drinking system (hydrator, hydropack, «drinker») — a tank with a tube (hose), which is fixed at its base. The hydrator provides comfortable water consumption while driving and retains it for a long time (due to the absence of air). The «drinker» is securely fixed in the compartment of the backpack and will not fall out when moving.
The disadvantages of a hydropack include the difficulty in filling the container, a sharp increase in the load on the back (1 liter weighs 1 kilogram), and a high price.
The drinking system fits easily in a backpack, and the tube is brought out through the hole and fixed on the strap. The hydrator is indispensable in hiking and sports.
Important: before choosing a hydropack without a case / backpack, make sure that you have the appropriate fasteners in your bag.
Hydro backpack – drinking system with a case / bag and shoulder straps. Favorably differs from the previous version in thermal protection (temperature maintenance) of water and ease of carrying. The hydrobackpack has holes and fasteners that fix the tube. At the same time, such a system is more cumbersome and does not allow you to place another bag on your back.
- Choose the best place to carry your hydropack. Make sure that the tube does not dangle when carrying the drinking system.
- The drinking system should be washed and dried after each use, otherwise the appearance of plaque cannot be avoided. The container is cleaned with a brush.
- Do not pour tea, milk, juices with pulp, lemonade into the “drinker” — these liquids clog the valve. Hydropack is filled with clean water only.
- In cold weather, fill the hydrator with warm water, and after quenching your thirst, “breathe” air into the hose to direct the remaining water back into the container. This will prevent the water from freezing in the tube.
- In hot weather, it is worth «freezing» the water in the drinking system. Remember that water expands when it freezes — in order to avoid destruction of the “drinking bowl”, fill it by ¾.
- The tank is a fragile item that needs to be handled with care.
- Adhere to the rules of hygiene: the drinking system is a thing for individual use.
- drinking system
- Hydro backpack
Volume — the higher this parameter, the longer the water will last, which is important for long trips. With an increase in volume, the weight of the “drinker” increases, and hence the load on the back. The volume of the hydrator ranges from 0.75-3 liters.
The recommended volume of the drinking system depends on the type of activity:
- 1-1.5 l – for short city driving or jogging, children, teenagers, joggers, cyclists, hikers;
- 2 l – a common solution for cyclists, tourists, climbers, snowboarders;
- 3 l — for long trips, mountain tourists, as well as trips to areas where there is no access to water.
The total volume of the backpack for the drinking system:
- 20-25 l — for mountain bikers;
- 29 l – for hikers and climbers;
- 41 l — the maximum volume intended for hiking.
Material – hydropack is made of polyethylene or polyurethane. The disadvantage of polyurethane is that water acquires a taste of plastic. In this case, the material itself is opaque, translucent and transparent. It is recommended to choose a transparent material — this makes it possible to control the filling level and cleanliness of the tank.
Important: Opt for plastic labeled «BPA-free» (no toxic BPA) or «FDA approved».
with lid — Differs in high tightness, well withstands shocks. It is convenient to pour water into such a system when the “drinker” is in the backpack. Minus — difficult cleaning and drying. For these purposes, you will need a brush and a frame, respectively. A similar sealing method is common in cheap hydrators.
with latch — Compared to the previous version, it is easier to clean and dry. Allows you to easily collect water from a spring or other body of water. Cons: difficulty in filling the tank in the backpack, less tightness. This method is typical for hydropacks of the middle price segment.
With lid / with latch — a combination of the previous options. Found in expensive models.
A tube — made of polyurethane or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The requirements for the hose are softness and elasticity. It is good if the tube is equipped with a clamp that allows it to be fixed.
Tube length — the larger this parameter, the better. The long hose allows you to comfortably use the drinking system, regardless of how it is worn (belt bag, backpack). A short tube is acceptable provided that the hydrator is constantly in a case or backpack.
Important: practice shows that an inelastic tube breaks quickly, and freezes at 0 ° C. But the flexible hose is devoid of these disadvantages and will last much longer. If the temperature drops further, then any tube will freeze (along with the drinking system).
Valve (nipple) – regulates the water supply to the user. It is usually made from silicone.
There are two main types of valves:
- straight — strongly bends the hose (180 °) when using a «drinker», not the best choice;
- l-shaped — is preferable, because it bends the tube to a lesser extent (90 °).
Sometimes there is a rotating valve — it is quite mobile and recovers after a strong inflection.
Important: a special cover will help protect the nipple from dust, dirt and small particles when collecting water from a pond.
The system of twisting (locking) the valve — is represented by two types:
- transport — a tap that blocks the access of water from the hose to the nipple.
- operational — located in the nipple, and to open it, it is enough to bite it with your teeth.
Important: quality valve is equipped with two locking systems.
There are several ways to open the valve:
- lock pull — like sports caps in bottles;
- breaking – the tube is automatically clamped;
- biting — the nipple is compressed by teeth, and when unclenched, the valve automatically stops the flow of water. The most convenient option when driving. If the hose pops out of your mouth, the valve will automatically open and prevent spillage.
Important: do not press hard with your teeth on the valve to avoid premature wear.
The neck comes in two diameters — 2.5 and 3.5 inches. The latter option makes it possible to pour ice into the «drinking bowl» and makes it easier to clean.
Outlet for handset — a hole in the container for attaching the tube. Some «drinkers» have two of these outlets, which allows you to place the hose over the right or left shoulder. A drinking system with one outlet is suitable for users who are accustomed to withdrawing the pipe from only one side.
Important: some drinking systems are installed under the saddle of a bicycle — this is convenient, but such a “drinking bowl” has a small volume, and its bag-cover quickly gets dirty. There is also a risk of damage to the hose from careless movement.
Thermal cover for container – keeps the temperature of the liquid in the tank regardless of the season. Also protects the tank from damage.
Thermal case for snorkel with nipple – prevents condensation on the tube at low temperatures. Comes in handy in winter.