Nalgene, because I find that easier to organize. I don't like discovering that I've fumbled the bite valve into the mud beside the spring. If I were a Real Hiker rather than a clueless weekender, I'd probably have the routine rehearsed better.

    If that convenience doesn't appeal to you, you probably want to dispense with the bladder and carry another lightweight (Gatorade or something) bottle or two. Which is what I do if it's cold enough that I worry about having my hose freeze up: I leave the bladder at home and carry another water container or two. Since I'm talking about winter now, I'll mention that in winter, every water container but one rides inside the pack somewhere near my back for warmth. The one I'm drinking from rides where I can reach it easily, upside down so that if it freezes partway, the ice won't block the opening of the bottle. Of course, I don't bring my water filter in freezing cold, and switch to Aqua Mira instead.

    I usually carry more water weight than I should. I hate running out, and often arrive at a water source with a litre untouched. Which is 2 pounds of excess pack weight. I need to work on that, probably. I still find it a little difficult to predict how much I'll drink and how reliable the next water source is. This failing also identifies me a a clueless weekender. A Real Hiker would need a litre less water storage than I do, probably.

    It's important to distinguish bottles easily by touch. For me:
    • 1 litre Nalgene - water, coffee, tea, reconstituted sport drink, ... something potable, anyway.
    • Camelbak - water only, ever.
    • 1 litre soft drink or sport drink bottles - water.
    • 22 oz wide mouth sport drink bottle (carried in winter only) - so I don't have to get out of my tent on bitterly cold nights.
    • 8 oz, 12 oz, or half litre Poland Spring bottle (label removed and replaced with a hazmat label, and the cap colored red with a Sharpie) - methanol for the stove. The larger sizes are for cooking for two on a 3- or 4-day clueless weekend; the 8 oz is fine if I'm solo.
    • Square discount-store squeeze bottle - olive oil.
    • Smaller round discount-store squeeze bottle - honey if I'm bringing it.
    • Even smaller drugstore dropping bottle - hot sauce if I'm bringing it. Which is usually. Sometimes you just need to make trail glop taste like something.
    • Dr Bronner's liquid soap bottle - Dr Bronner's soap. The Dr Bronner's has a flip-top, the honey has a pull-up top and the hot sauce has an eyedropper top, so they're not readily confused. (Sleepily squeezing Dr Bronner's onto breakfast oatmeal is an experience I do not care to repeat.)
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by flemdawg1 View Post
    Why not both? I have a 2l camelbak bladder in 1 side pocket and a 1l gatorade bottle in the other side pocket. I typically drink form the bladder while walking and drink from the bottle during breaks or lunch (use it to mix sports drink).
    Yep, that's my Modus Operandus

    but make sure you don't use soap to clean out the bladder, and if you do, make sure it's cleaned out real well...real well

    lest you use up all your Tums on the first day out, and burp bubbles...ugh!
    Last edited by rocketsocks; 04-18-2013 at 17:00.

  12. #12
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    Depends on how you think of bottles and bladders. I have a Cascade Designs 2L Platypus BOTTLE for in camp. http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus/b...bottle/product It folds up to about the size of two matchbooks, weighs 1.3 oz, has a screw top cap, and is 100 % BPA FREE. I store it folded up in the exterior rear shovel pocket of my backpack when not in use. When I have it filled with water it goes in the same rear shovel pocket. This works for me because I don't want ANY interior pack volume taken up with the volume of water. I also don't want any gear inside my pack getting wet from water. So this bladder has the advantage of being collapsible, light wt, and taking up VERY LITTLE VOLUME when not in use. This size cost about $10-12. I personally have had VERY VERY FEW leakage problems with Cascade Designs Collapsible Water Bladders and I hike extensively throughout the U.S. with it. I consider it a durable dependable UL water bladder.

    On my go to 3 season Backpack, the ULA CDT, there are plastic D-rings and 4 bungees that come stock from ULA on the shoulder harness. Two bungees on each shoulder strap. http://www.ula-equipment.com/cdt.asp I have cut off the two top bungees one on each shoulder strap and attach a Nite-Ize S Mini Carabiner or cheapy spring loaded biner on each shoulder strap from the D-rings.


    To each biner I attach a plastic or light wt aluminum 1L bottle with a screw cap with a ring hole.
    Earth and Health Safe Water Bottles

    Biking, playing basketball, running on the treadmill, kicking a ball on the field, or shooting nine holes: you've probably got a bottle full of water nearby, right? Either you bought the water for around $2, or you're toting a reusable sports bottle around with you. The first option means you're not only spending hundreds of dollars a year, you're also supporting an industry that wastes almost one trillion gallons of water worldwide annually just producing the plastic! Likewise, the thick plastic bottles you pick up at sporting goods stores likely contain a leaching chemical known as Bisphenol A, or BPA. BPA has been evaluated as a hormone and endocrine disruptor that's especially dangerous for children and pregnant women. More than just BPA, the plastic industry contributes to some of the most toxic chemical releases into the air, including styrene, benzene, trichloroethane, sulfur oxides, nitrous oxides, methanol, ethylene oxide, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).


    If you're an athlete who's dedicated to sports and physical fitness, you know good health and hydration go hand-in-hand. But if you want to protect the earth and prevent further environmental damage caused by the plastic industry, you need to throw out your reusable plastic water bottles.

    STAINLESS STEEL WATER BOTTLES

    Stainless steel is clean, stable, and durable, and does not interact with the fluids it comes into contact with. In addition, stainless steel is one of the most easily recycled materials available.

    Kid Basix: Winner of the Mom's Best Award, the Kid Basix Safe Sporter™ is made of food-grade 304 stainless steel and contains no BPA or phthalates. This super fancy, ultra sleek water bottle also features an easy-pull sports spout, a mud cap, a wide mouth, a TPR sleeve to provide insulation, and a plastic coaster that fits in cup holders. More to its credit, this easy-to-clean water bottle can be hand washed or placed in the dishwasher.

    Klean Kanteen: Made from 18/8, food-grade, unlined, nonleaching, high-grade stainless steel, Klean Kanteen water canisters come in a variety of sizes and designs, and even have a number of eco-friendly cap options to choose from. Klean Kanteens are also free of BPA, phthalates, lead, and other toxins, and they don't retain or impart any flavors. The water canisters easily fit in most cup holders, they are easy to wash, they are dishwasher safe, and because of the rounded corners, there are no hard angles where dirt, germs, or bacteria can hide.

    ALUMINUM WATER BOTTLES

    Aluminum water bottles can be recycled and are relatively inexpensive. True, aluminum extraction is an energy-intensive process, so the bottles should be re-used as much as possible to extend their life.

    SIGG: Swiss-based SIGG makes sleek aluminum canisters lined with a water-based, food-grade coating said to be free of bisphenol A. In addition, these cool-looking bottles keep their contents cooler so your water tastes crisp and clean, and quenches your thirst. An important aspect of SIGG bottles is that they come in all sizes, with screw-on or sport caps, and even feature little kid sizes with child-friendly designs on them. To keep these bottles reusable, SIGG also offers replacement lids, brushes, mud caps, and carabiners.

    Gaiam: These simple, yet sleek, lightweight aluminum water bottles are 100 percent recyclable in most areas, including the caps, and are free of unhealthy plastic residues. Gaiam is a trusted source and brand for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) participants and eco-conscious consumers. These incredibly affordable, reusable aluminum bottles are available in several designs, with a few different cap options as well.

    Comments:

    Watch documentary titled "Plastic Planet": This documentary examines the ways in which plastic saturates our modern lives, and how our dependency on this petroleum product harms ourselves and our planet. See how plastic's toxic chemicals enter the food chain and other disturbing secrets.

    None of plastic products is safe ! They ALL release chemicals that harmful to humans and nature. You should not use any plastic for your products. Alternative is to make it all stainless steel or use silicone(hope silicone is safe).



    Comment




    The bungee goes around the bottom of the 1L bottle to keep it from swaying back and forth out of control. Makes access to water while hiking the simplest and easiest I know how WHILE ALSO TAKING UP NO VOLUME IN MY PACK. Hauling water this way with it attached to the shoulder straps and in the exterior rear shovel pocket is one of the factors that has enabled me to go to a smaller volume and hence lighter wt Backpack like the ULA CDT.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by beaudetious View Post
    I'm a section hiker and love my 3L water bladder. But, I'm starting to rethink this and wonder what you guys think the pros and cons are of bottles vs. bladders. I'm carrying a Granite Gear Vapor Trail so it's not easy to reach anything in my side pockets. I like to have water within reach but it's probably not a bad idea to stop and grab your water and take a breather at times.

    Let's hear some good arguments on both sides.
    My wife and I both carry the vapor trail. I pack all of my stuff loose, meaning no stuff sacks. The Platypus 2L with the hose that snaps off is ideal for the Vapor Trail set up. Also, I use smaller bottles in the side drink sleeves on the side and only really carry one, mainly a gatorade bottle so it slides in an out when I reach back. Putting some huge nalgene wont work well.

  14. #14
    Registered User Theosus's Avatar
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    I have a camelback 3L and a sawyer inline gravity filter. Typically I just leave the camelback in the pack, pull out my "dirty water" bag, plug the filter into it, and pull off the camelback's bite valve, letting the water drain into it inside my pack. I love sipping and walking, I drink a lot that way, but it's hard to know how much is left in there, so I wind up lugging around too much water most of the time. My other choice is my 1L bottle and steripen. Much simpler... but then I have to do this awkward reach back, get the water, drink it, and do the awkward shove-back-in-the-side-pocket move while trying not to drop anything. I dont drink as much walking, I usually get thirsty and wait until I stop somewhere.
    Im going hiking in a week, and I'm still trying to decide what to take. Im leaning towards the bottle and steripen, just because there's lots of water at acceptable intervals.
    Please don't read my blog at theosus1.Wordpress.com
    "I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Thank God for Search and Rescue" - Robert Frost (first edit).

  15. #15

    Default This SOLVES the problem!!

    I too have pulled the bladder out of my pack for 3 reasons: can't see how much water is left, stopped carrying the brick of a katadyn pump filter, and I found something that is AMAZING!!!!!!!!! to replace the bladder. Jetflow.com

    This thing is awesome. It allows me to use my Nalgene in my side pockets with a sipping tube. I can use Nalgenes in camp and then screw them on the Jetflow manifold and put it in the side pockets of my pack. I see how much water I have left and I can use the adapters that come with it and screw on a Gatorade bottle when I stop in town, drink the Gatorade through the sipping tube, then hook a Nalgene of water back up to it and it cleans out all the Gatorade residue.


  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by patman25 View Post
    I was doing the platy bottles in my side pockets, but I've decided to go with a 3L bladder in my pack. I figured out that if I take the mouth piece off, my katadyn pump filter tube fits perfectly into my bladder drinking tube and I can pump the water straight into my bladder and never have to remove it.
    I never thought to try this. I'll check to see if my drinking tube fits my Katadyn Pro filter. Might make life a bit easier.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flemdawg1 View Post
    Why not both? I have a 2l camelbak bladder in 1 side pocket and a 1l gatorade bottle in the other side pocket. I typically drink form the bladder while walking and drink from the bottle during breaks or lunch (use it to mix sports drink).
    That's what I do now except my bladder is inside the pack and I carry a 1/2 L nalgene for Gatorade and measuring my cooking water.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco Taco View Post
    My wife and I both carry the vapor trail. I pack all of my stuff loose, meaning no stuff sacks. The Platypus 2L with the hose that snaps off is ideal for the Vapor Trail set up. Also, I use smaller bottles in the side drink sleeves on the side and only really carry one, mainly a gatorade bottle so it slides in an out when I reach back. Putting some huge nalgene wont work well.
    What are "drink sleeves" and where and how do you attach them to the pack?

  19. #19

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    Why choose....carry both. I too have a 3L bladder in my pack and yes it's a huge pain to pull out to refill. Why take it out?? A few quick disconnects and my sawyer squeeze filter and gravity bag connect right to the drinking hose. I just hang the bag on a convenient limb above my pack and let it filter right back into the bladder. Works like a champ. I did the same thing before with my Hiker Pro. I figured out there's about 40 pumps/L so 120 pumps and the bladder is full.

    I carry a smartwater bottle for mixing beverage powder or just something handy to keep near the hammock for a drink in the middle of the night. I just picked up a Z-packs multi-pack (front pack/pocket) so I plan on keeping a little extra water in there since the side pockets of my Osprey Exos don't really hold the bottles very well and are a pain for me to access while hiking. The other nice thing about the smartwater bottles is that if my water bag breaks I can always fill the bottle with dirty water, screw on the sawyer, and I'm back to drinking. This gives me a little backup capability in case the bladder breaks, water bag breaks, or other problems pop up.

  20. #20
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    I plan to carry both as well. A 2L Platypus bladder and a wide mouth nalgene. I know some of you will say the Nalgene is too heavy, but I plan to use it for cooking and with the wide mouth I can presoak beans for Ham and beans for dinner, and share with my friends.
    Blackheart

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