Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Platypus Evolution

No, I'm not talking about the bizarre Australian animals that look like evolution at its most surreal. I mean the hydration bladders.

I've been a Platypus convert since some friends gave me one for my birthday about 7 or 8 years ago. The idea of being able to drink water at any time during a hike without the need to stop and take my bottle out of my pack pretty much sold me on the spot.
My Platypus was a 2 litre big zip version, not quite like the one in this photo because the end opposite the hose attachment was a large zip-loc type opening. It served me faithfully for many years and many kilometres, but last summer it was showing signs that it was not long for this world. The plastic near the hose attachment end was beginning to tear, and it was only a matter of time before the whole thing had a structural failure.

So I've acquired a shiny, new Platypus, this time without the zip-loc as I found it sometimes hard to close properly. I was expecting pretty much an exact duplicate of my old one, but it seems that over the past 7 or 8 years, the Platypus has evolved a bit.
First of all, the plastic used for the bladder feels a bit thinner and more flexible. Hopefully it's just as strong. The old one was quite stiff, so it's kind of nice that this is more lightweight and bendy.

Also, the new one has a hanging loop at the top, so you can hang it from a tree to make a shower. (I assume this is what they expect that to be used for. Perhaps there are other reasons to hang your platypus that I haven't thought of. Rinsing dishes maybe?)
The new hose has a right-angle attachment which may help to reduce strain on the plastic where it attaches to the bladder. And the hose is blue instead of clear. No idea why that would help anything, other than making it hard to tell if the water you're drinking isn't clear. I guess you'd figure that out when you fill the bladder anyway.

So there you have it - the evolution of the Platypus. Perhaps in several years' time I'll discover the next step when this one needs to be replaced.


Jim Bradley said...

I have a osprey kestrel backpack and my platypus hangs between the pack and back pad using that eyelet thing on the pus. I think a lot of packs are set up this way... other than that you gotta love the platypus, plus its fun to say.

Earlylite said...

I like the older platy's when it was easier to find the 3L size.