After lots of use my bladder has sprung a leak - ha ha. My tried and trusted Platypus bladder has bitten the dust. I really like using it but I'm debating whether to replace it like for like or try a different brand. Has anyone got other brands they've tried and can recommend, e.g. Osprey, Source Widepac, Camelback. What are the pro's and cons. Also have you got any tips for using them in the winter - I try and stop the tube freezing by blowing back and filling it with warm squash - any other ideas?
I've got a Camelbak that has got to be over 15 years old now. Only used occasionally for 1st 10ish years (walking + snowboarding) but been used couple of times a week mountain biking over the last few years, has been crashed on several times and still holding fine. For full disclosure it is on the 2nd hose as first went mouldy and has had a couple of bite valves now for the same reason.
For cold weather I do the same of just blowing back into it to keep fluid out the tube or have tucked the tube inside my jacket when snowboarding. I know you can get insulated sleeves for them but I have never tried one to know how effective they are.
> Osprey seem ridiculously heavy and difficult to clean. I'm happy with Platypus.
I looked at osprey (to fit my osprey rucksack) but wasnt convinced.
Contracted first ascent (who at the time were the UK distributer) and got a free replacement sent out for my very elderly platypus under their lifetime guarantee.
Hydrapak Force, comes with an insulated hose which keeps the water in the tube cool in Summer and stops it freezing in Winter. Easy to clean, bite valve dirt cover, on/off bite valve. Been using one since last year and rate it very highly.
Playpus lifetime warranty is very good - I've had a couple of replacements for ones that started leaking.
The Source ones are/were pretty indestructible. I've also got a North Face one that's still going after easily 15 years, my wife has a DaKine one that's about 10 years old. I've also got unused Osprey and Camelbak ones, but they are the 3l capacity, so too big for most uses.
My usual set up is a Platypus with a Camelbak neoprene sleeve over the hose - that's been fine snowboarding and winter walking. Osprey do have a really good one for winter with a well-insulated hose with a bit that zips over the bite valve.
Really helpful replies!! Many thanks to everyone who's responded. I didn't know Platypus have a lifetime warranty so I'll look into getting a replacement. Thanks for the tips re Hydrapak/Osprey and Camelback insulated hose systems - will check those out too.
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