Platypus Big Zip SL Hydration Bladder Review

July 23, 2008

I remember the early days of hydration packs. It was so cool to have one because it completely changed the hydration game, but at the same time most of the bladders on the market left something to be desired. Leaky bite valves, small bladder openings and nasty-tasting water were all hallmarks of the first bladders. These days, companies (like Platypus, PolarPak, Nalgene and others) focus solely on the hydration bladder and not the pack itself. Realizing that the pack is highly personal, but the bladder just needs to work and work well, that's what these companies are doing. Platypus has been pushing their Platy Bottles for years. They are awesome for backpacking especially where space is always a premium. As the liquid is used, you can compress the bottle down to nothing. Adapted from those bottles is the Platypus Big Zip SL hydration bladder, which is new for Summer 2008. Available in three sizes (1.8 L, 2.0 L and 3.0 L), the Big Zip SL offers great features at reasonable $27-$29 price point. Here are some highlights New materials increase durability and flexibility. New SlideLock close ensures a secure and easy closure every time. Quick-connect fitting allows you to remove from pack without re-routing drink tube. New SlimeGuard anti-microbial treatment keeps your water fresh and taste-free. HyperFlow bite valve offers the highest flow rate on the market. Ergonomic shutoff valve is angled at 90º for no-hassle, hands-free hydration. MSRP: $26.95 (1.8 and 2.0 L) and $28.95 (3.0 L) Platypus Big Zip SL Hydration Bladder Review Easy to fill and easy to drink from, the Platypus Big Zip SL is a great choice when looking for a replacement hydration bladder. I like how easy it is to slip the SlideLock from the top and open the bladder wide for ice cubes and water fill-up. The ability to disconnect the hose is a huge bonus as well. Nothing is worse than trying to fill up a bladder that's attached to your pack via the umbillical cord-like drinking tube. Many times I've spilled water on my pack and had to wear a wet pack on the ride. Slime-Guard keeps your water fresh and the bladder clean from ride-to-ride. I also like how easy it is to get a solid flow from the HyperFlow bite valve, then lock it out when needed. This is a solid hydration bladder ant a great price. Buy Now: Search for Platypus Hydration Bladders

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