Source’s solution for the bulging bladder is to change the shape, and it works really well. The hole in the middle keeps the thickness below 3.5cm when full. The opening is across the top and the bladder is folded over and fastened into place with a slider, much like the Platypus Big Zip. It’s easy to fill, and there are some useful holes to attach it to the top of the rucksack to stop it sliding down. They also serve as a handle of sorts. Because of the shape, cleaning is trickier and a cleaning kit is recommended. The bite valve is good, but it has the slowest flow of the reservoirs tested, although not a big deal. The valve has an easy on and off twist. There’s a cap too. Source pride themselves on a clean tasting bag, and indeed any taste was very mild. Cleaning brushes, a magnetic clip and hose insulator can be bought. The hose can be clicked off while the bladder is still full.

First published: July 2013