37

Some advice given to me in an outdoor leadership course: As a leader, use water bottles rather than bladders. Make an obvious show of the pausing and drinking: stopping, taking off the pack, getting out the water bottle, and drinking plenty. This is a clear signal to the clients that it's OK, advisable even, to stop and drink and do other things like rest, ...


37

This is my highly opinionated self-answer. I would be happy to see other people's answers if they disagree. The advent of bladders such as camelbaks is a response to a pop-culture myth that dehydration is always sneaking up on us -- that "thirst is too late," so we have to constantly drink water even when we're not thirsty. Actually, the first and ...


17

The main advantage of a water bladder is that it's easy to drink from. You can take frequent small sips without interrupting your activity. If tend to forget to drink enough water while exercising, this is a huge advantage. If you don't have that problem, then you get little to no advantage from a water bladder. A side effect is if you are biking/climbing/...


14

This is a known downside with water bladders. In my opinion it's the largest downside of a water bladder compared to a water bottle. You don't know you're running low on water until you're completely out, and even then it's hard to tell if you're actually out of water or if you just got a kink in the hose. The main benefit of a water bladder is that the easy,...


12

One advantage to bladders that hasn't been mentioned yet: the less water they contain, the less space they take up in your pack. A 1L bottle takes up 1L of space whether it's full, half full, or empty. If you have a 3L bladder but don't need to carry 3L of water, you can fill it with as much water as you need and have more space available for other things.


8

I'm not a big fan of bladders myself but use them at times. The main reason is that I find it hard to drink enough - although they're hands free, the flow is too low to get enough if a rare quick drink is all you have time for, unlike a bottle. I use them on the mountain bike for reasons of balance and cleanliness (bottles get covered in mud), then on ...


5

The effect of temperature on exercise performance has been studied in some detail. This paper nicely reviews a range of hypotheses as well as including experimental data. They seem to conclude that metabolic effects dominate, with the availability of glycogen being a key factor. Effectively your body is less efficient running hotter (and the internal ...


5

The few times I have cared how much I have left I could get a decent feel for it by running my hand between the bladder and the partition that separates the bladder from the rest of the pack. It's not real accurate but it's always been enough to answer the question of whether it's safe to give away my backup bottle.


5

After a small intermezzo using hydration bladders, I have been using bottles exclusively for the last few years. There is two events that caused me to abandon hydration bladders: Water leaking into the backpack. This happened with a cheap bladder and a smaller backpack stuffed full with climbing equipment. The bladder simply did not hold tight under ...


4

A bladder: can be accessed without having to take off a rucksack and put it back on again (sounds trivial, but if you're carrying 25kg or more, and there's no rock to balance it on...) can be accessed without opening waterproof containers (e.g. kayak hatch or spraydeck) can be sipped from in small quantities (due to the convenience shown above), avoiding ...


4

Bring both Why the bladder? I seriously forget to drink if I don't bring a water bladder on my hikes. Before I used hydration systems, I regularly felt fatigue, got headaches, and at times altitude sickness. When I stop for a break on a cold, humid day (and I usually hike in moderately cold climates) I fail to catch up drinking the half litre I should have ...


2

There is an 'inbetween' option. A tube with the bladder like stopper which is used with a bottle, any pet bottle with a common top can be used, two different tops included in the set I bought. I used this set, usually several spare bottle and one with the tube in, while I used a recumbent bike with a seat that came up to almost mouth level, just pull the ...


2

Multi-pitch rock climbing I use a bladder when running (which others have discussed), but I also prefer one for multi-pitch rock climbing, for a few reasons. Bladder advantages Less chance of dropping something. The water is inside the pack which is attached to you, so it's harder to drop. You could sling a water bottle to yourself also, but this adds some ...


2

As someone who used to do a lot of serious walking with a serious pack, I started before water bladders existed. Certainly taking a pack off is awkward, especially if it's a large pack. But there are many other things apart from water which you also want accessible without taking your pack off - compass, money, cards, phone, perhaps a knife, perhaps a guide ...


2

First I want to mention that I have no experience with the proposed solutions below, so they might as well be unsuitable. It should generally by possible to attach a flow meter to the hose of the bladder. There are rather small versions out there used for example for gardening or laboratory purposes. I am not sure about the minimum flow requirements and the ...


1

I use a bladder when mountain biking because it keeps the weight on me rather than on the bike, and has no risk of bouncing out of a bottle cage - plus bottles get covered in mud and/or get very cold. I tend to under-hydrate because I drink when it fits the riding conditions or when I stop, and the slow flow compared to a bottle means I don't drink much ...


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