Platypus Hoser Hydration Bladders
By Raymond Estrella
August 11, 2007
Huntington Beach California USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my brother-in-law Dave or fiancée Jenn.
Manufacturer: Cascade Designs Inc
Web site: www.platypushydration.com
Year manufactured: 2005 - 07
Volumes reviewed: 2 L (70 oz) and 3 L (100 oz) Also available in 1 L (34 oz) and 1.8 L (60 oz)
Listed weights: 2 L; 100 g (3.5 oz), 3 L; 120 g (4 oz)
Actual weights: 2 L; 98 g (3.45 oz), 3 L; 104 g (3.67 oz)
Dimensions listed: 2 L; 15 x 41 cm (6 x 16 in), 3 L; 19 x 41 cm (7.5 x 16 in) Dimensions are accurate with the exception of the 3L length which is 45.2 cm (17.8 in)
The Platypus Hoser is what is commonly referred to as a hydration bladder. It is made of some kind of clear plastic type material. The company does not say what it is, but they do say that it is lined with beverage-grade polyethylene.
The bladders are made by welding the edges of the plastic together creating a 0.3 in (7.6 mm) seam around the Hoser. On all models prior to the newest 3 L (100 oz) size the bottom has been made with a pleated construction that allows the bottom to swell open under pressure from the liquid. As it does so the rim, that is now an oblong, is strong enough to hold the bladder in a standing position. The newest version of the 3L (100 oz) has a curved bottom and now has holes on the side to allow a cord to be tied to it for use with bladder-clips that a lot of newer packs are coming with. Here is a pic of the new style.
All models have the opening off to the left side, when viewing the logo. It is set at an angle to keep it from being squashed by the weight of the liquid once placed in a pack. The opening is roughly the same size as most pop bottles.
The bags have measurement marks at each liter (34 oz) on the sides of them. It should be noted that the bags can be filled with quite a bit more than the stated volume by tilting the bag when filling.
The Hoser comes with a 2.36 oz (67 g) tube with clip and bite valve. The HyperFlow bite valve slides on and off the end of the tube with no difficulty. This makes it easy to thread through tight spots on some of my packs. The bite valve is made of soft silicon rubber and is very comfortable to use. The company claims that it has the highest flow rate of all bite valves on the market, but I can not say that I notice it. The tube screws onto the Hoser body with the white (old models) or blue (new) plastic cap. The cap has a barbed end coming out at an angle that the tubing is attached to.
The Lapel Clip snaps onto the tube anywhere I want and can then be clipped to my shoulder pad to keep the tube from swinging around.
Because the opening is the same size as the company's line of Platy Bottles the Hoser can be capped off with one of their caps, and the tube can be used on the bottles.
These have been on a lot of backpacking trips and most fastpacks or long dayhikes in the past three years. From the south up they have been used in the following parks and forests.
Cleveland National Forest, Casper, Whiting Ranch and O'Neil Regional Parks, San Jacinto Wilderness, Mount San Jacinto State Park, San Bernardino National Forest, San Gorgonio Wilderness, Sequoia National Forest, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Inyo National Forest, Golden Trout Wilderness, John Muir Wilderness, and Sierra National Forest.
Elevations have ranged from sea level to 14200' (4330 m) and temperatures have been from 20 to 108 F (-7 to 42 C)
I have been using Platypus' products for four years, and the Hosers for three. I love the things.
I have four other brands of hydration bladders as I always have to try the latest-greatest. But the Hoser is the one that ends up in my pack the most. I like that the opening is situated such that I can get all the water out of it. Many other brands have the opening flat on the body that makes it impossible to get the liquid completely out. I also like that I can take the hose off easily and cap the bladder. This lets me keep a bladder full of GU2o in an ice chest on the way to a trailhead without worrying that the bite valve is going to get accidentally squished resulting in lost liquid. (And a big mess. Yes it has happened.)
I really like that I can freeze the bags. I do just that a lot. I will freeze a third to a half of the volume beforehand, and on hike day, top off with more liquid. This will let me have cold drinks for much of the day. On 30+ mile (49+ km) fast packs I can completely freeze the 2 L (70 oz), sticking it in my pack with a cap sealing it. I start hiking with the 3 L (100 oz) partially frozen in the bladder compartment. 6 hours later I can unscrew the hose and swap Hosers and have a new batch of cold liquid. That is really nice when the temps are halfway to boiling outside.
I carry one of the company's optional Filter Links (right) for direct connection to my water filter. It makes filtering a breeze at the end of the day, or a mid-day refill. I have not been using it lately as the new Katadyn Vario Microfilter that I am testing allows for direct input of the drinking tube, which is accomplished by removing the bite valve. Doing so is fast and easy with the Hoser, and another reason I like them so much. Some of my other brands are almost impossible to remove and get back on.
Another reason I like them is the plastic that they are made of does not take on tastes or odors. They rinse clean easily and dry by hanging with the opening down. I clip them upside-down to a shelf in my gear room.
A couple other options I have are the Drink Tube Insulator, insulated cover that I just leave installed on one of my many tubes, along with a Bite Valve Cover. The Bite Valve Cover can be used to keep the valve clean for 3-season use, but I just use it in the winter to keep the valve from freezing.
I also carry some of the Platy Patch, self-adhesive patches for any surprise leaks while in the field. To date I have never needed to use one. The Platypus Hosers are very durable. A picture of some patches are at the bottom of this review.
The only thing that I wish were different about the Hoser (and all of their bottles) is the size of the opening. It is hard to put the powdered drink mix I carry on multi-day trips into such a small opening. I wish they were more like the size found onwide-mouthed 1 L/qt Aquafina water, or Accelerade energy drink bottles. (About 1.5 in/3.75 cm diameter.) If that were the case I would have to say that the Hoser would be perfect.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Read more reviews of Platypus Hydration gear
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