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Platypus Hoser Review

This durable and simple bladder won't take a toll on your wallet.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $27 List | $23.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Durable, versatile and lightweight design, good flow rate, great price
Cons:  Harder to clean, bite valve doesn't lock off
Manufacturer:   Platypus
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 15, 2019
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 10
  • Ease of Use - 25% 5
  • Ease of Care - 25% 5
  • Ease of Filling - 20% 7
  • Quality and Durability - 15% 9
  • Weight and Packability - 15% 10

Our Verdict

The Platypus Hoser is a lightweight and packable bladder offered at a great price. Earning our Best Buy Award, it has a simple design that'll keep you hydrated, whatever the adventure you embark upon. We tested this bladder while running trails, climbing mountains, and multi-pitch climbing. The bite valve offers great flow and delivers water sufficiently without any real work. Unfortunately, it does leak when stuffed into a tight pack or squeezed accidentally. It is also harder to clean than most, but with extra vigilance and daily care, it'll keep you healthy and happy for many years. It works well with a variety of packs, including small running packs. As a durable and affordable hydration bladder option, it's a bargain option that definitely works fine, but without some of the features and conveniences of more expensive models.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Platypus Hoser
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $23.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$36.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$34.99 at Amazon$34.99 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$26.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
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Pros Durable, versatile and lightweight design, good flow rate, great priceDurable, reliable, fast flow rate, easy to fillDurable, great water flow, easy to fill and clean, versatile use, good price.Lightweight, slim profile, simple to use, easy to cleanLightweight, super packable, durable material, inexpensive, incredibly versatile
Cons Harder to clean, bite valve doesn't lock offWider profile doesn't fit narrow hydration sleevesCan't flip inside out.Not as durable as other options, connections get gummed up without lubricationPoor taste, does not come with hose or bite valve, doesn't pack easily into backpack sleeves
Bottom Line This durable and simple bladder won't take a toll on your wallet.This favorite offers burly and reliable construction best for hiking and backpacking.This high value bladder with stellar performance for a decent price.A lightweight and slim bladder for any on-the-go athlete.This reservoir is lightweight and durable with many functions.
Rating Categories Platypus Hoser Platypus Big Zip EVO CamelBak Crux Reservoir Shape-Shift Reservoir MSR DromLite Bags
Ease Of Use (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Ease Of Care (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
6
Ease Of Filling (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
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7
10
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6
Quality And Durability (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
9
Weight And Packability (15%)
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
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9
Specs Platypus Hoser Platypus Big Zip EVO CamelBak Crux... Shape-Shift... MSR DromLite Bags
Weight of Bladder & Tube (3L, *2.5L system,**4L system) 4.2 oz 6.90 oz 8.40 oz 5.40 oz 5.20 oz**
Bladder Capacity Options (liters) 1L, 1.5L, 3L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 2L, 3L 2L, 4L, 6L
Dishwasher Friendly? No No No Yes No
Plastic Taste No No No Yes Yes
BPA-free? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bite Valve HyFLO bite valve HyFLO Self-sealing Bite Valve Bite valve with updated shutoff valve Bite valve with shutoff twist valve None (Bite valve with lock arm shutoff valve in separate attachment kit)
Can bite valve be removed? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hose Connection Screw-on hose Mid-tube, but can be changed to the base. Quick Release Quick release hose (no swivel) Quick release (no swivel) At the mouth of the screw top
Closure Type Screw top (hose connection) Zip top Screw top Slide top Screw top (3 in 1 spouts)
Warranty Lifetime Guarantee Limited warranty Lifetime Guarantee Lifetime warranty Limited warranty

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Hoser offers lightweight performance at an unbeatable price. Loaded with versatile functionality and great flow on the go, and it's one of the most affordable bladders we've had the pleasure of testing.

Performance Comparison


Our main author enjoys some hydration from the Hoser  our top recommendation for those looking for an inexpensive  functional bladder.
Our main author enjoys some hydration from the Hoser, our top recommendation for those looking for an inexpensive, functional bladder.

Ease of Use


This lightweight bladder offers plenty of different use opportunities. Its lightweight design is simple to carry in any backpack. The bite valve is simple and offers great flow, but isn't as fancy as other options on the market. Unfortunately, it does leak if accidentally squeezed and does not have a locking mechanism. As a result of this issue, it earns a lower score in this metric than most of the competition.


We love to use this bladder while hiking, running, climbing, and backpacking. Unlike other bladders, the tube screws into a bottle-sized cap at the bottom of the bag. The sizing makes it functional with some water filtration systems, and can easily be turned into a gravity filter if the functionality is needed! Unfortunately, this type of attachment is not compatible with other hydration bladders, so you're stuck with the tube you get.

The simple mouthpiece doesn't have a locking mechanism. Unfortunately  it's one of our least favorites because it leaks when accidentally squeezed  though we appreciate its fast rate of water flow.
The simple mouthpiece doesn't have a locking mechanism. Unfortunately, it's one of our least favorites because it leaks when accidentally squeezed, though we appreciate its fast rate of water flow.

The bite valve is new with a better flow than the previous version. When we received ours, the bite valve was actually sealed (which must have been a manufacturer's defect). However, when we cut a little slit through it, it worked just fine. The tube has a larger diameter, which facilitates ample water flow. Bite softly, and water will flow readily.

A product of the valve leaking after we put our pack down on a rock and accidentally sat on it.
A product of the valve leaking after we put our pack down on a rock and accidentally sat on it.

The valve itself does not have a lock on the bite valve, which was a bummer for some of our testers. We offered this bladder to use for a tester, and they declined as the bladder would be stored in their pack on an approach to a climb. Since the valve couldn't lock, we both feared the contents of his climbing bag would get wet.

Its narrow profile fits well into all sorts of packs  even those with a thinner profile. Here  we get ready to pack up after a day on the climbing wall in Red Rocks  Nevada.
Its narrow profile fits well into all sorts of packs, even those with a thinner profile. Here, we get ready to pack up after a day on the climbing wall in Red Rocks, Nevada.

When our main author opted to use it on a multi-pitch climb and hike in the Red Rocks of Nevada, the tube leaked and spit water on her when she accidentally squeezed the tube or nozzles. As a result of these issues, while it's simple to put into a pack and access the water when you want it, we weren't impressed with its lock-lacking nature. Also, it can't be switched out, so you're stuck with it.

We took the Hoser up on this 1000-ft rock climb in Red Rocks Nevada in late September.
We took the Hoser up on this 1000-ft rock climb in Red Rocks Nevada in late September.

Ease of Care


While you can easily keep this bladder clean with careful and routine care, it's not as easy to care for as other options with a wide top or screw-top construction.


During our testing period, we used this bladder with plain water and electrolyte mixes. Through it all, we needed to take special care to ensure that we didn't forget about emptying and cleaning it. While this may not be a huge deal for other bladders that can easily be flipped inside out or scrubbed with a brush, this is where the Hoser receives a couple of demerits.

Here we dry out the bladder at the campground. Unfortunately  it can't be flipped inside out  put into a dishwasher  or cleaned with a traditional brush. However  with diligent care  none of this is necessary.
Here we dry out the bladder at the campground. Unfortunately, it can't be flipped inside out, put into a dishwasher, or cleaned with a traditional brush. However, with diligent care, none of this is necessary.

On a daily basis, we would simply empty the bladder, rinse it with regular water, and dry it on our drying rack, so the water drains out. All the parts that connect on the hose can disconnect, so if any of those parts get grimy, you can use a hose cleaner kit to wash it out.

A look at the unique water spout on the bottom of the hydration bladder.
A look at the unique water spout on the bottom of the hydration bladder.

Unfortunately, if you forget about a little sugary substance in your bladder and lock it away in a closet for a week, you'll come back to a bacterial colony and washing it out will be tough. The bottle-top opening does not allow larger cleaning wands or other instruments to clean it up. Also, it can't be flipped inside out to scrub, as bladders with a wide-mouth opening can. While swishing it around with a cleaning tablet can help, when the bacterial build-up is heavy, you might find yourself tossing this reservoir. That said, if you are diligent in your clean-up practices with this bladder, or stick to just water inside, you shouldn't have any problems.

Be sure that you get all the water out when drying out to avoid bacterial build-up.
Be sure that you get all the water out when drying out to avoid bacterial build-up.

Playtpus has added an embedded silver-ion layer that is supposed to protect from bacterial build-up. During our testing, we didn't notice any problems with bacterial build-up, so this material embedded inside is potentially doing a fine job. Overall, this isn't the easiest product to clean (in comparison), but regular practices will keep it bacteria-free for many years of use.

Platypus sells a cleaning kit that is intended to be narrow and reach through the small opening of this bladder. Check it out if you want to ensure you can clean your bladder if it decides to get gunky.

Ease of Filling


At any water tap, lake, or river, this hydration bladder is easy to fill-up to keep you hydrated and far from unhappy.


The only way to fill this bladder is through the screw-top on its bottom. The opening is relatively small, but simple to fill at taps. While shallow sinks force you to crumple the bladder into a bunch at the bottom, we could still fill it quite easily. In deeper water sources like a lake, or a running source, like a river, it is easy to fill.

Filling it up at a campground tap is easy. No fancy handles  but the bag is rigid enough to grab and fill easily.
Filling it up at a campground tap is easy. No fancy handles, but the bag is rigid enough to grab and fill easily.

Like most bladders, where it struggles are super shallow puddles with no flow. The smaller opening makes it harder to capture water than those with a larger opening. Bladders with big handles and larger openings do better in this metric.

Filling from a tap is super easy! Even when bunched in the bottom of the sink  we easily fill its 3-L capacity right before a running mission into the mountains.
Filling from a tap is super easy! Even when bunched in the bottom of the sink, we easily fill its 3-L capacity right before a running mission into the mountains.

On a camping trip, we found that when trying to scoop up water, we could only get a tiny bit from our water source. There was also a lot of silt in the water. In the end, we ended up scooping the puddle with a smaller cup we had on hand, then filling the bladder manually and using a water filter.

Nolan is psyched on hydration! With just one hand  you can fill the Hoser up -- all 3-liters.
Nolan is psyched on hydration! With just one hand, you can fill the Hoser up -- all 3-liters.

Quality and Durability


We took our time tugging at the seams and testing the durability of this bladder. We loaded it into climbing and running packs, we left it out in the car, we let our dog lay all over it. We appreciate the durable and high-quality design that'll last for many years.


The polyurethane and polyethylene combines in the plastic film used in the construction of this bladder. The material is thick, which offers protection from punctures that you might encounter when backpacking or camping. All the seams are welded, which provide security from leaks over the years.

The heavier plastic polymer is very durable and can be thrown around amongst other gear or used on its own on abrasive surfaces.
The heavier plastic polymer is very durable and can be thrown around amongst other gear or used on its own on abrasive surfaces.

Our only caveat is the mouthpiece that came without a slit to drink water from (weird!). This probably isn't the 'norm' for each Hoser that ships out. If you get one like this, simply just cut a hole and start sippin'!

Unfortunately  this bladder leaks when filled and compressed. Here we see it leaking with the bladder sitting atop a fence. We aren't pressing on it or applying pressure  but water drips slowly.
Unfortunately, this bladder leaks when filled and compressed. Here we see it leaking with the bladder sitting atop a fence. We aren't pressing on it or applying pressure, but water drips slowly.

While we've only tested this product over just a few months, we've tried our hardest to break this bladder. We've put it in the freezer, exposed it to warm temperatures, and pulled at the seams. We assess the quality to be up there with the top performers. We'd expect this bladder to last for many years. No leaks or issues so far!

In packs that are filled up  it does wonderfully!
In packs that are filled up, it does wonderfully!

Weight and Packability


Weighing only 4.2 oz, this bladder is incredibly lightweight and works with a variety of different backpacks and bags. Of the competition, it's the lightest and most packable option we've seen, making it great for travel and lightweight carry.


The slim profile is longer than most bladders and fits nicely into even the narrowest of hydration sleeves. We tested it in running packs, backpacking bags, and climbing fastpacks. The larger hanger at the top worked with most packs to help suspend it in the bag.

Quite lightweight and packable!
Quite lightweight and packable!

We also appreciate that this bladder rolls up into itself for easy packability when it's not in use. We found this incredibly helpful on trips where packing space was limited. Its lightweight nature makes it seems as if it's not even there. Overall, one of the most packable and lightweight hydration bladders that we've tested so far.

Probably the most packable hydration bladder we've seen.
Probably the most packable hydration bladder we've seen.

A look at the profile relative to another wider hydration bladder. It is thin  which fits nicely into all packs we tested -- even running packs!
A look at the profile relative to another wider hydration bladder. It is thin, which fits nicely into all packs we tested -- even running packs!

Value


It has amazing value! At the lowest price point in this review, it receives our Best Buy Award. While there are some caveats, none of its flaws are fatal. With amazing durability and a great price, you get a hydration bladder that works. Enjoy it on all your future adventures and explorations. Just be sure to be diligent about cleaning it after each use, especially if using sugary substances inside.

Run  climb  hike  enjoy! This bladder is affordable with great performance. Take a look at the Hoser if you're looking to save money  but want a bladder that'll keep performing for years to come.
Run, climb, hike, enjoy! This bladder is affordable with great performance. Take a look at the Hoser if you're looking to save money, but want a bladder that'll keep performing for years to come.

Conclusion


The Platypus Hoser is an affordable and lightweight hydration bladder. It uses a unique design where the only opening is a bottle top-like construction at the base of the bladder. The durable design of this super packable bladder, paired with its low price, makes it the best-valued product in this review, earning our Best Buy Award this year.

Take a look at our Best Buy Award winner. It's not perfect  but it is durable and affordable.
Take a look at our Best Buy Award winner. It's not perfect, but it is durable and affordable.


Amber King