The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Source Tactical WXP 3L Review

This fully featured bladder is versatile for the masses, from a general outdoors person to the long distance runner.
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Price:  $45 List | $28.20 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  ⋅  Jul 21, 2018
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 6
  • Ease of Care - 25% 8
  • Ease of Filling - 20% 8
  • Quality and Durability - 15% 5
  • Weight and Packability - 15% 5

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, similar to the Deuter Streamer, 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 designDurable, reliable, fast flow rate, easy to fillLightweight, slim profile, simple to use, easy to cleanLightweight, super packable, durable material, inexpensive, incredibly versatileEasy to fill, large screw top opening, inexpensive, great bite valve, narrow profile, compatible with most packs, divided compartments prevent sloshing
Cons Heavy construct, flimsy plastic handle, priceyWider profile doesn't fit narrow hydration sleevesNot as durable as other optionsPoor taste, does not come with hose or bite valve, doesn't pack easily into backpack sleevesSomewhat difficult to clean, harder to fill in trickling streams
Bottom Line This fully featured bladder is versatile for the masses, from a general outdoors person to the long distance runner.This favorite offers burly and reliable construction best for hiking and backpacking.A lightweight and slim bladder for any on-the-go athlete.This reservoir is lightweight and durable with many functions.This high value winner features stellar performance for a decent price.
Rating Categories Source Tactical WXP 3L Platypus Big Zip EVO Shape-Shift Reservoir MSR DromLite Bags CamelBak Crux Reservoir
Ease Of Use (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Ease Of Care (25%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
Ease Of Filling (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
9
Quality And Durability (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
7
Weight And Packability (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
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7
Specs Source Tactical... Platypus Big Zip EVO Shape-Shift... MSR DromLite Bags CamelBak Crux...
Weight of Bladder & Tube (3L, *2.5L system,**4L system) 8.90 oz 6.90 oz 5.40 oz 5.20 oz** 8.0 oz
Bladder Capacity Options (liters) 2L, 3L 1.5L, 2L, 3L 2L, 3L 2L, 4L, 6L 1.5L, 2L, 3L
Dishwasher Friendly? No Not specified Yes No No
Plastic Taste No No Yes Yes Yes
BPA-free? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bite Valve Plastic valve with push in/out valve, plastic cover attached HyFLO Self-sealing Bite Valve Bite valve with shutoff twist valve None (Bite valve with lock arm shutoff valve in separate attachment kit) Bite valve with HydroLock shutoff valve
Can bite valve be removed? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hose Connection Quick release (swivel hose) at base of bladder Mid-tube, but can be changed to the base. Quick Release Quick release (no swivel) At the mouth of the screw top Quick release hose (no swivel)
Closure Type Screw top and zip top Zip top Slide top Screw top (3 in 1 spouts) Screw top
Warranty Limited warranty Limited warranty Lifetime warranty Limited warranty Lifetime Guarantee

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 flip-top and screw-top lid) and great performance overall. Great for use during the winter or summer months.
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.

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!

The Source Tactical hydration bladder has a screw-top lid (pictured in the center) in addition to a flip-top option offering many filling options.

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 hydration system.
We stop to take a drink on the trail with the Source Tactical hydration system.

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!

Source Tactical

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

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, its 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 before heading out on the river! It's easy to transfer water using the screw-top lid!
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!

We would have liked to see a harder plastic used so it doesn't rotate when water starts to fill it up, similar to the handle in the Camelbak Crux Reservoir. 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 streams!
The elongated spout makes it easy to collect water from trickling streams!

Quality and Durability


The harder plastic film is similar to the Deuter Streamer (the same company makes them) providing 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.

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.
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.

That said, the plastic handle is of less quality than the one on the CamelBak and seems a bit cheap. Overall, good durability with hardy welded seams.

While this handle is helpful  we wish that it could be more sturdy for better ease of use.
While this handle is helpful, we wish that it could be more sturdy for better ease of use.

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 like the Top Pick for Lightweight adventures, the HydraPak ShapeShift Reservoir.

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

Best Applications


The style of this bladder markets to outdoorsmen and women that may need a bladder that blends in with their environment. It would serve well for a hunter hanging out behind blinds all day, but that's not all. The insulated tube is perfect for use during the winter months and it can be used for just about anything. Take it biking, backpacking, hiking, running, and more!

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.
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.

Value


Retailing for $45 (3L design), it edges toward the more expensive side on the sliding price scale. It performs well offering great durability and a versatile use system that no other bladder features. As a result, we'd say the price is fair.

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!

Conclusion


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


Amber King