The Full Force and Propel hydration reservoirs come with a pump near the mouthpiece, great for filling Fido’s bowl.

Is it a stretch to say that HydraPak has made a breakthrough in staying hydrated on the trail? (Short of them coming up with the long-talked-about “dehydrated water”  — which they haven’t)?

You might think. But then you’d see the line of creative water holding devices they’ve come up with and you can understand when Rich Chisholm, one of our product managers, says:

“They’ve got a grab bag of innovations.”

HydraPak may not be a household name, but they’ve been in the water retention business for years, supplying bladders to some of the top makers of hydration packs — Osprey, Patagonia, and Salomon among them. A few years ago, they decided to offer their own branded line of bottles and reservoirs. Now, they’ve upped their game.

Since HydraPak make reservoirs for some of the top hydration pack manufacturers, they already have some of the features you love in trail hydration: bite valves that lock and don’t leak; secure hose connectors that, likewise, don’t allow seepage; sturdy reservoirs. For access into the reservoir, they employ a side-seal system: the top of the reservoir opens completely and is secured, zipper-style, by a plastic slider.

Here are some features that make the HydraPak reservoirs stand out:

Pressurized hydration nozzle. For certain reservoirs, on the drink tube near the mouthpiece is a tube-shaped silicone bulb that fits neatly into your palm. Make a fist, pump once and water squirts out the mouthpiece. Think about it: filing Fido’s collapsible water bowl, giving water to a friend who’s gone dry — even just a spritz in the face on a cool day — all become easier with this nifty innovation. Comes on HydraPak’s Full-Force™ 2L and 3L, and Propel™ 2L and 3L reservoirs.

Plug-N-Play™ hose connector. You know how when you want to fill your reservoir you have to go through the effort to thread your drink tube through the slots and straps that secure it to your shoulder strap and pack? With the HydraPak Plug-N-Play™ system, you detach the hose from the base of the reservoir (there’s an auto shutoff valve to to keep your bladder from dribbling). Might seem like a small thing — unless you regularly go through the ritual of threading a drink tube through a maze of snug straps. 

Bladders can be frozen or filled with hot water. For years, one of the summertime advantages of a bottle was that you could fill it three-quarters full, leave it in the freezer over night, top off before heading out for your hike, then have refreshing, cold water for most of your hike. Now, you can just stick your sturdy Thermoplastic Polyurethane bladder in the freezer. (Keeps your back cool, too.) And the thought of packing 2 liters of hot coffee on an early morning hike … be still, my heart. 

Bladders are reversible. If you’re like me, your first thought is probably, “Why’s that a big deal?” Because you can wash it more easily. Oh yeah … wash it. If you’re of a mind that a little bacteria isn’t a bad thing, then consider this: If you’re a fan of sugary electrolyte drinks, you can now put them in your bladder, then, afterward, take the bladder out, reverse it and pop it in the dishwasher — residual electrolyte drink taste vanquished!

Keep the camp in water with the Expedition™

Expedition™ 8L water storage device. Our GetBackpacking! group does a lot of group trips. We get into camp mid to late afternoon and one of the first things everyone does is scramble for water. Scramble, because usually there’s only one, maybe two, decent stream access points to collect water. Elbows are thrown, someone may inadvertently get tripped as the clamor begins. With HydraPak’s Expedition 8L there’s a much more civil way to secure water. One person is dispatched with the group gravity filter to collect. They return and feed it into the Expedition 8L. When the filter drains, another backpacker is dispatched to again fill the gravity filter, and so on until the Expedition is full. It’s durable, it’s got web handles to help with toting (especially good when it’s full), it’s got a gauge on the side so you can tell (for sure) how much water you have, and it only weighs 9 ounces. Not only will you have ample water for cooking and drinking, but cleaning dishes (and yourself) becomes that much easier.

The Stash

Stash™ and Stow™ flexible water bottles. Especially when you’re backpacking, you like to have a water bottle at the ready and one or two in reserve, for camp. You don’t fill the reserve bottles, but they still take up a lot of real estate in your modest 50L pack. Not these, which are made of a supple, yet durable thermoplastic polyurethane that squishes down. The traditional bottle-shaped Stash bottles (750 ML and 1L), for instance, can be twisted and collapsed to a quarter their filled size. In addition to taking up a quarter the space, they weigh about half as much as more traditional hiking water bottles. Plus, the squishy sides are easier to grip than a hard-bodied water bottle. They also include a gauge (in ML) on the side to help you measure water, especially helpful for backcountry cooking. 

Learn more about the HydraPak line here.