This will be a quick one.
You need water. It’s the most basic needs for life. When you go out on adventures, whether they be by bike or on foot, you need to stay hydrated. Rather than go into the science of how much water you need to take with you, I’ll just say that you need to take water with you. Minus 10 and in the mountains? Take water. Over 30 and humid as balls? Take water.
Source makes a great hydration pack for all kinds of adventure. Three features make this one particularly better in my mind than competing brands. But I will also cover one feature it lacks.
1) Taste-free PE and Glass-like TPU
Really, this is two features of the bladder, but the combination of the two results in a great water carrier. The Taste-free material is exactly that. Brand new out of the box and hundreds of liters later, I’ve yet to detect a taste imparted on my water. I’ve even thrown Nuun tablets in my Source bag and they did not affect the taste later. The glass-like technology likely helps with this, as vapor and residue have no real chance to stick. Do a flash fill from a sink, dump, then refill with fresh water and you’re good to go!
2) The Widepac closure system
It’s perfect. Seriously. Slide off, unfold once and do what you need to. Refill, fold and slide. Done. This system is far easier to use than those on Platypus or Hydrapak bags.
3) Mouth piece
Armed with a shut-off and hard cap, the helix valve wins in preventing unnecessary water loss and by staying clean. Sure, it’s hard, bulky and likely to hurt you if you crash while mountain biking, but at least it’ll be clean.
1) Filling port
Widepac is great and all, but because this bag lacks a 63mm screwcap, it’s not ideal for backcountry use. Strangely, Source’s WXP LP does have this feature, but it’s top opening isn’t as large.
Regardless of what you do – the Source Widepac hydration bladder and it’s sibling WXP bladder are a great choice for your water carrying needs. Just be mindful that, if you’re going camping and you want to use a filtration device, you’ll need to transfer the water from a Nalgene to the Widepac. If you have the WXP, then you’re all set.