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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bladders > Platy Accessories Shower Kit > Owner Review by Brian Mikels

PLATY ACCESSORIES - SHOWER KIT
BY BRIAN MIKELS
OWNER REVIEW
December 06, 2007

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brian Mikels
EMAIL: msu1spartan@yahoo.com
AGE: 36
LOCATION: Knoxville, Tennessee USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 6" (1.98 m)
WEIGHT: 229 lb (104.00 kg)

Backpacking Background: I started backpacking when I was 10 and picked it back up about 4 years ago. My backcountry companions are my wife & our two 8 year old twins. I'm obsessed with light gear; however I tend to err on the side of safety, being well fed, and keeping everyone reasonably comfortable. I do the bulk of my backpacking March thru November in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park doing 1-3 nighters at 6-12 miles (10-19 km) per day.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Cascade Designs Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.platypushydration.com
MSRP: US $10.95
Listed Specifications: none

As shipped:
Weight: 1.0 oz (29 g)
Length of tubing: 14" (36 cm)
Tubing OD: 0.375" (1 cm)

After Modifying:
Weight: 0.6 oz (17 g)
Length of tubing: 4.5" (11 cm)

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The shower kit comes unassembled in a small plastic bag. The "shower head" is made of plastic and is 1" (2.5 cm) in total length (including the hose barb fitting). It is cone shaped with the maximum diameter being 9/16" (1.4 cm). Water runs down the outside of the head through 8 tapering channels to create the shower effect.
IMAGE 2
Shower Head
Water flow is controlled by using a plastic tubing clamp that has multiple locking positions.
IMAGE 3
Plastic Adjustable Valve
14" (36 cm) of clear plastic tubing is included with the kit along with a two piece barbed cap fitting for attaching the whole thing to your platypus.

MODIFICATIONS

Since I am a very weight conscious, the first thing I did was trim the hose down to the minimum which is about 4" (10 cm).
IMAGE 1
Assembled Modified Shower Kit
My spare 3 L (100 fl oz) Platypus bladder has the nozzle in the corner at a 45 degree angle which allows the shower head to hang pointed almost straight down. The Platypus I use for hydration has a center nozzle which causes the shower head to rest at a 45 degree angle. The angle does not substantially interfere with its function, although I only use it with my spare Platy.
IMAGE 4
Shower In Use

FIELD USE

I hang my "shower" in a tree, usually suspended by some Triptease rope thrown over a branch, but occasionally over a broken off branch if a suitable one is available. The tubing valve works well for closing off the water flow. I always leave my shower hanging in a tree all night and it hasn't ever lost a drop. It takes both of my hands to get the water flowing; however only one to shut off the flow. The valve theoretically has 6 different positions, although I have found only 3 of them to be useful, with one of the three being "off".
IMAGE 5
Full Flow
IMAGE 6
Half Flow
When I have a limited water supply, adjusting the water to the minimum required for the job is important and I have been surprised at how well this valve performs. I can adjust it to a small trickle or a stream of water than can clean the soap off of my hands in a few seconds. I have found the valve to be very easy to operate and can operate it by feel (not looking at it) if I need to while washing my hair. My kids can't quite operate it by themselves, as it requires a little more finger strength than what they have.

The design of the shower head is quite clever. Since the water flows on the outside of the head, I have found that keeping it clean is very easy since there are no holes to get plugged up with fine particles. I always filter and treat the water first as a safety precaution for the kids and have never had any problem with the water flow being obstructed. When my 3 L (100 fl oz) Platupus is full, at full flow I have gotten about 3 minutes of use.

I have come to really enjoy being able to take a "shower" while out on the trail. Most of the time I use it to wash my hair, face, hands, and gear; however I have taken a full blown shower with it on longer trips. I heat some of the water in my pot by the fire and have a hot shower in the backcountry. Being squeaky clean really puts a bounce in my step the next day. This piece of gear has effectively eliminated one of the things that detracts from my backpacking experience... feeling grimy.

IMPROVEMENTS

I'd like to see the hose eliminated as I believe it to be unnecessary. I also think the valve, bladder attachment, and shower head could be integrated into one unit. I envision some type of a twisting shower head/ valve cap.

SUMMARY

At 0.6 oz (17 g) this shower kit has turned from a "keeping my family reasonably comfortable" item into one that I'd never go backpacking without. I absolutely love it, but believe the weight could be trimmed down to just a few grams with some design improvements.

THINGS I LIKE

1. Feeling like a human being everyday!
2. Multipurpose use of my water bladder.

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

1. I'm concerned that the tubing valve might wear out or break.
2. The design isn't weight optimized.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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