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Geigerrig Hydration Engine Review

   
Editors' Choice Award

Hydration Bladders

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 4 reviews. Most recent review: April 10, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $33 - $41 | Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Many innovative uses, easy to clean, easy to drink.
Cons:  Expensive, not the lightest, small learning curve.
Best Uses:  Mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, dirt biking.
User Rating:     
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 (5.0 of 5) based on 3 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (3/3) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Geigerrig
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ April 26, 2013  
Overview
This is the most innovative reservoir tested, the most versatile and it gets our Editors' Choice award. It has a variety of uses, thanks to the pressurized system that no other hydration bladders tested offered. It is the only reservoir we tested that also doubles as a sun shower and a way to clean off your dog and sports equipment after use. It is also one of the easiest bladders to clean. It is more expensive than most other reservoirs but not that much considering how innovative it is. It is also a little heavy. For the best value in a hydration bladder we recommend the CamelBak Antidote Reservoir. If you are mostly backpacking or want to travel light, we recommend the MSR DromLite. Check out our complete Hydration Bladder Review to see how all the best options compared to each other.

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  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

More than anything else, this bladder is different because of the pressurization. At first glance this seemed like a gimmick; an unnecessary way to make the product more complicated, heavy and expensive. However, the more we used it the more we loved it.

Performance Comparison
Geiggerig Hydration Engine 3 Liters
Geiggerig Hydration Engine 3 Liters
Credit: Geiggerig

Ease of Filling
This scored in the middle of the road for ease of filling. In a deep kitchen sink it is very easy to fill. In a shallow bathroom sink or camping thing, it can be hard to get the reservoir completely full and be tricky to keep the bottom of the reservoir from touching the sink (only really important in funky campground bathrooms). Keep in mind that with the added complexity of the pressurize duel chamber system, it can take some practice to learn how to depressurize the air chamber quickly.

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The Geigerrig and Platypus zip style closures are hard to get completely full in a shallow sink. The CamelBak (below) is easy.
Credit: Chris McNamara

Durability/Leakage
We found this to be one of the top scorers for durability. The only leakage issue we had was the fact the hose quick release attachment faces out and not to the side. In rare occasions we found the quick release accidentally came half undone and leaked.

Ease of Drinking
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The Geigerrig Hydration Engine sprays water so your dog can drink without licking the bite valve.
Credit: Chris McNamara

This is by far the easiest hydration bladder to drink from. The pressure system really does spray the water without you needing to suck at all. We found a huge benefit to this spray in that we turned our bladder into both of sunshower and a way to clean off our dog if it jumped in a puddle during a hike.
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Using the Geigerrig Hydration Engine to wash off a muddy dog before getting into the car.
Credit: Chris McNamara


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We left the Geigerrig Hydration Engine on our dashboard while surfing. A few hours later, the water was warm enough for a nice shower.
Credit: Chris McNamara
Part of our skepticism with the pressurized system initially is it felt like it was solving a problem that didn't exist. The CamelBak unpressurized bladders are very easy to drink from. But it turns out the real benefit to a pressurized system is not the easy of drinking, but all the other cool features that the bladder works for.
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Using the Geigerrig Hydration Engine as a sun shower after surfing.
Credit: Chris McNamara


Weight
The added compartment, pressure valve, extra quick release and extra tube make this one of the heavier bladders tested. It is not insanely heavy, but light hikers and backpackers will likely scoff at the extra features. Day hikers and mountain bikers will find the extra weight well worth it.

Ease of Cleaning
This is the easiest badder to clean. It is the only reservoir we tested that is advertised as dishwasher safe. Not only is it easy to clean because of the large sick opening, it is also very easy to dry. This makes it a good option to use with sports drinks where the sugary residue breeds bacteria if you are not on top of it. That said, you still have the challenge of keeping the tubes clean if you are using sports drinks. For a more detailed discussion on tube cleaning, check out our review of the Geigerrig 1600 hydration pack.

Best Applications
This system excels at day hiking, mountain biking, dirt biking, and any other activity where moving as absolutely light as possible is not essential. We also take this surfing so that it can double as a solar powered shower when we are done.

Value
This is one of the more expensive hydration bladders. That said, it is not that much more expensive. We expect the long-term durability to be above average. If you take advantage of the pressurized system like we do, this is a great value.

Conclusion
While at first we were unsure about the value of a pressurized system, we are now believers. We love the versatility and creativity that we get with this system. We are always finding new uses, from pet cleaning to showering. We originally thought this would just be a product for gear nerds, but we think that its uses extend past the tech-obsessed outdoor user.

Other Versions and Accessories
This comes in both the 2 L and 3 L size. We generally recommend the 3 L size because it is not that much heavier, expensive, or difficult to use.

There are two types of in-line water filters: Crypto and Virus.

Another accessory you might consider is the insulated tube. This helps keeps your lines from freezing in cold weather. It costs $16 and is compatible with Camelbak Antidote bladders and the Playpus Big Zip SL.

Video

Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: April 10, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (5.0)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
4 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (4)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 3 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Apr 10, 2014 - 01:16am
Nicky · Mountain Biker
A slight correction in the article. The bladder comes with a lifetime warranty. Recently, had a minor issue with the seal and the folks at Geigerigg replied and mailed over a new bladder within 3 days, no questions asked. Awesome! They're really active on Facebook too.

I use this mainly for mountain biking. I hate nothing more than to have to suck from a tube after having a serious cardio workout ( worse if it's uphill!). The rig solves this and it can double to help wash the bike after a run.

Worth every penny

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 14, 2014 - 05:18pm
3rdlake · Backpacker · California
This is what I call a quantum leap! I can clean it! I can see inside it!
Its durable!,I can pressurize it and it sprays water ,Bite value is quality and does not leak.Its hold 100 oz.Great Bladder.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 29, 2014 - 04:32am
OnSiteStudios · Skier · MA
Simply brilliant. On hot days, I fill the bladder with ice right from the fridge door and then top it off with water. It keeps my lunch cold and I have cold/cool water for the rest of the day.
Clean up is easy
In the winter, I change the drinking tube to the insulated one - the original tube will freeze up on cold days. Geigerrig now sells the 'tube garage' which is a neoprene sleeve that attaches to the backpack and even holds a handwarmer pack to keep everything flowing on the coldest days.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Geiggerig Hydration Engine 3 Liters
Credit: Geiggerig
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by Chris McNamara
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