One of my favorite "luxury" items I take backpacking is my hydration bladder. Obviously drinking water isn't a luxury when you're hiking but in the utralight backpacking world the standard advice is to just grab an empty Smartwater water bottle and refill it from your filter.
But there's 2 problems with this.
- You have to stop and pull out your water bottle every time you want a drink (or awkwardly contort your body around to get the water bottle out, no thanks).
- You can only carry 1 liter of water.
This is why I love carrying a hydration bladder. Not only can I drink on the go (which lets me get in more miles during the day), but I can also carry way more water which means I don't have to stop as often to filter. Both of these add up to a more convenient hike and more time spent on the trail.
In the past I used a generic hydration bladder I found on Amazon. It was about $15 and held 2 liters of water. It was all I had ever known and by all accounts, it got the job done.
But when I'd go on trips with my buddy and I'd see him using an Osprey hydration bladder and I started to realize all the issues with my bladder. My bladder closed with a screw-in cap that was on the inside of the bladder. This made it impossible to close without spilling water everywhere.
Also since the lid screwed on it couldn't be located all the way at the top of the bladder.
This meant I was wasting about 1/4 of the space in the bladder since I couldn't fill it all the way up.
Here's a picture of my old bladder to give you an idea of the design flaw I'm talking about.
So when I got an email from TruMod Life to check out their new hydration bladder I was really eager to check it out. I had been looking around at some hydration bladders to upgrade to and their design checked all the boxes that my old hydration bladder did not.
Overall Impression of the TruMod Bladder
Before I dive into the details of this bladder, my overall review is that this bladder is extremely high quality and will be replacing my old bladder right away.
The 3 things I look for in a bladder are:
- Easy to fill up
- Easy to drink from
The TruMod bladder checks all 3 of these boxes and is really easy to use. Let's take a look at each category in detail.
Filling the TruMod Hydration Bladder
Like I mentioned earlier, my old bladder was a pain to fill up. Unscrewing and screwing the cap on was really difficult due to how hard it was to get the threading to line up and the insane amount of force required to get it closed all the way.
The TruMod bladder takes care of both of these issues with the envelope folding top and clip that holds it shut.
This type of closing mechanism has 2 advantages. (1) It's more leak proof than a screw on cap and (2) it's also way easier to do. Sliding the clip on and off is simple and straight forward.
Drinking From the TruMod Bladder
The mouthpiece on the TruMod bladder requires you to bite down on it in order to drink the water. I didn't have any trouble with it and found it to be sturdier than the current style of bladder I have which is too flexible.
The clip at the top of the bladder has a hook so you can hang it inside your backpack. The hose has a quick disconnect where it connects to the bladder so it's easy to disassemble and store away.
The bladder was lightweight, on par with my current bladder. It seems most bladders are in the same weight range so this usually isn't a deciding factor.
Here's a short video showing the "waterproofness" of the TruMod bladder. It held up just fine.
I like the TruMod bladder and I'll be replacing my existing bladder with it. I'm a big fan of the closing mechanism how easy it is to fill up.