When playing hard in the mountains your body requires more water, whether you’re running for miles on Evergreen-lined singletrack, bagging a high alpine first descent or hiking in the desert. Efficiently packing water so that it doesn’t hinder your performance is vital. Product manufacturers are continuing to innovate and build more efficient, functional and comfortable hydration systems customized for specific activities. The following is a variety of gear that will help keep you hydrated while playing hard outdoors.
Amphipod PURErun Trail equips trail runners and hikers with an efficient waist pack hydration system. The pack nestles ergonomically in the lumbar region of the back. Its tapered 16-ounce stainless steel bottle rests in a padded, insulated sleeve on the right hip. The sleeve has a sloped-entry design making it convenient to grab the bottle in stride, pop the cap and drink, and then reinsert. When you’re charging trails, 16 ounces of water can go quickly, so plan your distances accordingly. PURErun has a low profile to mitigate bounce; it does move a bit when the bottle’s full but not enough to hinder your form. Keep essentials secure in the pack’s quick-access zippered storage pocket. Store an extra layer of clothing using the outer compression bungees. PURErun Trail is decisively at the forefront of waist pack systems.
Sanitize water from virtually any source in 60 seconds with the Camelbak AllClear which uses Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light to kill bacteria, Protozoan Cysts (Cryptosporidium) and water-borne viruses to Environmental Protection Agency standards. It’s simple: fill AllClear from a mountain stream or lake, replace the UV cap, power on, agitate for 60 seconds and drink; an LCD screen will verify sterilization. You get about 25 ounces of clean water with each cycle. Each full battery charge treats 80 cycles or 16 gallons of water. The system’s two lithium ion rechargeable batteries are recharged through numerous USB compatible power sources. When completely drained, it takes five hours to juice up with a standard AC wall charger. The UV-C bulb lasts for 10,000 cycles and then automatically ceases operation. Stuff AllClear in a pack when camping, skiing or hiking and rest assured that you’re drinking clean water.
The Camelbak 2012 Marathoner Vest was specifically designed for runners who are training for a marathon or a trail race. It holds 70 ounces of water, enough for covering longer distances. It also has front cargo capacity to carry more water or nutrition to extend your distances. The vest fits snugly against your back so that you can maintain your form and focus on your pace. Tube traps keep the water tube from flopping around and a safety whistle is included. Adjustable shoulder harnesses help fine tune the fit specific to your torso. The water reservoir—the Camelbak Antidote Reservoir—has a wide cap for easy filling and cleaning; it only take a quarter turn to loosen and remove it. Antidote also has a baffle running down the center to keep it low profile and mitigate sloshing. The 2012 Marathoner Vest represents yet another well-designed hydration system by Camelbak.
The Heli Pack 11L is optimal for skiing and snowboarding but works well for outdoor trips year round. Best of all you’ll have plenty of water on demand with either a two or three-liter hydration reservoir that is BPA and PVC free. The hose is insulated and has a 45-degree bite valve on the end with an on/off system. A push button hose-disconnect valve enables quick and easy filling. With 11 liters of space, the pack is Goldilocks size: it’s just right for packing enough gear for full day trail outings or overnighters. When the snow flies, load it up with your winter gear. Its ski and snowboard functionality includes vertical snowboard carry, retractable cable ski carry, external shovel carry, fleece-lined goggle pocket and an emergency backcountry whistle. It’s also great staying hydrated while dropping thousands of vertical feet on big powder days.
This attack pack executes its mission perfectly: efficiently deliver fluids to mountain bikers, skiers and trail runners in a compact unit. The internal Osprey Hydraform reservoir holds two liters of water to help you stay hydrated on longer rides and runs. The water hose emerges from the pack atop the shoulder and wraps around the front of the chest. Strong magnets keep the mouthpiece securely fastened to the chest strap so that you’re not constantly searching for the hose. Viper 4 is long and narrow with a low profile so that it doesn’t impede your movements or bounce around even while you’re bombing down rough trails. Storage is minimal with a small heat-embossed stash pocket and shoulder-strap pocket for essential effects like multi-tools and nutrition. Viper 4 includes an outer bungee lacing system to stow extra layers of clothing and the Osprey LidLock attachment to carry your helmet for transport.
There’s something great about drinking water from a skillfully-crafted aluminum water bottle, especially when it has a grip-friendly textured finish like the Swiss-made SIGG Graphite Bottle. The Graphite embodies the best elements of a simple, functional and stylish water bottle. It has two openings: one small for drinking and one large for easy cleaning and adding ice cubes. The interior SIGG EcoCare liner is non-porous meaning it won’t retain flavors or odors when you clean it, so you can fill it with water, sports drinks, juice, beer—whatever you like. Plus it’s BPA and phthalate-free. The top cap has a ring for hanging on hooks, straps and carabiners and its slender profile makes it easy to stash inside a pack. The Graphite bottle can also be outfitted with any SIGG bottle top. While perfect for the outdoors you may start using it at home, in the car and at the office.
Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Extreme outfits runners with a proficient hand-held 20-ounce water bottle perfect for short distance trail runs. One of the bottle’s greatest attributes is its flexible nozzle which doesn’t leak when it’s upside down, even in the open position. The neoprene band that envelops the bottle blocks the heat from your hand and keeps liquids cooler. Neoprene also provides a better grip than skin on plastic. The system’s 3D AirMesh nylon strap snugly wraps around the outside of your hand to keep the bottle securely affixed to your palm and can be adjusted; it cinches enough for petite hands while accommodating larger hands. The strap remains securely fastened so you can relax your fingers. It’s also easy to switch the bottle from hand to hand on the fly. The Bottle is BPA-free and doesn’t impart a chemical taste on liquids. Whether you’re into hand-held water bottles or not, give the Fastdraw Extreme a shot.