Let’s talk hydration packs. Yeah, yeah I know it’s not sexy like a new carbon fiber 29er. But, as everyone knows, hydration is the key to racing success. Like many, my first water bladder came with my pack. It had some funky screw on cap, was a mess to fill and an absolute pain to clean. When I bought my MS-1 pack from OutThere it didn’t come with a hydration bladder, so I had to go looking for one. I knew I wanted something bomb-proof. I’m all about reliable gear and am willing to pay a little more for something I can absolutely rely on. Nobody wants a leaky bladder.
I came across GEIGERRIG, now part of Aquamira, and was instantly intrigued by what I saw. Here was a hydration bladder that was pressurized. Sounds gimmicky you say? Maybe. But think about it for a second. When I’m huffing and puffing up some gradient that only sheep and billy goats should be climbing, it’s not easy sucking water out of a hydration bladder.
With a few quick pumps of the air bladder, I can now get a stream of water. No more sucking on the hose until my eyes pop out. And, with that stream of water I can do lots of things. My teammates can now get a drink without putting their dirty mouths all over my bite valve. Hey, I race with these guys, I know where their mouths have been. Got mud in your eye? A squirt of water and boom, done! Need to rinse off your sunglasses? Need to rinse a contact lens? Need to fill a water bottle with water to add your last packet of Skratch but don’t want to take your pack off? There are a lot of times when a little pressurized water is a great thing to have.
What’s also super cool is that the hydration bladder has quick disconnects for the hoses. This means that I can remove the bladder from my pack, refill it, and not have to reroute my hoses. It also means that I can instantly add or remove GEIGERRIG’s in-line crypto or virus filters. So now you won’t have to worry if Team Adventure Medical Kits is upstream from you relieving themselves. You’ve got filtration!
“But it’s added weight!” I can hear the whining in the background. I’m kidding, adventure racers don’t whine. Sure it is, everything we carry is added weight. You just have to decide if the benefits are worth it to you. But wait, no you don’t. You see, you don’t have to have the air tube and bulb. You want to go super light and fast? Disconnect the air tube and the GEIGERRIG hydration bladder functions just like any other hydration bladder. You suck, water comes out. But I think once you give it a try, you’ll realize how nice it is to have pressurized water. Why do you think pro cyclists have squeeze bottles? Pressure, my friend! You don’t see riders in the peloton sucking water from a straw. That would be silly.
For outback races and hiking, you really can’t beat this setup. With the inline filtration and the wide mouth opening, filling the hydration bladder is a breeze.
Simply disconnect the hoses from the bladder. You can then remove the bladder from your pack while leaving your hoses installed. Then simply fill that bad boy up.
Now that 2 liters of Florida swamp water is ready to go back in your pack. Plug in your hoses, pressurize that puppy, and get ready to enjoy filtered goodness.
In 20 seconds you’re back on the trail and best of all you’re not waiting 20 minutes for your iodine pills to flavor your water. You do like the taste of iodine, right?
Best of all, once you get back home, turn that bladder inside out and throw it in your dishwasher. It’s dishwasher safe my friend. Who wants to come home from a 3-day race and scrub out a hydration bladder? That’s right, no one.
There you have it. If you need a hydration bladder, check out the GEIGERRIG Hydration Engine Video. And, if you’re looking for a hydration backpack, they have those as well. Got questions? Drop us a comment below. We’re always happy to discuss our race gear. If you’d like to check out more reviews by the pros who know, check them out here: