MSR Hoser 3.0 Hydration Bladder System
I have been using platypus water bladders for years and in general very happy with their performance. I am not a big believer in storing water inside my pack after a bad leak with a different brand bladder. So I use an outside pocket for my Hoser. No problem keeping the hose under control. I like the ability to use different size bags as needed. I usually fill a one liter bag for hiking and carry empty two liter bags for in camp use. When needed I can swap tops and have the larger bag as a hoser. Still fits in Side pocket. Yes it takes a few days to dry these. I find that a paper towel stuffed inside for the first day really helps get the drying started. Also I have swapped out the bite valve for a different brand since I like magnetic instead of spring clips.
But so far no bladder/water system seems as light and as strong as the platypus bags.
October 23, 2014
Great reservoir, no taste or smell, and no leaks.
I've been a hiker for a while now and have always used a simple Nalgene bottle, but finally gave in and purchased this 3L Platypus reservoir to go in a reservoir compatible day pack I already owned.
My first issue was that the sleeve in the day pack was too small for this enormous water bladder. Once I got it situated in my pack and routed the hose I was all set. The advantage of course is that when I want a drink I don't have to try and contort myself to reach for a side pocket and the Nalgene bottle, I can just pop the hose into my mouth and bite down to get a drink.
Now on to reviewing the actual reservoir.
The Hoser is a lot like all the other water bladders on the market, it has a large size bladder, is made of BPA free plastic, and does not impart a taste to the water you've stored in it. I like the larger size of the Hoser which at 3.0 L is one of the larger ones. It does make things difficult when getting it into your pack but the nice part is that I only have to fill it once, and maybe carry a single Nalgene bottle as a spare depending on the hike distance and environment.
There were only two issues that I've run into with this bladder. The first being when you fill it up. The opening for filling the bladder is a bit small (about the size of a plastic water bottle cap) which makes it difficult to completely fill the reservoir. And cleaning and drying the unit is also affected by this same issue.
Once you are done using the bladder and are ready to clean it and put it away you have to contend with the same small opening. It can take days for me to completely dry out the bladder so I can put it away. I have tried coming up with different tools to prop open the bladder but inevitably there is always a bit of moisture still inside that stubbornly doesn't want to evaporate.
Most recently I decided to try freezing the empty bladder and leaving it in the freezer until I need it next. We'll see how that works when I go on my next hike.
On the plus side of this bladder, I like the design of the bite valve. It takes getting used to as you have to bite down just right to get the water to flow, but I have never had an issue with leakage. Also, I've hiked with several friends who have competitors products and at least once a hike someone has a problem where their reservoir leaks in their pack. I have never had an issue with the screw on filler cap leaked. I have seen on some of the competitor models with the larger opening that they don't always seal as well.
This unit has a small 'loop' at the top which you can use to clip the bladder into a pack and there is a metal clip on the hose so you can position the bite valve for easy access.
There are also a variety of accessories offered by Platypus such as an insulating sleeve for the hose. I have found once or twice that if left unprotected on a cold weather hike the hose can freeze up and then the bladder is useless.
All in all this is a great product if you are planning on doing long hikes where there is a limited supply of fresh water.
October 16, 2014