We have all used countless drinking systems and reservoirs in our racing careers. Who hasn’t heard of or used a CamelBak? Osprey and Platypus round out the big three of bladders in the USA, and while we have nothing against these companies and their products, the Rootstock race team has transitioned over to using reservoir drinking-systems produced by SOURCE Hydration Systems, and here’s why.
SOURCE is an Israeli company who has quite a presence outside the United States, and over and over again, we found that consumers preferred their products to other leading companies. We were eager to test their products out, and since we teamed up with them, their reservoirs have quickly become a staple in our gear closets and bins.
First off, their easy-to-open and close Widepac reservoirs are quick and easy to use, especially with tired, sore, or numb hands. While we rarely use the Universal Tube Adapter in the field, it’s an amazing addition that allows us to fill our bladders using the drinking tube without removing them from our packs. We admit we were skeptical at first, but the UTA is simple to use and fills the bladder in no time at all. If only we always had faucets or hoses in the depths of the woods!
Perhaps our favorite feature of the SOURCE reservoirs is their bite valve. Able to rotate in every direction imaginable, the Helix Valve makes drinking noticeably easier. With other bladders, one often has to yank and pull, physically manipulate the hose, or practice neck and head contortion to drink easily. We have found that this is especially true in adventure racing when we are paddling. When we are on the water, we often have our packs strapped down or in the hull of the boat, and drinking becomes considerably more challenging due to the positioning of the hose and nozzle. With the Helix, it doesn’t matter where our packs and reservoirs are; as long as we can reach the hose, we can drink easily without any extra time, effort, or frustration.
In addition to their rotating valves, SOURCE has produced a nozzle with a dust cap that comes in handy considering all the dust, dirt and mud adventure racers encounter. And with a simple locking mechanism, we can make sure our valves don’t leak. Some other companies might have similar features, but the SOURCE reservoirs are more user-friendly and effective than others we have sampled.
With universal adapters on each end of the hose, SOURCE has also one-upped other reservoirs by creating a more versatile product that allows for all sorts of creative interchange, and they offer insulated hoses both for winter and summer weather, another nice feature for adventure athletes. SOURCE also claims that their reservoirs need no cleaning with their Taste-Free and Grunge-Guard technologies. In adventure racing this is hard to believe, and we probably should wait a couple of years before commenting on this. That said, so far, so good!
Finally, the 3 liter Widepac weighs in at 125g which is less than half the weight of comparable Osprey reservoirs, about 65% of the CamelBack Antidote, and measurably less than Platypus’ reservoirs. Since weight is always one our biggest concerns, SOURCE products are ideal when ounces matter.
In addition to their standard reservoirs, we have also been using SOURCE’s D|vide reservoirs. With all of the same features mentioned above, the D|vide offers us the ability to carry two different fluids with us at any one time. With two compartments and two drinking hoses, we can alternate between fresh water and whatever electrolyte-enhanced drink we might choose. Still lighter than the Osprey, the D|vide comes in at a respectable weight, and we are happy to add an extra ounce for the diversity it allows.
Widepac Filter Hydration System Review:
SOURCE Hydration is now offering the ultimate hydration package for adventure racers: a combination package of SOURCE’s terrific Widepac Hydration System and a mini-filter from SAWYER. Together, this set-up is a dream for adventure racers who need to stay hydrated and healthy.
The package comes with a 2 liter reservoir, and the SAWYER mini-filter allows racers to carry less water cutting down on one of if not the heaviest items in their packs. Rootstock’s race team has been relying on this combination for two years, and it has allowed us to race lighter and filter water more efficiently. In addition, the filter leaves the water tasting natural and fresh, and it allows the thirsty racer to drink immediately without having to wait for chemicals to cleanse the water.
The system allows for quick and easy refills on the go, and with the ability to filter up to 100,000 gallons of water, the SAWYER filter will last an adventure racer for years, if not a career. If you have relied on iodine, chlorine, pumps or other forms of filtration, the Widepac Filter Hydration System will revolutionize how you travel and hydrate in the outdoors.
Winter Tube Kit Review:
SOURCE’s Winter Tube Kit is perfect for adapting to winter training and racing when temperatures drop below freezing. Complete with an insulated tube cover and SOURCE’s high-flow Storm Valve, this accessory is a must for those who remain outside when the weather gets cold. SOURCE’s reservoirs have simple snap-in connectors that allow racers to quickly swap hoses, making it easy to move between the Winter Tube Kit and other SOURCE hoses.
Team Rootstock’s Favorite SOURCE Products: