My five-year-old reservoir went to that place where good bladder bags go to die. I had just melted the plastic with the laundry iron. I had it hanging from the ironing board to dry out, and apparently it got too close for comfort and shriveled to its death. Plus, it wore its age, which isn't surprising considering I had previously filled it with wine for a backcountry trip. While it's a convenient way to carry an adult beverage on an extended hike, it permanently discolored the tube into an indescribable shade of yuck. I tried everything to whiten it up, from soaking it in soap and water to bleaching it. I finally resorted to buying a whole new reservoir system.
With the new purchase, I found that technology does indeed evolve. I bought the Omega™ Hydrotanium™ Reservoir and am pleased CamelBak® has taken a giant leap for outdoor-kind. A few new updates make a great difference.
My first sip from the reservoir system lacked that highly-artificial, new-plastic taste.
The liner truly doesn't alter the water's natural taste. And I liked the larger bite valve. It's twice as big as the original, so you get twice the volume of water with every swig. Another great feature is the antimicrobial treatment on the rubberized polyurethane resin. It eliminates up to 99% of bacteria and fungus. For a girl that's tempted once again to fill it to the brim with wine, that's a great back-up feature. That being said, you should still immediately rinse out the bladder after use. And once in a while, drop a tablet into a filled reservoir for a deeper cleaning.
Reservoirs come in multiple volumes, so pick the one that best fits your hydration pack. And think about how much energy you'll be exerting, plus the length of your adventure. A 70-oz. (2-liter) reservoir is made to fit inside CamelBak's Classic™, Cloud Walker™ and UnBottle™ Hydration Packs. A 100-oz. (3-liter) reservoir fits inside M.U.L.E.®, Alpine Explorer™ and Rim Runner™ packs.
There are great add-ons that will complement your reservoir. For starters, if you plan on doing any snowshoeing, skiing into yurts or National Forest Service cabins in midwinter, a Thermal Control Kit™ is a must. There's nothing more agonizing than carrying a hydration reservoir that you can't use due to a frozen tube. The mouthpiece cover and insulated tubing prevent water from freezing, and keep it cooled in the summer. And for the backpacker, consider buying a tube extender. It adds 40 inches to the existing tube, so it'll reach your mouth despite having to maneuver around your bulky backpack. And it can be used as a replacement tube if you stain yours with wine. Just remove the attachment piece and you have yourself a spare.
For cleanliness' sake, may I suggest the Cleaning Kit? It includes a reservoir brush, a tube brush, two cleaning tabs and a dryer specially designed to prop open and air out your reservoir. This last item might have saved me the temptation of "creative problem solving," or bladder bag melting as it were. And you can purchase cleaning tables separately to be used on an as-need basis. In just five minutes, you'll have a thoroughly cleaned reservoir.
Keep your body hydrated and happy with an Omega™ Hydrotanium™ Reservoir. With a manufacturer's lifetime warrantee, you can rest assured CamelBak has done everything in their power to make it a product you'll be happy with.
In their position statement, the American College of Sports Medicine states that "adequate fluid replacement helps maintain hydration and, therefore, promotes the health, safety, and optimal physical performance of individuals participating in regular physical activity. ... During exercise, athletes should start drinking early and at regular intervals in an attempt to consume fluids at a rate sufficient to replace all the water lost through sweating (i.e., body weight loss), or consume the maximal amount that can be tolerated. ... Fluids should be readily available and served in containers that allow adequate volumes to be ingested with ease and with minimal interruption of exercise." *
American College of Sports Medicine. Position Stand on Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. i-vii, 1996.