As you reach the point where you pretty much have all the gear you need (and then some) for backpacking and hiking, your focus typically shifts to improving on the gear that you already have or tweaking it to be more effective or to shave off weight. I’m always on the lookout for new or creative ways to improve on ideas that have been around for some time and there are numerous good blogs that specialize in giving advice on how to customize your gear or reduce the weight of your overall pack one item at a time – I try to provide some insight around those principles via this blog too.
I came across a really cool and clever design of water carry bags made by Evernew USA and wanted to share it with you. I had always bought the standard Platypus water bladders that can be found in just about every good outdoors store and had enjoyed great success and reliability with them, not really knowing about or looking for an alternative. I typically customize all of my Platypus bladders to add a small loop of shock cord around the neck of the bladder that can be used to restrain it when rolled up. I first saw the idea via one of Jason Klass’ videos.
The Evernew water carry bags intrigued me because they came with the shock cord neck loop already included as standard. It’s a relatively minor thing but a well thought through design element that saves you the trouble of having to do it yourself, I like to see manufacturers that are paying attention to their audience and taking notes for possible improvements. On the back of the product packaging are some really cool illustrations showing you how to use the shock cord to secure the rolled up bladder in place.
Another really simple but useful feature if the Evernew water bladders is the lid retainer. It’s nothing more than a small piece of nylon that attaches to the neck of the bottle and the top of the lid, but it saves you from those times when you put the lid down on the floor “somewhere safe” while you fill the bladder and then can’t find the lid – I betting many of you reading this have had the same thing happen to you. I’ve even tried getting in the habit of putting small lids in my pocket when I remove them, but have still managed to lose them some how. I wouldn’t be surprised if all my lost lids are in the same place as my lost odd socks, wherever that is.
Both the shock cord and lid are bright orange which makes the bladder highly visible if put down on the ground. I know it sounds highly unlikely that you could lose a water bladder on the floor while out camping, but trust me I’ve seen it happen many times. A little splash of bright orange really helps make the bottle pop out against the greens and browns of the trail floor.
I’ve been using Evernew water carry bags for the last few weeks now and have not experience any issues with them. One thing that I had disliked about my Platypus bags was that despite thoroughly cleaning before and after use, they continued to have a mild “plastic” smell to them that seemed to taint the water too – not a huge deal but a mildly annoying one. I have not noticed that same smell of taste with the Evernew water bags.
According to the Evernew website the water carry bags are made from a three-layer, low odor, antibacterial polyethylene that significantly reduces that plastic taste and I have to agree that I have noticed the difference. I’m impressed by the quality and ingenuity that has gone into something as simple as a collapsible water bladder and encouraged that manufacturers like Evernew are listening to their users and adjusting their product lines to give us exactly what we need. Pretty cool and very affordable water carry bags, check them out if you haven’t already done so.
Disclosure: Evernew USA provided Brian’s Backpacking Blog with a complementary Water Carry Bag to review.