A Review of Outdoor Products Hydration Reservoir
I was looking for a new hydration reservoir, as I needed to replace the one in my backpack before I went on a 6 day trip to Utah. I had not used a hydration system made by Outdoor Products before, but the reasonable price and the large mouth opening of the reservoir appealed to me. I biked, ran, and hiked over 100 miles this past week with this hydration system and am pleased to say that it stood up to my high expectations and met my hydration needs.
When using this system for the first time, squeeze the reservoir to test the seal. Then, squeeze the bite valve heavily 3-4 times with your fingers, in order to open the valve. (Don’t forget to remove the plastic wrapping around the valve. Otherwise it won’t work well.) To use, pull up on the valve, into the open position. Bite down and sip the water through. I was able to easily place the bite valve in my mouth and gently pull on the hose with my fingers to open the valve. I was then able to close it the same way. Most hydration pack instructions will say, “Don’t forget to push it back down into the off position”. However, I found it was not necessary to close this one until after my run. The design of this hydro system did not allow the water to leak onto my shoulder when in the on position. If you need to purchase a bite valve replacement, you can do this online from a variety of websites.
It is important to note that children six years old and younger are not appropriate for this hydration system. The bite valve may detach from the system and is a choking hazard.
This hydration reservoir comes with a removable hose for easy cleaning. It is recommended to remove the bite valve from the hose for cleaning as well. To do this, you simply unscrew the top piece of the bite valve to the right. Please do not try to remove the bottom piece of the bite valve from the hose. This piece is not intended to be removed. Scrub the hose and bite valve with baking soda and water, then rinse.
Unscrew the reservoir cap, followed by scrubbing the bag with baking soda and water, inside and out. Do not remove the o-ring. The large opening allowed my hand to fit inside to reach the bottom of the bag. I have not had this pleasure with other hydration bags I have used. Shake, empty, and rinse the bag. Follow this with 1 cup of water, along with 1 tsp lemon juice, into the reservoir. Then, shake, empty, and rinse. Allow the bag and hose to dry completely before storing, otherwise mildew may occur. Hang to dry with the cap off for best results.
I recommend cleaning the entire system before your first use. Doing this not only helps to sanitize the pieces of the hydration system but also to minimize the plastic taste.
Outdoor Products utilized the Last Drop System™ for the hydration reservoir. This system refers to a built-basin that collects the last drops of water that remain in the reservoir. In addition, the integral molded hose attachment at the bottom functions as part of the Last Drop System, to allow you access to the last remaining drops of water.
This reservoir has an easily adjustable on/off valve for leak protection. However, this valve did not appear to leak water even when in the on position. I appreciated this fact and could leave it on for ease while running the trails in Canyonlands National Park. There was no water available out there, so it was very important that my hydration pack be effective. Make sure that the hose is firmly attached to the bladder. If it is not, you will likely experiencing leaking. The bite valve that this hydration reservoir comes with appear securely attached. However, if you have had to replace your bite valve or have removed it for cleaning, make sure that it is firmly attached as well. Otherwise, you will have leaking from this connection. If the bite valve leaks from the actual bite area, contact Outdoor Products and they will send you a replacement.
Outdoor Products try to make returning products as easy as possible with their Plain+Simple Lifetime Guarantee. This guarantee simply states that Outdoor Products will replace the defective productive, given any reason, and free of charge. It does not matter if it is brand new, or from 1994, Outdoor Products will send you a new one. Now, one must be reasonable and understand that this applies to defects in the manufacturing, not for general wear and tear.
The Outdoor Products Hydration Reservoir is BPA free. BPA, or bisphenol A, has been used in many of the plastics we use for decades. Because it is an industrial chemical, several companies, such as Outdoor Products, are moving away from its use. Look for “BPA Free” on the packaging to have confidence that the plastic products you are using do not contain this industrial chemical. In addition, this hydration bladder is 100% FDA approved and phthalate free.
- Flexible tip with soft bite, allows for large sips
- Screw on lid design for easy removal and cleaning.
- The wide mouth opening allows you to fill it easily with ice.
- Grab handle for easy carrying
- The low profile cap allows this reservoir to fit easily into most backpacks.
- I found that, if I filled it past 1.5L, I had a difficult time screwing the lid back on.
- Not for use with smoothies, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, or juices. The acidity of the juice or alcohol may deteriorate the reservoir.
- Not for use in temperature of 120ºF (50ºC) or in temperatures lower than -5ºF (-20ºC).
I feel I made a good choice with the Outdoor Products Hydrations Reservoir. The low profile cap of this reservoir allowed it to fit easily into may Camelbak backpack. (Specifications: (LxWxH) 2.00×220.127.116.11 inches.) The reservoir I chose is clear, but it also comes in gray. A review I read of this system complained that the water was not easily accessed with this system. In my experience this week, the only time I was not able to access the water easily was when there was a kink in the hose. This appeared to be easily corrected. Outdoor Products also carries backpacks, water bottles, ponchos, tarps, and dry bags for all your outdoor needs.