Hydration systems haven't changed very much in the last few decades—they usually consist of a set formula: a soft bag or pouch-style reservoir, a flexible rubber tube, and a bite valve to drink from. Sure, there are plenty of subtle variations on this formula, such as internal baffles, anti-microbial coatings, mounting hooks, and screw-on or sliding reservoir seals.
However, these ordinary hydration systems all have one thing in common: sucking. No, not like that. They literally require the user to bite the valve and drink from the tube like a straw. If you're the sole user of the hydration pack, that's not a problem. However, if you want to use the water for cooking, cleaning, sharing with others, or filling other containers, the trickle of water produced by gravity is not ideal.
The Hydrapak Full-Force system changes all this with the addition of a squeeze bulb and pressure-activated valve. Rather than biting the valve and sucking, the user can uncap the end of the tube, and give the rubber bulb a quick squeeze. The valve automatically opens, spraying a stream of water wherever you need it—your mouth, someone else's mouth, a water bottle, a pan full of freeze-dried food, or a dirty dish.
This one-handed dispenser, known as the Hydrant Tube Kit, opens up a new range of possibilities. The Full-Force kit also includes a quick-detach HydraFusion tube, which is fabric-coated for insulation and abrasion-resistance. You also get your choice of a 2L or 3L reservoir, each fitted with a slide-seal top that allows the reservoir to be opened wide and inverted for cleaning. As with other Hydrapak systems, the reservoir is also rated for freezing, filling with hot water, and is even dishwasher-safe.
The Full-Force system will be available soon for an MSRP of $48 (2L) or $52 (3L). If you're looking to supply family or friends with water from your reservoir, also check out the updated Hydrapak SpeedCup collapsible cups. They're available in a 4-pack for $20, and can crush down to only a few millimeters thick. For updates on Hydrapak's new products for 2017, check out Hydrapak.com.