Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak

Posted by: enuenu

Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/12/17 12:50 PM

I've got a Camelbak Mule hydration backpack. It's a nice little pack. However the water tastes dreadful out of the Antidote bladder. Think water that's been sitting in a garden hose in the sun on a 100 degree day. Plastic taste.

I went for a hike with my 10 year old last week. I decided to give the bladder one more shot (cleaned thoroughly first) as I've been using the pack with stainless steel water bottles and no bladder for quite a while. He could barely drink it as he complained of the taste. I agreed with him, it was terrible.

The thing is I noticed this bad taste soon after buying it. I went through all the suggested bladder cleaning processes like using Bicarbonate soda. All achieved nothing. So I emailed Camelbak thinking surely that there must be something wrong with the bladder. After all, this product has great reviews and is a bit of a standard.

Camelbak were great and sent me a new bladder. Unfortunately it was exactly the same as the original, despite all the same cleaning routine. The water makes us feel ill. This cannot be good for your health.

I'm now convinced this is just as good as this product gets and I'm looking for an alternative bladder. Otherwise it's stainless steel bottles, which is OK but less convenient and heavier. At least I don't get poisoned that way.

I know it can be done, cask wine and many processed foods and drinks are packed in flexible materials that don't impart chemical compounds into the food or drink.

Any suggestions on alternative bladders?
Posted by: DustinV

Re: Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/12/17 01:38 PM

There are dozens of brands out there, but maybe look for one on sale. One that you've heard of before, so you can expect some level of support like Camelbak.

I like Hydrapak bladders because they're easy to clean. Never noticed any heavy flavor.
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/12/17 03:38 PM

I don't know but I wonder if there is something in your water which affects the bladder. Iron, salt, minerals? Maybe a small drop of bleach when you fill it.
Posted by: Glenn Roberts

Re: Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/12/17 03:56 PM

Putting on my Mr. Obvious hat for a moment: did you fill the bladder and taste the water before cleaning the bladder. That rules out that something you're using to clean it is reacting badly with the bladder. (I wouldn't think Bicarbonate would react, but like I said, Mr. Obvious here...)

I've never had any taste problems with Platypus, Nalgene Cantenes, or MSR Dromlite (mine are a few years old; I think they might use different materials now, so my MSR endorsement may be misleading for your needs.)
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/12/17 04:56 PM

I would suggest using detergent first, rinse, white vinegar next, rinse, and then sodium bicarbonate with several final rinses, unless the manufacturer says not to. An acidic soak followed by an alkaline soak should pretty well cover all of the bases. When I sanitize my plasticware, I normally put a little dishwasher detergent gel in it and then fill with water. I let it soak for an hour or so, rinse with water and then wash with dishwashing detergent to get the dishwasher detergent out, then rinse and dry. Dishwasher detergent contains sodium carbonate and bleach and normally does a great job of removing coffee stains and other stuff. It is difficult for me to believe that commercial plasticware would consistently impart a bad taste without some outside factor.
Posted by: the-gr8t-waldo

Re: Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/12/17 06:26 PM

I've never sensed any plastic taste in my camelback use. but then I spend an inordinate amount of energy completely drying the bag, delivery tube, and mouth piece. between outings
Posted by: Rick_D

Re: Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/12/17 08:28 PM

Have never had an iota of taste (that's a scientific term, you can look it up) of taste imparted by Platypus containers, so that's a possible avenue.

Will also note the hose is sometimes the culprit and swapping it clears up taste-odor issues. Silicone is best, but not commonly used.

Good luck!
Posted by: enuenu

Re: Taste free water bladdder for Camelbak - 05/16/17 09:12 PM

Thanks all. I'll give your suggestions a try. The water is OK out of the tap. I might do a test with the hose disconnected. It is frustrating and weird because so many say their Camelbak is fine.

Maybe my water reacts with the materials? I have cleaned and dried the life out of the thing in various ways but will try again. I wouldn't think this necessary though.

Platypus might be worth a shot.

Cheers smile