(Gel Cooled Pak pictured on left, Moflow pictured on right)
I received both of these hydration bladders from Polarpak and I was initially interested in both of them. Turns out that one of these products isn’t so great, but the other works pretty well.
MOFLOW™ pressurized hydration system:
First, let’s take a look at the Polarpak Moflow. This is a new idea from Polarpak, it is a hydration bladder that offers a way to inflate and pressurize the pack, allowing the water to shoot out, without the rider having to suck or draw the water through. It seems like a decent enough idea, but the process needs a little work.
How it works: after filling the bladder with your beverage of choice, you insert the bladder into your pack, and remove the bite valve and attach the pump. Herein lies the problem….you have to pump up the bladder 60 to 70 times! That’s a lot of pumping! Also, when I inflated the bladder the full amount, the bladder was so bloated that I had to take items out of my Camelbak to allow enough room.
Now, I can only remember one time in all of my years of mountain biking that I might have needed a product like this. It was many years ago, during a local XC race in the heat of summer. I was so bonked, I couldn’t suck the water out of my pack. But this was in the days of the old/original Camelbak (now called “the Classic”), with the old blue bite valve that was basically a cheap piece of plastic with a slit in it. Nowadays with the spring loaded bike valves, this is probably not an issue.
I noticed on the Polarpak website that they have an award up for this product in the “adventure gear” category. This makes a bit more sense, since the bladder does have other listed potential uses (like using as a shower or even a pillow?!) that won’t mean much to the average mountain biker, but may be useful to an adventure racer.
If Polarpak can figure out an easier way to inflate the bladder, this product would be a lot better.
The video below gives a short demonstration on how the inflating the bladder works.
-antimicrobial lining discourages bacterial build-up, even if you aren’t exactly timely in cleaning your bladder after your rides
-easy to clean
-pressurizing the bladder requires too much pumping
-inflated bladder may require removal of items from pack
Rating: 2 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
MOFLOW™ pressurized hydration system, Specs from the manufacturer:
- 70oz fluid capacity
- 100% antimicrobial (reservoir, hose, couplers, bite valve and screw cap)
- Two quick release couplers with shut off valve
- 360º rotation, 90º angle Straight Shot Bite Valve
- Pump system
- No slosh baffles
- Drink more water
Read and write reviews for the Polarpak Moflow Here>>
Gel Cooled H2O Reservoir
The second product I received for evaluation is the Polarpak Gel Cooled H2O Reservoir. This is a bladder with built in gel packs, that allows you to store the bladder in the freezer and keep your fluids cool.
Now, if you are like me, after a ride, you come back burnt out, and the last thing you want to do is clean your bike, gear, hydration pack. You throw everything on to the garage floor until you need it for a later ride, and by that time you discover your bladder has turned into a science project. Weird growths, colors and all.
This is where the Gel Cooled reservoir comes in. By constantly and consistently freezing the bladder, the growth of bacteria is inhibited. So, you come back from the ride, take out the bladder (with coupler shut-off valve), fill it up, and throw it in the freezer. For the next ride, you’re all set….just take it out of the freezer and you’re good to go.
No messing with ice cubes, no drinking diluted Cytomax at the end of your ride. For those hot summer days, this is perfect. The hose is also insulated, which helps keep things cool.
I found the Polarpak Gel Cooled reservoir to work as advertised, and best of all, was low maintenance. It was worth taking out the second bottle of Tradicional in my freezer, to make way for this bladder.
-antimicrobial lining discourages bacterial build-up-easy to clean
-keeps your fluid cool
-low maintenance bladder for lazy riders like me
-not so useful during the cold months or in cold climates
Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
POLARPAK® gel cooled h2o reservoir, Specs from the manufacturer:
- Non-Toxic Thermal Control Gel on backside
- Nalgene compatible screw cap
- Quick release coupler with shut off valve allows you to remove bladder without the hose
- Insulated 3/8″ hose
- MOFLOW™ 100% Antimicrobial bite valve
(also sold separately)
- Quick release swivel insert
MSRP: 70oz: $29.95 | 100oz: $30.95
Read and write reviews for the Polarpak Gel Cooled Here>>
More information at the Polarpak Website: http://www.polarpak.com/