How to Tame That Noisy Hydration Bladder

How to Tame That Noisy Hydration Bladder

One of my pet peeves about using a hydration bladder system inside any of my packs is the annoying sloshing sound caused by the water moving around inside the bladder. If I’m walking or backpacking it’s not too bad and I can usually put up with it for short trips, but if I’m running – well lets just say it drives me crazy!

Whether I fill the bladder up to the top, a quarter of the way, or anywhere in between I still seem to end up with sloshing water. In fact the problem isn’t the amount of water in the blader, which varies as I consume it anyway, it’s the amount of air left in the bladder.

My “Doh!” Moment
I happened to mention how annoying the sloshing hydration bladders issue was to my Crossfit coach recently and he told me he had a really easy way to fix that. After he told me what I needed to do I looked at him with stunned disbelief – was it really that simple?

So, if you are already aware of this trick (and if you are, why haven’t you shared it?) I apologize for stating what may seem like bloody obvious, but for me this clever hack made the difference¬†between¬†an annoying run and an enjoyable one.

How to Tame That Noisy Hydration Bladder

The solution: Suck out all the air! Yup it was that simple. To stop the water sloshing around inside the space created by the air pocket inside the bladder, all I had to do was to turn the bladder upside down and use the tube to suck out all of the air. Think of it as vacum packing my water bladder!

How to Tame That Noisy Hydration Bladder

Once all of the air has been removed by sucking on the hydration tube, the water has nowhere to move inside the bladder making it silent and very stealthy. It took me just a few seconds to open up my rucksack, pull out the bladder, flip it over and suck out the air, but the result was nothing short of spectacular.

If, like me, you were unaware of this clever technique then I hope you try it and see if it helps tame the noise of your hydration bladder for your next hike or run. If you already knew about it, what other tips or tricks do you have that you might like to share?

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  • karla from CO

    I’ve done that, (sorry I didn’t share!!!! :D ) but I do it to make the bladder more compact so it takes up a little less space in the pack, plus I hate sucking air and I’m a bit OCD… haha! I don’t run, so the sloshing thing has never been an issue, but I imagine it could be quite annoying.

  • karla from CO

    I’ve done that, (sorry I didn’t share!!!! :D ) but I do it to make the bladder more compact so it takes up a little less space in the pack, plus I hate sucking air and I’m a bit OCD… haha! I don’t run, so the sloshing thing has never been an issue, but I imagine it could be quite annoying.

  • Ryan Wheeler

    I’ve done this for years, and do the same thing with my Platy bottles as well.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      ..and you were going to share this critical information when?

      • Birch

        I started doing this so tha bladder wouldn’t burst if I fell on it. Not sloshing was just a nice side effect

  • Ryan Wheeler

    I’ve done this for years, and do the same thing with my Platy bottles as well.

  • http://twitter.com/quickpe Chris Quick

    Simple but effective tip! Not sure my 7 year old son will go for it since he enjoys blowing his bladder up like a balloon on hikes :-/

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      LOL – well if he’s happy then there is no problem! Kids should have fun on their hikes :)

  • http://twitter.com/quickpe Chris Quick

    Simple but effective tip! Not sure my 7 year old son will go for it since he enjoys blowing his bladder up like a balloon on hikes :-/

  • Gnhikn

    Quite the epiphany! Who’d have thunk it? Its the simple things in life that sometimes have the biggest impact. Thanks for sharing

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Ha! Thanks, this was one of the those small things that was bugging me big time! Thankfully the fix was super easy (and obvious to everyone but me). Thought it would be good to share :-)

  • Gnhikn

    Quite the epiphany! Who’d have thunk it? Its the simple things in life that sometimes have the biggest impact. Thanks for sharing

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Ha! Thanks, this was one of the those small things that was bugging me big time! Thankfully the fix was super easy (and obvious to everyone but me). Thought it would be good to share :-)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    LOL – well if he’s happy then there is no problem! Kids should have fun on their hikes :)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    ..and you were going to share this critical information when?

  • Luke

    I think the reason those who do it didn’t share is that they thought everyone else must have already been doing it, so they didn’t want to let on like they had just figured it out.

    2 additional tips — first, you don’t have to take the bladder out of the pack if you’re willing to turn the pack upside down. Second, if you don’t like sucking air you can squeeze the bite valve with fingers and press on the (upside down) bladder with your other hand.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      So reason #1 just totally busted me out in the open eh?

  • Luke

    I think the reason those who do it didn’t share is that they thought everyone else must have already been doing it, so they didn’t want to let on like they had just figured it out.

    2 additional tips — first, you don’t have to take the bladder out of the pack if you’re willing to turn the pack upside down. Second, if you don’t like sucking air you can squeeze the bite valve with fingers and press on the (upside down) bladder with your other hand.

  • Coyote Red

    Definitely a “Doh!” solution I come across a few years ago. A simple solution to a new problem. Our kids will grow up knowing this little bit of information and never know the “problem” of sloshing in their ears.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I might force my kids to figure this out themselves. Or is that cruel?

  • Coyote Red

    Definitely a “Doh!” solution I come across a few years ago. A simple solution to a new problem. Our kids will grow up knowing this little bit of information and never know the “problem” of sloshing in their ears.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    So reason #1 just totally busted me out in the open eh?

  • Sweetgrass

    Thanks! That will work in summer, but in freezing hunts I need to blow all the water out of my tube and mouthpiece or it freezes solid. I drink more with a bladder tube than a water bottle, so I tolerate its inconveniences.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      As you can see in the photo, I use the tube insulating sleeve all year round. Keeps the heat off the tube in the summer and helps reduce freezing in winter. Doesn’t eliminate the freezing, but does help minimize it…

      In really cold weather I run the tube through my jacket so that my body heat keeps the tube from freezing up :-)

  • Sweetgrass

    Thanks! That will work in summer, but in freezing hunts I need to blow all the water out of my tube and mouthpiece or it freezes solid. I drink more with a bladder tube than a water bottle, so I tolerate its inconveniences.

  • Dianne

    I can see that the DUH moment was you men. You should have asked your wives/girlfriends. When you also run a home, you learn these tricks. It is something that also helps keep food fresh longer & takes up less space.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      You need to talk to my wife then, this was news to her too! :-)

  • Dianne

    I can see that the DUH moment was you men. You should have asked your wives/girlfriends. When you also run a home, you learn these tricks. It is something that also helps keep food fresh longer & takes up less space.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    You need to talk to my wife then, this was news to her too! :-)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    As you can see in the photo, I use the tube insulating sleeve all year round. Keeps the heat off the tube in the summer and helps reduce freezing in winter. Doesn’t eliminate the freezing, but does help minimize it…

    In really cold weather I run the tube through my jacket so that my body heat keeps the tube from freezing up :-)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I might force my kids to figure this out themselves. Or is that cruel?

  • http://dailyhype.com/ Ron Fontaine

    For the same noisy reason, I carry several 1-quart water bottles. Rather than listen to a half bottle of water sloshing around with every step, I always drink an entire quart at a time (I’m a big guy, so that is easy when I am thirsty). This has the added advantage of making sure I am staying hydrated, glugging down plenty of water before actually becoming very thirsty.

  • http://dailyhype.com/ Ron Fontaine

    For the same noisy reason, I carry several 1-quart water bottles. Rather than listen to a half bottle of water sloshing around with every step, I always drink an entire quart at a time (I’m a big guy, so that is easy when I am thirsty). This has the added advantage of making sure I am staying hydrated, glugging down plenty of water before actually becoming very thirsty.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Ron, sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Ron, sometimes the simplest solution is the best one. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Birch

    I started doing this so tha bladder wouldn’t burst if I fell on it. Not sloshing was just a nice side effect

  • http://www.cheaptents.com/blog Andy – Cheap Tents

    The most simple of tips can aid almost everyone using such a bladder… no more sloshing as i run up the mountain!

    Also I think it will be a little better in terms of stability given sloshing can change your balance and if you are, like i do, running on uneven ground this balance is critical – this trick makes the bladder much more predictable and central to your body in most cases – great tip!

  • http://www.campingstovecookout.com/ dave

    I hadn’t thought of the tip either, but will use it on the next trip. I have used the bladder to get my toddler to drink more water on hikes as well. She usually takes a drink every time she sees my bladder hose. It’s much more fun for her to drink out of the bladder than a water bottle for some reason.
    Give it a try next time you are on the trail. I will be looking forward to the day that I can strap a hyrdration pack on her back and know she will love it as well.