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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bladders > MSR 2 Liter DromLite Bag > Owner Review by Greg McDonald

June 03, 2008


NAME: Greg McDonald
EMAIL: gdm320 AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 21
LOCATION: Boynton Beach, Florida
HEIGHT: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
WEIGHT: 225 lb (102.00 kg)

I have been camping for 15 years, 11 of them have been spent hiking in the backcountry. My hikes are almost exclusively in Florida and generally range between one and three nights. My all-time favorite hike was a 10 day expedition in the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimmaron, New Mexico. I consider myself a lightweight but comfortably equipped hiker, with a pack averaging between 25 and 30 lb (11 and 14 kg).

Product Information

MSR Dromlite with Hydration Kit attached.

Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research (MSR)
Manufacturer's Website:
Model: MSR 2 Liter DromLite Bag
MSRP: US$24.95
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Listed Volume: 2 L
Listed Weight: 3.1 oz (88 g)
Measured Weight: 3.2 oz (91 g)
Measured Dimensions (Empty): 16.5 x 8.25 in (40 x 20 cm)
Materials: Polyurethane coated 200D nylon
Color: Purple
Note: The current version of the DromLite available from MSR now uses 200D Cordura as the body material and the color is now "MSR red".

2 Liter DromLite Bag Description and Features

The MSR 2 Liter DromLite Bag is a lightweight and compact hydration bladder built out of a lightweight polyurethane coated 200D nylon material. The DromLite series are 30% lighter than the MSR Dromedary bags and slims down to a 200D shell (the Dromedary bags are either 500D or 1,000D) and drops the 5 grommets and perimeter webbing.

The bladder itself is six sided and is a fabulous purple color and I don't want to hear anything about it - any man who won't carry a purple hydration system isn't much of a man. The mouth of the DromLite sits atop the bladder close to one end. The opposite end sports a grommet attached in the seam. The seams on the DromLite are plenty thick for a bladder of this size and are very well seamed and sealed.

The cap comes standard with the Dromlite and is actually two pieces. The first is the large black cap that screws onto the mouth, the second is a smaller "3-in-1" cap with a small flip-closure spout for filling, drinking, and pouring.

The main cap and the "3-in-1" spout scap.

MSR Hydration Kit Description and Features

Model: MSR Hydration Kit
MSRP: US$19.95
Weight: 2.5 oz (71 g) Verified Accurate
Length: 42 in (107 cm) Verified Accurate
Tube Material: Polyurethane-lined PVC

The MSR Hydration Kit is an available accessory from MSR that turns the DromLite from a simple water bag with a spout on the cap into a fully functional hydration system for integration into my pack. The "3-in-1" valve on the top of the cap comes off and the end of the tubing with the swivel elbow attachment screws onto the cap in its place.

The swivel elbow attached to the cap and the Bite Valve.

The hydration tube has an alligator clip that can clip to my pack straps to keep the tube from dangling all over the place. The MSR Bite Valve is claimed by the manufacturer to be leakproof. There is also a twist shut-off valve between the tubing and the Bite Valve to stop flow if it was ever neccessary.

Field Use and Observations

For the last year and a half the DromLite has become the only hydration system that I use, I would estimate it has seen use on probably 20 occasions. It is my primary water hauler both on day hikes and overnight to multi night treks. It might be important to note that the vast majority of my experiences with the DromLite system have been in Florida, which means temperatures above freezing and at low altitudes.

I first made the switch to the MSR DromLite primarily because of the mouth/opening. The DromLite mates perfectly with my MSR water filter, unlike the previous hydration systems I've used, so I am able to filter water much more quickly and efficiently.

The vast majority of my camps are "wet" camps where I have the opportunity to pump more water whenever I need it. I would estimate I fill the bag up twice in the field for every overnight trip I take - once for use in camp then a refill for the next day's hike. When I first get to my camp I pump the DromLite full and replace the drinking tube with the spout cap and hang it from a branch with a carabiner attached through the grommet. I use this water for cooking and mixing drinks such as tea or Gatorade in either my cup or a Nalgene bottle. The spout cap doesn't flow water particularly quickly, but it gets the job done. If it was up to me though I would definitely increase the flow of the spout cap.

Besides the slow flow on the spout cap, I have found another drawback to the DromLite. There are no handles or loops other than the grommet to hold the bladder by and unfortunately this can make it pretty awkward to carry if I intend to pump directly from the water source. Fortunately for me, I normally pump from a soft-sided water bucket that I haul up to camp from the source. So while the lack of a handle isn't a huge deal for me, it does keep me hauling water back to camp for pumping. Of course the lack of extra webbing does cut the weight of the DromLite, so I have been back and forth as to my willingness to sacrifice weight for this added functionality.

The DromLite really shines as a hydration system integrated into my pack. The 2 liter DromLite fits perfectly in the top lid of my backpack, which is the best location I have found for it. It keeps the system gravity fed and the tube at the right length for me, which I clip to the webbing on my shoulder strap with the included alligator clip. The 2 liter capacity is perfectly suited for my purposes and, if necessary, I can supplement the amount of water I carry by adding a Nalgene bottle or two. Neither the bag nor the drinking tube adds any sort of odd taste that I have ever noticed and I am sensitive to such things. I am also happy to report I have never suffered any leaking or dampness inside the lid of my pack from the bag leaking, from the threads or swivel elbow on the drinking tube, or from the spout cap. Of course it is important to make sure the threads are clean and free of any dirt or grime, but I have never had any issues with this practice in the field.

I have been very pleased with the DromLite's long-term durability. I have never had to make any sort of repairs either in the field or at home. As I previously mentioned, I have never had any sort of issues with any leaks - which is more than I can say for any other product of this kind I have ever used. There are a few threads that have pulled a bit on the very edge of the seam on one small portion of the bladder and the MSR logo is fading, but in my experience I'd call this normal cosmetic wear and tear as there has been no negative effect on performance whatsoever. I have also never had any problems with the hose leaking, and the Bite Valve has performed extremely well over time with no leaks or cracks.

What I Like

- The DromLite and the Hydration Kit are both very lightweight and compact.
- Its use as a hydration system on the trail and a water dispenser in camp makes the DromLite very versatile.
- Excellent long term durability.

What I'd Change

- Improve the flow rate of the "3-in-1" spout cap.

Never Stop Exploring,
Greg McDonald

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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