Monday, September 26, 2011

Platypus 4L Platy Water Tank Review

This product was provided to me for purposes of the review by Appalachian Outdoors. Appalachian Outdoors is not the manufacturer of this product, they are simply retailers, and supply a large number of outdoor equipment and gear.

For many years now I have been using an MSR Dromedary water bladder to carry larger quantities of water when needed. Unfortunately, the past year I have been having problems with the water in the bag having a horrible taste. I imagine this is an issue with the tap water I am using, because I have never had that problem before. Either way, I decided to look for an alternative.

I managed to find a 3L Platypus bladder, and it has been working fairly well. When Appalachian Outdoors gave me the opportunity to select which items I test, I noticed the 4L Platypus Water Tank, and decided to give it a try.

The water tank seems to be made from the same material as the other Platypus bladders, and in design is very similar. It holds 4L of water, and has clear volume demarcations on the side. The bladder weighs 2.5oz and will cost you anywhere from $25 to $30. In size it is 26.6 inches by 10.5 inches.


The way in which it is different, offers the greatest advantages as well as disadvantages when it comes to this product. The way this 4L tank differs from the familiar bladders is that in addition to the usual spout, it has a Ziploc style closure on top of the container. This does several things. It allows for very easy filling up. If you are treating your water chemically in camp, it is very easy to fill up and let it sit. The sitting portion is also made easier by the design, as it has a bottom which will allow the tank to stand up almost like a non-flexible bucket. The tank even comes with handles for easy carrying.


Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a price. The Ziploc style closure is not something I would trust in my pack. I did several tests with it, and while it will stay closed if you turn the container up side down and shake it, when you apply pressure from different angles, like you would have in a backpack, the closure can fail.

Unfortunately, this eliminates this bladder as one I would be willing to carry in my backpack. The risk of it opening, no matter how small, is unacceptable to me. On the other hand however, this is a great design for use in camp. If you are going to carry it empty, and fill it up when you set up camp, it is very useful and comfortable to use. In that respect I would much rather have it than the MSR Dromedary bag. However, since I like to be on the move most of the time, I am going to have to keep on looking. 

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