7 Criteria for Selecting the Ultimate Water Storage Bladder for Camping, Boondocking and Off-Roading
Proper hydration is key to our wellbeing, especially when we’re physically active or during the warmer summer months. When camping, we need to plan for at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for drinking. Cooking and washing fruits or vegetables will require more water. Add 2 cups of water per person for each hour of moderate hiking in moderate temperatures.
We have a multitude of water container options available to us when planning a camping or off-roading trip. Starting with bottled water, jerry cans, stackable water containers and water storage bladders.
Let’s review the merits of water storage bladders compared to the other choices and point out what you need to pay attention to when selecting the one that will serve you best:
There are many different types of plastics. Some are good for water storage while others are definitely not. Make sure the water container you are using is made from materials that are free of BPA, a chemical that can get absorbed into the drinking water, making it unhealthy.
The safest plastic containers for storing water are polyethylene-based plastics. High-density polyethylene (HDPE), food grade plastics are the best choice.
EZPack's water storage bladders use inserts made of food-grade, BPA-free HDPE plastics, which are FDA approved for storing water.
Water containers need to be durable enough to handle being around other camping and hiking gear in the back of a truck, jeep or SUV while going over bumpy terrain. Once you arrive, they need to withstand normal camping-style wear and tear.
Rigid plastic containers, especially after being repeatedly exposed to heat, direct sunlight and cold temperatures, tend to crack and also tend to dent and crush during regular use.
Water Storage Bladders are not all made equal, with some designed for static use and not for throwing into the back of a truck or onto rugged terrains.
EZpack water bladders have a military grade outer shell, made out of thick materials that can withstand harsh environments, while at the same time protecting the insert holding the water from being punctured. Its handles and straps are sewn on to take a beating without ripping or tearing.
Carrying a tray of water bottles or a large, empty jerry can to your campsite takes up a lot of space that you can no longer use for other necessities.
Water storage bladders can be folded or rolled up when empty, taking up only 20% of their full volume. Shown in the photo is a 50 Gallon bladder, which is just the size of a small shoe box and can be stashed almost anywhere.
Once you arrive at your destination, fill it up with a garden hose or from a tap and you're all set.
If you are going on a shorter day trip, fill it up only partially and fit it into your trunk or truck bed in-between your other stuff, as its flexibility will allow you to do so, unlike a rigid jerry can.
EZPack’s JerryFlex comes with a set of durable straps, allowing you to secure the container in your trunk, truck bed, on a roof-top carrier or even hang it of a side railing. The sturdy handles can also be used to carry it from your vehicle to the camp site or to a nearby fishing or hunting spot. A full 5/10 gallon bladder weighs around 42/83 lbs, so moving it is possible if handles are an integral part of the design and a few willing hands are around.
4. Water Preservation and Taste
Assuming your container is properly cleaned and stored, you can just fill it with tap water and it will be safe in almost any common container after 2-3 months in a dark cool place.
The three main culprits affecting water's longevity and quality when stored, are heat, light, and bacteria. Most serious water storage options therefore use UV-resistant materials and are typically darker solid colors.
The key benefit of the EZPack JerryFlex and Water Storage Bladders is the ability to replace the insert. Starting with a new insert assures a clean and pristine container, which provides you with fresh tasting water each and every time.
5. Ease of Use
Most jerry cans have one opening for filling and using. This makes it difficult when someone wants to fill their water bottle or cup. There are $20-30 accessories available that connect to the jerry can, providing a flexible hose and spigot.
Typical Water Storage Bladders have their own set of limitations, as most have small hoses that are used for filling and draining. They usually require a pump for quicker filling, adding an additional $40-50 to your cost.
EZPack’s water storage bladders feature a large opening, which can be used to fill it from a regular or garden faucet. Ice cubes can be added easily to keep your beverage cold. The industrial grade faucet assembly attaches to the opening by hand and includes an attachment for filling the bladder even faster with a garden hose.
The cleanliness of your water ultimately depends on how clean the container is to start with. Cleaning requires repeated cleansing with soapy water. Some people also use cleaning solutions or tablets. There are cleaning kits available online for $20-30, including brushes, but these are usually intended for the smaller backpack style bladders.
Once the bladder is clean, it needs to be air dried properly, so as to avoid the growth of bacteria and mildew. This requires using special hangers or other self-made solutions to expose the inside of the bladder to adequate airflow.
EZPack’s unique and patented design, allows the easy removal of the inner bladder. It can be replaced with a new one within just a couple of minutes, which will guarantee fresh tasting water with no bacteria or other mold during your trip. You can decide to either dispose of it or just collect the used ones and clean them when you get back home and have the time and space to do so at your leisure.
Once back home, after replacing the insert or cleaning and drying it completely, fold or roll the water bladder to a small size that you
can easily store in your gear box or camping storage compartment until your next trip or until next camping season.
EZPack’s set of replacement inserts are folded flat and come in a small package that takes up hardly any extra space.
Assuring that your hydration container is sufficiently rugged to withstand everything you have in store for it during your next outdoor adventure, while maintaining the cleanliness and quality of your water supply is not trivial. We believe that the EZPack JerryFlex and Water Storage Bladders incorporate most of the features that will meet your needs for many years to come, whether you are camping, boondocking, off-roading or just heading for a picnic in the neighborhood park!