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290 Platypus 2010-10-06

Platypus water containers

As hikers and backpackers we are always trying to pack just enough water. Water is heavy at 2 pounds per quart (or 2.2 pounds per liter). Packing too much water makes us work harder and need more water. Packing too little water leaves us dehydrated, also effecting our performance. Water containers can also be very heavy and take up a lot of space whether empty or full. So what is a packer to do?

Years ago we gave up on the hard sided water bottles and began to use a soft sided water bag. The ones we used were difficult to re-cap after filling. If we were not careful re-capping the bag, they would also leak around the threads. The bags were also heavy. The benefits of the bags were they were collapsible and were easy to pack. It was a hard decision to continue to use the bags; but they were the only game in town.

A few years later another manufacture began making soft sided plastic containers. These were great. They packed very small when empty and weighed nothing. The containers were the perfect answer; but after a few trips they began to spring leaks. Holes developed in the plastic and the manufacturer did not offer a means to patch them. After trying too many of the soft sided plastic containers - we returned to using our previous leaky water bags.

Then we began seeing another soft sided plastic container on the market, Platypus. The Platypus containers looked exactly like the ones we had owned, so we seriously doubted whether or not they would work. Ah, but Platypus even offered a patch kit. So we tried one. It was light, packable, and it did not leak! We now have been using the containers for over five years and not one has leaked on us. Well, except for when we were camping at Capitol Lake and a bear tried to drink from a couple of the containers. The containers are not bear proof; but they do not leak under normal use.

Amy and I now use the containers exclusively. Platypus has also come up with new designs and sizes to accommodate more users. The liter and .5 liter containers easily fit into the side mesh pockets seen on most packs these days. The side pocket placement of the water container makes for a quick draw sip, for those who do not like carrying a bladder.

To make sure that we do not run out of water on a trip...

  • Before we leave the trailhead, we drink all the water we can - camel up.
  • In our packs we carry a bladder for sipping, a small Platypus for gulping, and a 2 plus liter empty Platypus for camp.
  • We refill the small Platypus at available watering holes. Once again we will drink to our fill where water is available and then fill the small Platypus to use as gulping water until we reach the next watering hole.
  • At camp we fill the large Platypus to use for camping chores and to refill before bed so that we have water for breakfast.
  • If we know that our campsite will not have water, we fill all the containers at the water source closest to the site.
  • The Platypus containers give us flexibility without adding much weight.

As for the Platypus Patches, we still carry them with us; but we do not know if they work or not! The bear holes were too big to patch!

Question... if you have more than one Platypus would it be a Platypi?

Happy thirst-less trails.


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