Author Topic: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder  (Read 39445 times)

Offline idelphic

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #60 on: June 22, 2012, 11:28:56 AM »
Endurance -
Do you have a link to your Wingnut?

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2012, 11:30:16 AM »
He provided it earlier, but I had to hunt back in the thread to find the link I knew was there.

http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=126 should take you there.

Offline idelphic

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #62 on: June 22, 2012, 11:33:59 AM »
He provided it earlier, but I had to hunt back in the thread to find the link I knew was there.

http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=126 should take you there.
Thanks Josh - I'm pretty sure I had gone back through the thread and looked,.. but I didn't see it.  Maybe I need to have my eyes checked..

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #63 on: June 22, 2012, 12:15:33 PM »
Sure thing idelphic.

Looks like a sweet little pack, doesn't it?

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #64 on: June 22, 2012, 12:45:44 PM »
A friend of mine is testing an MPS Alpha he's borrowing soon.  I'm looking forward to his review.  I really like the modular design, but having a pack that big without a proper suspension seems like it could be a problem with weight distribution.


Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #65 on: June 22, 2012, 01:23:01 PM »
It's a neat looking system, but I don't think I'll be spending that much on a pack to replace the one I have any time soon.

I still totally need to get used to my gear before I know what I do and don't like.

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #66 on: June 22, 2012, 03:26:08 PM »
Over the years I've developed my own preferences.  For any pack that is bearing a load more than about 15-20 pounds I prefer a taller pack that has load lifting straps above your shoulders.  This allows you to keep the pack stable while shifting practically all the weight from your shoulders to the hip strap.



Without that, even relatively light loads can become uncomfortable over the course of a day.  That's my biggest concern with designs like the MPS Alpha.  Now it's possible you could load your heavier gear on the hip belt portion and your bulky items up top, but given the size of the main compartment, it just seems like it's going to be prone to get heavy and put a lot of weight on your shoulders instead of your hips.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #67 on: June 22, 2012, 03:48:05 PM »
I am unfamiliar with these load lifter straps.

Please elaborate and elucidate, endurance.

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #68 on: June 22, 2012, 04:38:18 PM »
Short pack with no load lifting straps:




She's got it right, he's got it wrong:



Wrong again:


Perfect!:



Strong work:



Ideally, you can set the pack up with about a 45 degree angle in the load lifting strap.  When you are moving through challenging terrain when you want the pack to feel very close to you, you loosen the load lifting straps and tighten the straps under your arms.  When you want to take the weight off your shoulders and transfer the weight to your hips, you loosen the straps under your arms and tighten the load lifting straps.  A good fitting pack should have the belt over your hip bones so you can cinch it up tight without impinging on your diaphragm and a 45 degree angle on the load lifting straps.  Too many folks don't take the time to learn this stuff and have incredibly sore shoulders and fatigue quicker because of it.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #69 on: June 22, 2012, 09:50:33 PM »
Innnnteresting.

My ruck sack actually says to put the pack across your belly in order to avoid pinching blood vessels and nerves in the hips, but also has suggestions for hip-bearing, if you decide you want to wear it that way.

It has no instructions for adjusting straps in such a position, so I presume that it doesn't have them, but I'll take time to look it over later.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #70 on: June 23, 2012, 08:51:24 PM »
Okay, I've looked at my ruck-sack, and it has similar straps, but they are placed barely above the main pack straps, and if I fit the straps to droop slightly over my shoulders, those straps will be, at best, horizontal.

I've also tried on some of the camelbak products at my local store.  I tried on a lobo (3L) first.  It was okay.  It was light, and more comfortable than a cantine, but that was empty.  And the strap came across my belly in a less than comfortable way, even when fully stretched out.

Then I tried on a smaller one, I forget the name, but it might have been the Aurora.  The lighter packs were more comfortable still due to the decreased weight, so I can see why folks prefer the lighter ones for trail running.

I think I'll need to ask to have extra large straps on my wingnut if I decide to buy one.

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #71 on: June 23, 2012, 08:56:07 PM »
Okay, I've looked at my ruck-sack, and it has similar straps, but they are placed barely above the main pack straps, and if I fit the straps to droop slightly over my shoulders, those straps will be, at best, horizontal.

The best thing to do is loosen all the straps as far as they go.  Put the pack on and tighten the waist strap where you want it.  Then tighten the straps under your arms.  Then tighten the load lifters and loosen the straps under your arms and give the load lifters one last tighten.  This is usually going to get a pack set up about as good at that particular pack is going to fit.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #72 on: June 23, 2012, 10:27:42 PM »
Thanks Endurance.  I'll give that a try, see how those straps work out.  Do you think I should do this every time I put the pack on?

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #73 on: June 25, 2012, 07:17:21 AM »
Okay, I've got some new data, and 1L is definitely NOT enough for my initial bladder.

I was out in one of my favorite places to walk/hike (a local private forest preserve maintained through donations, memberships, and volunteer work) with only 1L.  I left at a few min before 10, got back a few min before 5:30, and had a 1/2 hour break in the middle.  I'm going to be going to this area fairly often, and I want more than even 2L when I do.  3L bladder to start it is.  I can put up with an extra 2L of water I don't need far better than I can not having 2L that I do need.

I started off with a couch to 5K run on the trail, and I chugged the last of my 1L down very shortly after finishing.  Had I been able to drink sips easily between heavy breathing, it would have been gone before I finished.

And I've found a deliciously flat and sandy running area that will tire me out quicker, but be gentler on my joints... but it's the river-side trail several miles in.  I'm going to be needing 3L regularly.

Even if I'm just doing couch to 5K around the apartment complex, I'll still want a bit more than 1L, and I figure I can just partially fill my 3L until I get a smaller bladder system for that run (if I ever do).

My father under-hydrates, while I am the anti-camel.

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #74 on: June 25, 2012, 08:04:05 AM »
Do you think I should do this every time I put the pack on?
No, once you get it dialed in, you might even want to use a silver sharpie and mark the spots on all the straps so you can always easily find that sweet spot.  It's so nice to toss on a pack and have it dialed in perfect every time.  Sure, changes in load, terrain, and bulk will change things from time to time, but in general, one setting is going to work for you most of the time and it's always going to be a good place to start.

1L is for a sub-1 hour activity for me.  Yesterday I did a 5:45 hike with my 50oz. bladder in my Wingnut.  Nine miles (3.5-4 hours in) in I stopped at a stream and filled back up, tossed in a couple chlorine tablets, waited about 20-30 minutes and was good the rest of the hike.  I generally don't use that small pack on longer hikes, but we were trying to do a lot as quickly as possible, so we were traveling light (hiking over a 12,900' pass).  Generally a 100oz. bladder is what you need for all-day activities and you can always under-fill it.  That's why my Mule gets a lot of mileage.  It's the smallest pack with the largest water capacity.  Considering I usually hike with as much stuff in my cargo pockets as my pack, I don't need a lot of pack space.  Basically raingear, lunch, spare cell phone battery (or charger), and the legs to my pants.  The survival kit, food, cell phone/GPS, headlamp, etc. all goes in my cargo pockets.

If you have enough streams, putting an in-line filter lets you carry less water, but without a way to refill, there's still no such thing as dehydrated water.  I also find the fitter I get the less water I need on the trail.  I'll still slam it as soon as I get to the car, but on the trail I'm not dying out there like I would have been earlier this year.  My wife did the entire hike yesterday on 1L (5:45, 4k' of climbing, 13+/- miles).  That ain't natural. :o

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #75 on: June 25, 2012, 08:16:30 AM »
Well, I need to get a silver sharpy anyway, so that works just fine.

Well, at least a portion of this is weight.  The more you weigh, the more water you need to cover your body weight.  And then the more over-weight you are as a part of that weight, the more you'll need.  She probably weighs somewhere around 1/3 of what I do.  My weight is on the way down, but it's no where near where I want it yet.  That, and I've got a heavy body type, so even once I've lost almost all my fat, I'll still be and look heavier than one of those bean-pole fellows. 

So yeah, you might be fine doing what I did yesterday with a 1L, but I'm definitely not.

As far as filtering goes... maybe... but so far the only places that I've found where I can get close to the water are pretty close to the nature center anyway.  The spot I've picked for my run is a nice long sand trail right along a major river... but the banks are steep, and covered with a combination of rocks and fallen trees.  No safe way down to it, and it's probably filled with dumped viruses from non-filtered city waste water.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #76 on: June 25, 2012, 08:54:28 AM »
I think that one of the following 3 systems may be for me:

http://sourceoutdoor.com/hydration-packs/70-spinner-pro-race.html
http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=124
http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_details.cfm?product_id=116

Of course I'm going to want to add MOLLE straps to any of them that I get, for the flexibility of attachment they offer.

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #77 on: June 28, 2012, 10:00:14 AM »
I definitely like the Hyper 3.0.  Anytime I have easy to access pockets at my waist, I'm a very happy camper.  It's so convenient.

Definitely talk to them about extra long straps.  I just noticed that my chest strap was at the very end and while it's fine for me, I only have a 44-46" chest.  They definitely assume all athletes are built like small children. ;)

As far as a little extra weight goes, until I hit my mid-30s I had a hard time staying over my high school graduation weight, often between 161-167pounds at 5'11".  Now I'm 190 hoping to get down to 180 over the summer, but reasonably content where I'm at.  Look at the real survival experts and they're no skinny-minis.  Les Stroud, Cody Lundin, Dave Canterbury; they're all carrying more than a few extra pounds, but they'll out hike and out survive just about anyone.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #78 on: June 28, 2012, 10:43:05 AM »
Thanks.  I've got some questions out in e-mail to them, submitted through their form.  I intend to e-mail back and forth, making sure I get the right pack, and get the right customizations.  If I'm paying $85+ for a hand-made pack, I want to get it right.

A couple suggestions for customization I saw in their customer reviews involved having a handle added to the top to allow you to hang it on pegs, and having organization flaps installed inside the pockets to help keep things separate.

I don't think that the split-back would accept MOLLE straps well, so I think I'll want the Hyper 3.0.  If I can get them to sew the MOLLE straps on at design, I think I'll go that rout.

I'm debating between reflective silver, and asking them to make it in a forest or lincoln green, with velcro on it so that I can add reflective patches to the top and sides.

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #79 on: June 28, 2012, 11:20:41 AM »
They're really limited on colors because they use sail material.  It's incredibly light and I'm not really sure how it would hold up to a heavily loaded Molle system.

For organizing your kit in pockets, I've found nothing better than the pouches from Survival Metrics on e-bay.  These are my favorites Small Red and medium brown
They also work great in the pocket of your cargo pants.  While the material and zippers are waterproof, because the zippers are two-way and there's a gap and the stitching isn't sealed, they will leak, but for the most part, they'll keep your stuff very dry and well protected, while adding nearly zero weight to your pack.



You can see two of the smaller pouches in this picture, but it all fits in one of the larger pouches, which is the kit that is generally in my cargo pouch on my pants when I'm hiking or in my pack.  Actually, looking at that kit, it's an older one and what I carry now is a lot more compact and in a smaller pouch, but you get the idea. ;)

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #80 on: June 28, 2012, 11:44:00 AM »
I wasn't sure if the sale material came in those greens I was wanting.  It was something I was going to ask.

And it's less that I want a heavily loaded set of MOLLE straps, as it is that I would like a few attachment points for things like this: http://source-military.com/hydration-accessories/36-uta-with-pouch.html or other small, light objects.  Then again, I suppose that's what the side-pouches are for.  :P

I'll look into those organization pouches.

What do you think of the XY and the XY-micro that wingnut advertises?

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #81 on: June 28, 2012, 11:59:22 AM »
What do you think of the XY and the XY-micro that wingnut advertises?
for me, I found them too heavy and bulky compared to their other stuff.  The padded cell phone pouch is entirely too bulky.  Cell phones and cameras are not that fragile that they need to make a pouch 1" thick for an item thinner than a quarter inch.  I have the same cheap Canon point and shoot I bought in 2006.  4800 photos taken with it, rained on, dropped a dozen times on hard surfaces, never cared for in any way and it's still taking great pictures.  It doesn't need a cushion.  I carry it in the shoulder pocket that's supposed to be for your gels.  (I think I have the micro explorer and if you want it, it's hardly used and I'd give you a hell of a deal on it ($10 shipped)).

I'll admit my biases openly:  make it lighter, more compact, and durable enough to last a few years and I'll buy it.  make it bulky, overbuilt, and heavy and I'll buy another product.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #82 on: June 28, 2012, 12:41:13 PM »
Nah, if it's that thick by it's self it's definitely not worth it.  I just want something to hold various items in a pre-arranged way, where I don't have to dig through multiple levels of bags.  Just the micro by it's self doesn't make any sense to me.

What are the dimensions on those pocket flaps?  If I can get a couple pockets sewn into the flap on one side to hold my camera and phone in place, there will be less jiggling and easy access.

And then I can put dirty items like cloth work gloves and a pocket chain saw in the other... while my lunch and emergency gear goes in the main cargo pocket.  Not sure which pocket to put the multi-tool in.

By the way, in your load-out, what kind of rope is that nuclear pink rope?  It looks too thick for Paracord.  Is that nylon climbing rope?  Reflective tracer?

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #83 on: June 28, 2012, 02:59:43 PM »
Nah, if it's that thick by it's self it's definitely not worth it.  I just want something to hold various items in a pre-arranged way, where I don't have to dig through multiple levels of bags.  Just the micro by it's self doesn't make any sense to me.
Agreed.

Quote
What are the dimensions on those pocket flaps?  If I can get a couple pockets sewn into the flap on one side to hold my camera and phone in place, there will be less jiggling and easy access.
4.5x6" and 6x6"  I also have another that I think is 6x8 or 9".  You can get them in multiple colors if you hunt around the Survival Metrics e-bay page or by googling "sil-nylon zippered pouch".  There's also some interesting Cuben fiber bags, too if you want something lightweight and see-thru http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/stuff_sacks.shtml

Quote
By the way, in your load-out, what kind of rope is that nuclear pink rope?  It looks too thick for Paracord.  Is that nylon climbing rope?  Reflective tracer?
It's Rothco milspec 550 cord.  Neon pink with reflective tracer.  They may not be running it at this time, but it never hurts to contact them and ask what lengths they have in what colors if you have something specific in mind.  If you want to go super light, the Kelty 3mm reflective is perfect for pocket kits.  Still rated at over 100#, but much thinner and lighter.  Reflective tracer and bright colors makes it serve multiple purposes, as it can be used as flagging, tied to tools (like your pocket chainsaw) so you don't lose them, used as guy lines on tents so you won't trip over them, along with normal cordage needs.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #84 on: June 28, 2012, 03:26:18 PM »
I'd be tempted to get glow in the dark for tent guywires if I was getting special cord for that, rather than just reflective.

Also, I was talking about the flaps on the side-pouches of the Hyper 3.0.  Sorry for not being more specific.

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #85 on: June 28, 2012, 07:43:35 PM »
Also, I was talking about the flaps on the side-pouches of the Hyper 3.0.  Sorry for not being more specific.
I don't know.  Not a pack I own, just one I admire.

The glow in the dark cord seems interesting.  I've thought about using it for a knife lanyard so I can find it in the dark.  However, since I don't get out of the tent when I'm camping without a headlamp, reflective works just fine for my purposes.  Not sure how long the glow in the dark cord would glow after it was exposed to light.  I've seen some glow material last 6-8 hours, I've seen other stuff fade after 20-30 minutes.  All of it adds a level of versatility that standard 550 cord doesn't have.  It comes at a cost, but for my wilderness kit, I spare no expense because I travel light and my life may depend on each piece of gear.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #86 on: June 28, 2012, 09:07:48 PM »
My walking staff (that I still want to make a blog post about) has a combination of reflective and glow in the dark woven into a 3-pass turk's head.  The glow in the dark is very bright at first, and rated to last 8 hours after a full day's exposure.

And I agree on the head-lamp, I keep one or more with me at all times while camping.  I'm also seeing why you dislike the over-the-top strap.  I recently got a super-bright headlamp for a present, and it comes with one of those straps.

Offline BDinVA

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #87 on: July 09, 2012, 01:53:08 PM »
I own a couple stand-alone Camelbak hydration systems as well as a Transformer Hydration + Cargo pack which I use as a daypack for hiking, going to the shooting range, the beach, etc.

Like an earlier poster said, you have to be disciplined for keeping up your gear because if you just throw your backpack in the closet and don't bother draining/drying, you are going to have issues.

I never put anything in the bladder except water, and rarely have to clean any of the systems.  Camelbak makes a really handy cleaning kit with a brush and a hanger with spacer to keep the bladder "opened up" while it air-dries.  That has worked very well for me.

Knock on wood, never had any parts fail, either.  Great products, IMO.

Offline Josh the Aspie

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #88 on: July 20, 2012, 12:23:44 PM »
Well, I think I've got my first crack at my system figured out.

Hyper 3.0 for the pack.
I'm having them add a second handle on the top to give me more flexibility when trying to hang it on pegs.  They're also going to add a pocket up against the waist for me, so that I can have things like my multi-tool, or emergency gear tucked exactly where I need them, and also close in to the body for stability.  I asked for charcoal/charcoal, because I thought it was a slightly lighter off-black (I don't like stark black), but now that I'm looking over the colors, I think I may call them back and ask them to change it to for black/black, or charcoal/black.

They'll also be adding some loop velcro for me, so that I can attach reflective patches when I want the reflective nature, and remove it when I don't.

As far as the Mole, he doesn't really think it'd work well on the pack, and with the size of the pack, I'm going to try going without this time around.

As far as the actual hydration system goes, I'm looking at the following
WXP 3L Upgrade Kit
I'd prefer to get the forest plastic to getting the coyote, but this one has a center stabilizing adhesion to prevent bulging, and going with the kit all together costs way less than buying the bladder and the UTA separately.

I'm also looking at getting a [urlhttp://source-military.com/hydration-accessories/43-magnet-clip.html]magnet clip[/url] or a docking station.

I'm also trying to figure out how to combine orders from the civilian side to get a tube insulator for winter conditions.

I think that the magnetic clip might well work better with the tube insulator than the docking station would.

So, if I'm about to do something stupid here, please let me know so I can stop myself?  :P

If you think my chosen system is totally awesome, I wouldn't mind hearing that either.  ;)

endurance

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Re: Considering getting a Camelbak-like bladder
« Reply #89 on: July 20, 2012, 01:47:12 PM »
Are the guys at Wingnut great or what?  Gotta love folks that are so willing to help you build your perfect pack.  You've come up with some good mods that I'm slightly envious of. ;)

I'm a camelbak bladder guy, especially now with the new Antidote system that makes the tube easily removable.  Now, I can have one tube with an in-line filter and one without and easily swap them back and forth, even when the bladder is full.  That said, there's nothing wrong with the bladder you're looking at. 

No opinion on the docking station.

The tube insulators have never been my schtick.  The reason is that they can still freeze if you don't take a drink often enough, but you can keep any tube from freezing by just blowing all the water out of the tube after every sip.  If there's no water in the tube, it can't freeze.  It has never failed me yet. ;)