Always well-supplied with the right hydration system
Ski touring, stage races, mountaineering: A hydration system in the appropriate hydration backpack helps provide a constant water supply on tour and is simple to use. Two of the most popular manufacturers of hydration systems are Source and Platypus. Here you'll learn what to look out for when buying a hydration system.
Determining the right size for your hydration system
Hydration systems are available with volumes between one and six liters. The first thing to consider is which activities you will use your hydration system for. The small variant is sufficient for shorter bike or hiking tours as well as competitions (marathons and bike races).
A larger hydration system is more appropriate for summer adventures and tours longer than two hours. This guarantees sufficient hydration and saves you from having to regularly refill the hydration bladder.
Very large pouches above three liters are recommended for one-day and multi-day tours as well as expeditions. Systems of this size have yet another benefit. With a special shower head in place of a hydration tube, they can be used as outdoor showers while camping. A black pouch is recommended in this case!
Hydration systems of all sizes are great for cooking when camping. They can also be used in combination with water filters.
The backpack compatibility of hydration systems
Most backpacks with a volume of 20 liters or more have a pocket for hydration bladders and an opening for the hydration tube.
If the backpack is compatible with hydration systems, you then need to make sure that when using a larger bladder you still have enough room in the backpack for everything else you need!
Hydration systems usually rest close to your back, making weight distribution more comfortable. Some models have special compartments on the side for easy access. If you don't mind having to refill the bladder on a regular basis, you can go for a smaller version.
The construction and accessories of hydration systems
Most hydration systems are made of robust Cordura nylon or tear-resistant polyester fabrics. These guarantee a long product life and abrasion resistance. The tube and bladder are made of BPA-free plastics and are relatively flavor-neutral. If you store juices or teas in plastic materials, long-term neutrality cannot be guaranteed. That's why there are special brushes for cleaning the hydration system.
Certain insulation systems are available for pouches and tubes. With these, you can keep liquids nice and warm in the winter. An insulation cover for tubes (by Platypus, for example) keeps liquids from freezing in the tube when outdoor temperatures are icy cold. An aluminum cover for your drinking pouch keeps drinks warm on longer tours.