REVIEWED: AquaStorage RoguePak

Sick of cleaning your bulky hydration bladder? This reusable system eliminates both hassle and bulk with compact, lightweight bags perfect for an itinerary that includes only an occasional hike or two

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Do you hate emptying your bladder? Hiking, adventuring, or even touring in hot temperatures, is best done with a hydration bladder – like a Camelbak, Platypus or (our favourite ) Berghaus – in your backpack. The first time you use one, you wonder where it’s been all your life. The fifth time you use it, you wonder if you’re going to spend the rest of your life cleaning the darned thing. And besides, who wants to travel the world with a just-in-case bladder in their backpack?

Reusable & disposable

So AquaStorage’s idea of reusable – and super-lightweight – hydration bladders is welcome. Using disposable, self-sealing bladders in three different sizes (1.5, 2 and 3-litre) – slightly misleadingly called ‘cartridges’ (they’re plastic bags!) – the RoguePak concept goes something like this: use it a few times, throw it away, replace it. The heavy duty, thick plastic bladder of old suddenly seem like overkill.

Keeping it clean

The RoguePak concept is all about safety and saving time, not being eco-friendly. After all, this is the company that brought us AquaPodKit, a bladder for two weeks worth of water! In the package we tested there were four RoguePak hydration cartridges, one drinking tube with bite valve, one quick-connect valve, and one secure-seal closure clip. They’re much like those plastic ice cube bags that self-seal – hold it upside down and there’s no leakage. During our trip up a nearby mountain the only problem we encountered was size; the three-litre option would better suit us.

Great for travel

Does the reusable hydration bladder solve a problem you didn’t think you had? Perhaps, but if you’re a frequent hiker, cycler or adventurer you’ll know of the pain of cleaning such gadgets. However, the best thing about the RoguePak is its compact, travel-friendly design. Planning a two-week trip around Japan with one single, long day hike up a volcano on Day 4? TravGear is, and for that this super-compact solution will come in very handy indeed. Since top-up packs cost about US$12 for three bags, RoguePak is not expensive.

Price as reviewed: US$24.95

Buy the AquaStorage RoguePak 4x 1-litre Hydration Cartridges