.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Friday, 12 March 2010

Leaky bladder problems...........

...........you've guessed it isn't my own, of course! But a niggling problem with a hydration bladder in my rucksack.

Originally, many moons ago. I bought myself a Platypus. What a great bit of kit! It was easy to get replacement parts (a lost mouthpiece etc.) and not too difficult to keep clean with some Milton tablets.

During the time of the Platypus I also bought a water carrying rucksack made by Jack Wolfskin and it had its own bag. (To be honest, I liked the paw-print and the name of the bag  'Fata Morgana'). 

Last ski season, and plenty of seasons before, I used the 'Fata' bag for skiing until one day I discovered I was skiing with very wet undies - yes you've guessed (right again) the bottom of the bag where the tube exited from had cracked and was leaking mightily.  So I binned it. Not the whole bag just the bladder.

In the meantime the Platypus was beginning to show signs of wear. The plastic around the tube attachment had become rather crinkly and eventually it leaked too. More wet pants!

For the Challenge last year I bought a Source 2 litre bottle. The kind that is a bag but will stand on its own if its filled. And at the same time a tube thing that will attach either to the soft bottle or any other bottle I want to use. Brilliant! This won't leak at the bottom cos the water tube comes out of the top instead.

I also bought a 1 litre soft bottle to use with my water treatment drops.

For most of last year's Challenge I used the 1 litre bottle which I discovered fitted conveniently into my Paramo jacket chest pocket. So I didn't really use the 2 litre except in camp and usually without the tube.

After that, during summer walking in the Alps and autumn in Scotland I used the 2 litre with the drinking tube in my rucksack. BUT there are a couple of problems with the set up.

First of all, it makes strange groaning and fizzling noises. Sometimes I even wondered if it was my imagination but when someone I was walking with commented on it I knew it wasn't.

Secondly, more worryingly, it seems to leak from time to time. I can only guess the water squeezes out of the breathing hole in the cap on top of the bag somehow. A couple of times there has been quite a lot of dampness in my rucksack.

Anyway, today I discovered another flaw in the system. Not only the strange noises, and the dampness but when you bend down to pick something up there is a veritable fountain from the drinking tube!

Can anyone suggest a system that won't leak?


Gayle said...

I've just replaced my old Platty hoser (which hadn't reached the point of leaking, but was starting to delaminate on some of the edges which had been folded a few times too often). The material used on the bladders now is completely different to before; it feels much more pliable. The tube also seems more flexible.

Only time will tell whether it does prove to be more durable.

Louise said...

I have recently replaced my bladder (oh, if only it were that easy!) with a Platypus Big Zip SL. I love, love, love. So easy to use, clean etc. and although I couldn't promise no leakage in the future, these things happen, I've certainly had no problems so far.

Laura said...

Thanks Gayle and Louise for your recommendations. I certainly was happy with my old Platty till it fell apart. I'll go and have a look at the Big Zip as it sounds like its a good product. It just seems so expensive having to keep trying different options. I'd be interested to hear what anyone else has to say.........

Alan Sloman said...

Dump the leaky bags!

Buy two 500ml bottles of Coke, drink it, and Voila! Two very good water bottles that slip nicely into the mesh side pockets of your rucksack.