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Source Tactical WXP 3L Review

This fully featured bladder is versatile for the masses, from the outdoors person to the once a year hiker
Source Tactical WXP 3L
Photo: Source Tactical
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Price:  $45 List | $35.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Ease to clean, versatile filling options, insulated tube, natural colors (green & brown), puncture-resistant design
Cons:  Heavy construct, flimsy plastic handle, pricey
Manufacturer:   Source Tactical
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 15, 2019
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • Ease of Use - 25% 5
  • Ease of Care - 25% 8
  • Ease of Filling - 20% 6
  • Quality and Durability - 15% 6
  • Weight and Packability - 15% 4

Our Verdict

A satisfying bladder for the outdoorsman or outdoorswomen, the Source Tactical WXP features a natural green and brown color to blend in with the forest. Loaded with a screw-top and flip-design, thisone of the most versatile bladders for filling and using. The slim profile fits easily into packs of all sizes while the heavier plastic used to make the reservoir prevents punctures on the trail. As a result of this design, it works great as a water storage reservoir (without the hose) as well as a hydration system. The film features an anti-bacterial layer that is dubbed "self-cleaning" by Source, contributing to easy maintenance. That said, make sure to still rinse and clean it after each use, just in case. Whether you're hunting, fishing, running, biking, or boating, this is a great option to accompany you on any trip through all-seasons.

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Pros Ease to clean, versatile filling options, insulated tube, natural colors (green & brown), puncture-resistant designThick and durable bladder, handle for easy filling, drying accessory, excellent flow rate, narrow and rounded profile for easy fit in narrow packsLightweight, slim profile, simple to use, easy to cleanLightweight, super packable, durable material, inexpensive, incredibly versatileDurable, versatile and lightweight design, good flow rate, great price
Cons Heavy construct, flimsy plastic handle, priceyBulkier components don't pack downNot 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 sleevesHarder to clean, bite valve doesn't lock off
Bottom Line This fully featured bladder is versatile for the masses, from the outdoors person to the once a year hikerThis top performer stands out for its quality construction and easy filling profile that is reliable for hydration on backcountry adventures and day tripsA lightweight and slim bladder that's especially suited for ounce-counting athletes pushing deep into the backcountryThis reservoir is lightweight and durable with many functions and uses in the outdoorsThis durable, lightweight, and simple bladder won't take a toll on your wallet
Rating Categories Source Tactical WXP 3L Gregory 3D Hydro Shape-Shift Reservoir MSR DromLite Bags Platypus Hoser
Ease Of Use (25%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Ease Of Care (25%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
Ease Of Filling (20%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
6.0
Quality And Durability (15%)
6.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
8.0
Weight And Packability (15%)
4.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
Specs Source Tactical WXP 3L Gregory 3D Hydro Shape-Shift Reservoir MSR DromLite Bags Platypus Hoser
Weight of Bladder & Tube (oz) 8.90 oz (3L) 7.1 oz (3L) 5.40 oz (3L) 5.20 oz (4L) 4.2 oz (3L)
Bladder Capacity Options (liters) 2L, 3L 3 L 2L, 3L 2L, 4L, 6L 1L, 1.5L, 3L
Dishwasher Friendly? No No Yes No No
Plastic Taste No No Yes Yes No
Bite Valve Plastic valve with push in/out valve, plastic cover attached Push-button on/off valve Bite valve with shutoff twist valve None (Bite valve with lock arm shutoff valve in separate attachment kit) HyFLO bite valve
Can bite valve be removed? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Hose Connection Quick release (swivel hose) at base of bladder Mid-tube quick release, but can be changed to the base. Quick release (no swivel) At the mouth of the screw top Screw-on hose
Closure Type Screw top and zip top Screw top Slide top Screw top (3 in 1 spouts) Screw top (hose connection)

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Source Tactical WXP offers fantastic features that make it a suitable recommendation for all sports, from hunting to hiking!

Performance Comparison


The Source Tactical WXP offers two different access points (a...
The Source Tactical WXP offers two different access points (a flip-top and screw-top lid) and great performance overall. Great for use during the winter or summer months.
Photo: Amber King

Ease of Use


This bladder is very easy to use with several features that make it versatile. The slim profile fits nicely in everything from running vests to hydration backpacks. It sports a flip-top opening and a screw-top option for versatile filling and use options. The hoses are compatible with other brands, and the bite valve comes unclipped easily. One feature we love is the high-quality clips that make detaching the hose and bite valve easy!

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The only caveat of this bladder is the bite valve. As opposed to a comfortable plastic, it has a hard plastic design with a plastic cap. To open it, you have to pull it out (which can be done with your teeth) and to lock it, push it in. This bite valve is not interchangeable with other designs.

We stop to take a drink on the trail with the Source Tactical...
We stop to take a drink on the trail with the Source Tactical hydration system.
Photo: Amber King

When running and hiking, we learned that when open, it can leak, so it's important to close after use. It also comes equipped with an insulated hose that prevents water from freezing in the tube during the winter months. Overall, an easy to use bladder!

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Ease of Care


Care of the Source Tactical bladder is easy. With the clips that attach the tube to the reservoir and the bite valve to the hose, it can be taken apart in a cinch. The zip-top and screw-top design make it easy to scrub away at tough spots in the bladder. It is not dishwasher safe, but the harder plastic exterior is less porous, offering a medium that does not inspire bacterial growth. Source claims this to be "self-cleaning" with a Polyethylene film that is supposed to block bacterial growth. We didn't observe any bacterial growth, even after forgetting to empty and air it out after a few days. That said, we'd still recommend giving it a good rinse and drying it out after each use.

The bite valve and hose connect using these great connection clips...
The bite valve and hose connect using these great connection clips. They make cleaning and filling quite easy!
Photo: Amber King

To care for it, simply empty your water and air it out on a regular basis. If bacterial growth ensues, be sure to use a cleaning tablet and scrub brush, then put it in the freezer to make sure bacteria is killed. That said, since the hose is insulated, it is hard to see if there's any growth inside. Make sure to blow the water back through after each use.

Ease of Filling


With an elongated spout and a screw-top, this is one of the easiest bladders to fill! The screw-top is perfect for one-hand filling at a sink, though the plastic handle is super flimsy.

Here we use the Source Tactical as an additional water reservoir...
Here we use the Source Tactical as an additional water reservoir before heading out on the river! It's easy to transfer water using the screw-top lid!
Photo: Amber King

We would have liked to see a harder plastic used so it doesn't rotate when water starts to fill it up. The flip-top has an elongated spout that makes it easy to share water or collect it from shallow basins or trickling streams. Overall, super easy to fill up but a more study handle would be an improvement.

The elongated spout makes it easy to collect water from trickling...
The elongated spout makes it easy to collect water from trickling streams!
Photo: Amber King

Quality and Durability


The harder plastic film provides resistance to punctures. During our testing period, it did not show signs of wear and tear, nor did it leak, even when the bladder was simply used as a reservoir (with the tube detached) on a canoe trip. That said, the plastic handle is of lesser quality and seems a bit cheap. Overall, good durability with hardy welded seams.[

The durable outer makes it a great water storage vessel when heading...
The durable outer makes it a great water storage vessel when heading into desert terrain. Don't be afraid to toss it into a cooler for your next mission. We weren't when paddling the Gunnison River via canoe.
Photo: Amber King
While this handle is helpful, we wish that it could be more sturdy...
While this handle is helpful, we wish that it could be more sturdy for better ease of use.
Photo: Amber King

Weight and Compressibility


This is a heavier and less compressible bladder. The screw-top doesn't allow it to fold up as small as other less-featured bladders. The heavier outer plastic also adds a bit of extra weight. The insulated tube has a wider circumference and the materials also add to its heavier construct. That said, we didn't notice these extra few ounces when running and hiking on the trail. It still great to function for quick, on-the-go sports, but there are lighter options out there.

Despite the screw-top, its still pretty packable, but not the...
Despite the screw-top, its still pretty packable, but not the lightest option out there.
Photo: Amber King

Value


This is a more expensive bladder. It does offer great durability and a versatile use system that no other bladder features. As a result, we'd say the price is fair. Those that will find it most useful are those that love the option for either a zip or screw-top option and durable construction.

This bladder comes in 2-L and 3-L options with a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. Prices vary based on the size and features you seek!

Take this puppy hiking, running, and more! It's perfect for going...
Take this puppy hiking, running, and more! It's perfect for going incognito in the woods if you plan on hunting with its natural colors.
Photo: Amber King

Conclusion


This super durable bladder features a natural color perfectly suited for everything from hunting to backpacking.

Amber King