Water Bottle vs. Bladder: Which is Better?

Bringing enough water is essential for a safe and enjoyable outing. But how do you bear it? Usually, hikers are divided into two camps: those who prefer to carry traditional water bottles, and those who drink the water through a hose. We asked two of our editors to fight for their favorite.

Bottles are the best

By Shannon Davis

The water bottle has one alleged downside, so I’ll start from there. As we all know, there is no connecting hose with a sucker at the end through which to draw water while multitasking on your phone. But rather than being a downside, I would argue that the lack of a hose is just one of the bottle’s unbeatable features.

The bare hose of a dirty filling tank freezes and is difficult to refill once the mercury has fallen. And the heat is no better: three blazing sips precede the liters of lukewarm water on every summer outing. How refreshing!

On the other hand, the bottle is perishable and easy to fill and protect from the elements. They also come in insulated models to keep your liquids cold or piping hot, just the way you want them.

More things you can do with a bottle but not a bladder (bladder!): Fill it with hot water to warm the foot of a sleeping bag on a winter camping trip; harvest snow in it to melt and enjoy the water all day long in the Alps; clean it without specialized equipment (bottles are not susceptible to mold and tanks are like tanks); Cover it with all the stickers that do not fit in your roof box; And use it without fuss or embarrassment anywhere – from your car to the office to the gym to the plane. You can fill it with a mix of drinks (or even the alcoholic beverage of your choice) without the remaining flavors leaching into the water for months to come. the bottle? It is simply better.

cabinet base

Written by Eli Bernstein

When I hike with partners who don’t use a tank, I pity them. Do you stop pulling a bottle out of your side pocket whenever you feel thirsty? That must be annoying. it’s not? Well, here’s something: when you inevitably ask me to grab your bottle after you’re tired of removing the pack or straining your shoulder joint.

Before you accuse me of cruelty, let me defend my position: I am only rational and efficient. Hiking is hard enough already; Why would you want to spend more time and energy adding unnecessary steps to hydrating your body? Having immediate access to water via a hose over your shoulder increases the likelihood of drinking it and continuing to drink at regular intervals, keeping you from becoming dehydrated. You don’t want to end your ride early because you made a bad gear decision and are now thirsty, do you?

Tanks are more fillable, lighter and contain more water than bottles. You don’t have to cut a stride to drink from it, which keeps your hiking momentum going and keeps you focused on the nature around you. Stopping just to drink from the bottle spoils the plate. But, sure, do it if you want to. I’ll cruise down the trail ahead, sip as you walk and ignore your pleas to “just get this bottle for me real quick.”

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