Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. Its molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state (water vapour or steam). That answer would get you two marks on a Science 11plus test a few years ago, I would probably get one mark, with a ‘could try harder’ remark!!
Now you know all about water, we next need to decide what we put the runny stuff into? I’ve recently used while walking, the Source WidePac Hydration pack, which are basically a big floppy water bottle that can be slipped into a rucksack and a long tube attached for ease of drinking. So why are there so many different shapes, sizes and attachments with differing functions in Hydration/Bladder packs?
The Source WidePac is my preferred choice of a few Bladder packs I have lying around the house, as it’s easy to fill, the green bar at the top acts as a barrier for the water and slides off the pack, the plastic folds back to enable filling. The handle ensures a steady fill and helps keep as much fluid in the bag rather than on your kitchen floor. The pack I am testing is a three litre option, which is more than enough for my daily use, so I normally don’t fill to the top, but have the option if needed.
With previous packs I have used, it’s normally a simple design of filling and a simple tube attached, but what I like about the Source WidePac is the tube can be detached without any liquid escaping, this enables you to re-fill the pack without the need to remove the tube from the rucksack and shoulder strap.
The Source WidePac will fit nicely in the hood of my Berghaus Verden rucksack or on a hot day it’s nice to place the cold water pack in the inner expandable compartment which keeps the water cooler than in the hood.
The bite system is different on every Hydration pack I have got, some you bite to open a slit in the end of the valve, some are done using suction, and some have a stop cock system, Source have combined a bite system with a locking device, which helps stop leaks. Their Helix Bite Valve is twisted to open the flow of water, this will let the water into the end, simply squeeze with your teeth to open the slit and water is then dispensed.
Cleaning is important part with any water carrier, and Source supply a cleaning brush separately, but it has an antimicrobial treatment, which will help keep the pack fresh. As the pack opens at the top, this will help with drying and the tube can be taken apart if needed. At first the water tastes chemically, but this happens with all hydration packs, and can be masked with a dash of orange or lemon juice. After a few uses the taste is acceptable and loses its clinical taste.
Durability seems great, having used my pack a number of times and can report no breakdown in quality and continues to perform as new.
Prices are as follow. RRP 1.5 litre = £20.99, 2 litre = £21.99 & 3 litre £22.99, so depending on long you plan to travel without a source of water, or the type of activity you are undertaking there is a pack that should suit your needs.
In conclusion a great Hydration / Bladder pack, that I would recommend anyone considering buying a new water carrier. Its quality is high and you can see that the design has been thought through to meet different needs. Price is higher than some other packs, but like all things, this product does not seem too expensive when you use. Rob Yates
For more information check out the following links:
Buy this hydration pack here: