Gear Shed

Q:

Which hydration pack will prevent liquids from freezing while skiing?

What is your recommendation on a hydration pack that will keep fluids from freezing? Ideally it’d be small enough for resort use, but big enough to carry an extra layer, snacks, goggles, and possibly the option of straps for ski/board carry. Tony Montreal, Quebec

Menace Hydration Pack     Photo: courtesy, Camelbak

Camelbak Menace Hydration Pack

Menace Hydration Pack

A:Well, you have to keep in mind we’re talking about hydration packs that are insulated, not heated. So if it’s cold enough, and you are out in the cold long enough, anything is going to freeze.

One suggestion is the Camelbak Menace ($80; camelback.com), which is a pack-sized hydration pack, meaning it can carry a bladder AND extra clothes, snacks, etc. It has about 1200 cubic inches of space in fact, which is pretty generous. And it has straps and buckles to accommodate skis or boards. So it’s a versatile pack. It even has a pocket for your iPod!

To keep your liquids…liquid, it’s insulated, and has an insulated tube slot as well. So it will do about as well as any out there at keeping things in an un-frozen state.

Alternatively, you can use any hydration pack and then take extra steps to insulate the bladder and supply line. The Platypus 1 Holster ($17; platypushydration.com) comes with a 34 ounce bottle and an insulated cover. Add to it the Platypus Bite Valve and Drink Tube Insulated Kit ($16), and you’ve got a pretty good solution to cold temperatures.

And…did I say not heated? In extreme conditions, it would make sense to me to add a Jon-E Handwarmer ($25 for two; cabelas.com) to your pack. Stick it in next to the bladder, and you’re in business!

The 2008 Winter Outside Buyer’s Guide is now online. From snow sports to trail-running to camping, get reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves.

Ask a Question!

Our gear experts await your questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

By submitting above, you agree to the Outside privacy policy. * We might edit your question for length or clarity.

More at Outside

Comments