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Hydration Bladders


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#1 Troy

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:45 AM

If there are any scenario junkies out there, I'm in the middle of conducting a test on hydration bladders (for my website Spadout.com). I'm mainly testing 2 different things 1) the connection between the bite valve and the hose (which is the weakest point in the system) and 2) the coatings they use on the bladders making them easier to rinse.

For #1 I'm setting up a repetitive pull test on the bite valve using a drill to test the number of pulls any hose can handle. The setup is going to look like a train engine wheel, every revolution will pull on the mechanical linkage which will yank on the bite valve which will be attached to a spring that will help modulate the force.

Its not as critical for paintballers, but trust me, its annoying as shit when you climbing on a 5.11 pitch and your 20 feet over your last piece (which means your fall will be over 40 feet) of protection, and your bite valve flies off liberally spraying your feet with water. Or when you are backpacking and it comes off and you loose a day's supply of water... yeah, it sucks.

For #2 I'm probably going to mix up a glucose+water mix put it in a bladder and then rinse it out with one volume of the bladder's water, then test it using urinalysis strips (which are sensitive to glucose). This will tell us how easy any of these things will be to clean.

Bladders being tested include:
Camelback Omega Reservoir
Platypus Hoser
Platypus Big Zip SL
Nalgene CXC Bladder
Kelty CXC Bladder
MSR Cloudliner
Hydrapak Reversible II Reservoir

If anyone cares, thats cool, if not, thats cool too. I think this kind of stretches the definition of "paintball fact" so feel free to shut the thread down if it isn't what you guys want to see in here.

Edited by Troy, 09 December 2008 - 09:54 AM.

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#2 pbtohiglo

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:04 AM

Sweet!!! I'm puttin my money on the nalgene or camelbak. My camelbaks been through the ringer and would still be working (if I hadn't lost a piece)

Edited by pbtohiglo, 09 December 2008 - 10:04 AM.

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#3 Thunder66

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:54 AM

I have a RAP4 bladder and it works great.
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#4 TylerBrungardt

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:28 PM

camelbacks are the shit my sister brought me one back from when she was in the army!!!
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#5 Lord Odin

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 09:19 PM

I'm rather interested in this test. I've been wanting a hydration bladder for my vest but haven't looked into it much yet.

Have you considered how you are going to control the rinsing stage so that each bladder gets washed the same? Also, do these bladders hold the same amount of liquid or do they vary? If some are bigger than others, that might make it harder to clean and give unfair results.

Edited by Lord Odin, 10 December 2008 - 07:13 AM.


#6 jester

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:28 PM

thank you so much for this test. i can't wait to see the results. I need a new bladder anyway.
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#7 Troy

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    What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 09:05 AM

I'm rather interested in this test. I've been wanting a hydration bladder for my vest but haven't looked into it much yet.

Have you considered how you are going to control the rinsing stage so that each bladder gets washed the same? Also, do these bladders hold the same amount of liquid or do they vary? If some are bigger than others, that might make it harder to clean and give unfair results.

I have considered it... what I may end up doing is finding the surface area of each of the bladders and making a ratio of [surface area]/[volume] and then scewing my results accordingly.

Unfortunately, this isn't a straight forward problem. A bigger bag is harder to clean (takes more water), but it's lower surface to volume ratio will automatically give it a head start in my tests

I think what I'll do is test two different bladders of the same size and see if the difference is big enough for my level of detection to pick up on it. If it is, then I'll do something to compensate if not, I'll be lazy and not do anything.
\m/

#8 brycelarson

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 10:20 AM

on the other hand - you ARE testing how well bladders clean up - and if that's partially due to size / design - then allowing an advantage for the bigger bags more closely represents real life.

I suggest that instead of trying to skew your results to match - you just develop a standard procedure for each bag and follow it exactly. This gives each bag an equal chance to get clean.

Maybe something as simple as taking each bag, filling it to 1/2 volume, tip back and forth three times, dump water. that way each bag would be tested the same - and the ones that clean better (for whatever reason) would show better results.

#9 Troy

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    What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:17 PM

So here is a link to my bladder test. I'm probably going to get crucified for this... but the Camelbak Omega Reservoir really sucked balls in my test. I've been a camelbak guy for a LONG time, pretty much since they invented the hydration bladder. It sucked it up in the wash test, and it was THE ONLY bladder that failed my repetitive pull test (I didn't even bother releasing those results).

Just to give you an idea how my little torture machine here worked:
Posted Image
It pulled the tip off of Camelbak's tube after 23 seconds (that was as installed by the factory). Lets contrast that with platypus's, which I left on for 45 minutes before giving up.

Now, in all fairness, I was able to figure out the maximal way to install a Camelbak bite valve, so that it lasted 8 minutes of torture, but still.

I'm going to come back with a bigger, meaner rig for testing REAL bite valves, not crappy camelbak ones.

Just so you guys know... I'm keeping my Platypus Big Zip SL, that bag freakin rocks.
\m/

#10 brycelarson

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:19 PM

Just to give you an idea how my little torture machine here worked:
Posted Image
It pulled the tip off of Camelbak's tube after 23 seconds (that was as installed by the factory). Lets contrast that with platypus's, which I left on for 45 minutes before giving up.


While I may not personally use a hydration system - nor really have any need to test this man - I have to say - this rig if f'ing awsome.

Love it - makes me giggle for no good reason.

#11 Lord Odin

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:15 AM

Very cool test! I'll definitely be considering those for my next purchase.

You should include info and pics on your torture machine to that page as well. I wouldn't have thought you tested for that just by reading it.

Overall, great job.

#12 italian mobster

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 12:24 AM

I had a camelback but i left gatoraid in it one time and forgot to clean it and it turned to mold so i am going to be geting a new one.
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#13 Troy

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    What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:31 AM

While I may not personally use a hydration system - nor really have any need to test this man - I have to say - this rig if f'ing awsome.

Love it - makes me giggle for no good reason.


My wife thought I was freakin insane with my cries of "IT'S ALIVE!! IIIIIITTTTTSSSS ALLIIIIIIIIVVVVVEEEE!!!!!" from our guest bedroom. I have to say, I got a healthy sense of enjoyment watching it tear relentlessly at these bladder tips.

My goals when I do tests on Spadout are not unsimilar to your's here, but unlike what you guys do, one of the points of my experiments is to provide specific product advice. I would love to take Qpaintball in the same direction, but right now, it owes its existance entirely to riding on the coattails of Spadout. They both use the same resources, programming and backend. When Qpaintball can start standing on its own, than you'll be seeing more of this kind of stuff on there.

Very cool test! I'll definitely be considering those for my next purchase.

You should include info and pics on your torture machine to that page as well. I wouldn't have thought you tested for that just by reading it.

Overall, great job.


I added a foot note, kind of, just for you <_< . I was planning on it actually, I was just tired as hell last night, and didn't want to mess with it.

Edited by Troy, 23 December 2008 - 09:32 AM.

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