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  1. #1
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    What hydration pack are you using? How do you keep it from freezing?

    I do the blow in the tube trick, the tuck in the jacket trick and the insulated tube/mouthpiece thing. Usually a combination of all three actually and I still can't keep my water from freezing in the tube near the mouthpiece. I have been thinking of going to a camelback tycoon but that thing looks like more pack than I need. The smaller camelbaks do not carry enough water. Does anyone make a 3L pack about the size of a mule that has shoulder strap setup similar to camelbak's thermo harness?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    What hydration pack are you using? How do you keep it from freezing?

    Read someone here mention wearing the whole pack beneath your jacket. Looks goofy but it works.

    Simple idea should have thought of it myself.

  3. #3
    Anchorage, AK
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskamatt View Post
    Read someone here mention wearing the whole pack beneath your jacket. Looks goofy but it works.
    That is what I do. It is good to at least 0 F.
    --Peace

  4. #4
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    Body heat is the best way to keep things from freezing if you plan to be outside for a long time in the cold. Water is nice to have in liquid form, but also keeping your batteries for lights or phone warm is a nice thing because usually very cold temperatures will make a dent into battery life.

    I've been riding for the last two weeks between -8C and -17C temperatures and I always place my hydration pack under my shell layer and warmth layer (fleece).
    Currently I'm using a 3 liter Source hydration pack which is of tactical (military) variant and not a cycling specific pack. No problems with water freezing while wearing the pack under my two top layers while I've been doing one to three hour rides.

    I also have a helmet mounted light and I keep the battery pack under my top layers attached to the hydration pack.

    EDIT: Forgot to mention. I also keep the drinking tube under my top layer and fleece and usually stop to have a drink.

  5. #5
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    I put a shot of rum for every liter of water in my pack. Blowing back in the tube after a sip combined with the anti-freeze works really well. A small scoop of a tropical fruit flavored sports drink and its like a pina colada.

  6. #6
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    Move

    Live here Coolest day time temps without overcast are 26C
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What hydration pack are you using?  How do you keep it from freezing?-mtb-white-cliffs.jpg  

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  7. #7
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    I use the Gen 1 of... Arctic Innovations | Home of the HydroHeater ? ...I am planning on getting the new one soon.
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

  8. #8
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    This one. In my opinion the best pack on the market. The only pressurized pack on the market. They have everything you need to be ice free too. All different sizes and styles.

    Hydration Packs with In-line water Filters and Pack Bladders by Geigerrig

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcappy View Post
    This one. In my opinion the best pack on the market. The only pressurized pack on the market. They have everything you need to be ice free too. All different sizes and styles.

    Hydration Packs with In-line water Filters and Pack Bladders by Geigerrig
    pretty nice packs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvphatty View Post
    pretty nice packs.
    I have two in different sizes, my wife also has one. Their moto is (never suck again)!

  11. #11
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    Riding down to 5F I use a small camelback over my base layer, under everything else with an insulated tube and blow back every drink. Seems to work but I haven't been out in the really cold yet.

  12. #12
    Sandy Pants
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    Hydrapak Reyes, great pack…modest to small size pack but has 3L reservoir with a slide close (like kayak dry bags) opening and insulated tube (optional). Reservoir can also be turned inside out for cleaning. Never had reservoir or tube freeze, even after several hours @ -20F. The only exception is exactly what the OP experiences..freezing just @ the mouthpiece junction. This is the narrowest region and the mouthpiece tube itself forms a small lip inside the delivery tube that holds a small but critical bit of H2O, & this causes a small plug of frozen water to form @ this junction..even with consistent blowing back after drinking.

    I think the answer is to remove the mouthpiece and use a removable plug, like those used in exercise balls & other large inflatables. Will try this out over the next several frigid days here in northern MI & report back with results.
    - the Lipid Licker rides again -

  13. #13
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    The Hydroheater works very well. People are using them with packs and hose(insulated) outside all their layers in Alaska cold temps.

    That said, I've had good luck the past two winters keeping my pack on the outside, blowing back and tucking the nozzle into my shell. No hose insulation. Temps down to -20F. I don't get how it's been working, since I've had hoses freeze running the pack under my shell before, but it does work. I always have a warm jacket or something else in the pack, keeping the bladder itself insulated, and I'm diligent about locking the nozzle before any water can get pushed back into the hose. This has been mostly while skiing, but I've had it work consistently at -10F with steady 20-40 mph headwinds, so I'm ruling out the slower speeds of xc skiing.

  14. #14
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    Rum does not freeze or allow bacteria to grow.
    Wha daur meddle wi' me?

  15. #15
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    I start my ride with warm to hot tap water in my camelbak and wear it under my outer layer. I also do the blow back and tuck the hose back into my jacket. I did an almost 4 hour ride last weekend with the temp around 20f and windchill in the single digits and did not have any freezing issues.
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  16. #16
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    Love my Geigerrig, +1 to that and +1 to adding a little alcohol in the cold.
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  17. #17
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    Fwiw guys, hot water can freeze faster than cold:

    Mpemba effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Just saying.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  18. #18
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    Step one: take bladder out of hydration pack.
    Step two: buy insulated water bottle or thermos.
    Step three: fill insulated water bottle or thermos with warm water.
    Step four: put insulated bottle or thermos in hydration pack.
    Step five: Stop every now and then and pull out bottle or thermos, drink.

    So far, this system has been good for me down to about 10 degrees for 2-3 hours.

    Extra advantage: bottle with water weighs less than empty bladder+hose.
    Extra, Extra advantage: stopping every now and then is kinda nice.

  19. #19
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    I think I will try the under the warm layer approach. Just used a simple water bottle last weekend and it froze solid, I got to drink about half of it before it went to a chewable. Cliff bars are also much easier to eat when not frozen hard as a rock, I did put those down my shirt to thaw them out so I could eat. To bad the last one went down dry as a mouthful of crackers. I didn't expect to be out as long as I was, under estimated the toughness of the new fatbike, snow and my last 3 months of laziness.
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  20. #20
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    I keep mine under my shell and over the base layer(s). That seems to keep the water in the bladder from freezing but not too warm. I have had my hose freeze but that happened mostly when I would blow the water back into bladder. Now, I just raise the bite valve above my head for about 5 seconds as I squeeze the valve with my hand. Gravity brings ALL the water back into the bladder. This has worked well down to -20F during ultra races in AK. If your bite valve is old/leaky, you may have to replace it to stop the water from flowing back into the tube. FYI my hose is uninsulated so that if I were to have it freeze, I can find the frozen spot and melt it by grabbing on to that spot for a short time. Anyways, works for me.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for the suggestions guys,

    I can't fit my camelback under a jacket although that is something to consider next time I buy a outer layer. I am due for a new pack so I ended up getting an osprey karve 16 ski pack on closeout. Hopefully it will keep the tube from freezing.

    buckfiddious,

    I am actually all for stopping, I just drink a lot and need the 3L.

  22. #22
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    I use a Camelbak Rogue, beneath the jacket. Works well During the winter, the 2 L capacity is enough for at least 5 hours to me.


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino View Post
    Fwiw guys, hot water can freeze faster than cold:

    Mpemba effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Just saying.
    Since that phenomenon has never been observed by anyone who could explain how to replicate the results, I'd say it is a hoax. Or at least not likely to occur in a hydration pack. Almost hot water under a layer or two works great. I don't drink much water in the cold, but I always like to have some with me just in case.

    I don't go out for more than a few hours at a time on most occasions, so I leave the hydration pack hose coiled in the pack. It doesn't freeze there, and if I need it I'll just stop for a minute.

    I keep my alcohol out of my water. I don't like my booze too watery.

  24. #24
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    Sorry, but its not a hoax.
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/d8a2f611e853

    Not to mention that drinking water from your hot water tank is generally discouraged.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  25. #25
    Sandy Pants
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    "Hydrapak Reyes, great pack…modest to small size pack but has 3L reservoir with a slide close (like kayak dry bags) opening and insulated tube (optional). Reservoir can also be turned inside out for cleaning. Never had reservoir or tube freeze, even after several hours @ -20F. The only exception is exactly what the OP experiences..freezing just @ the mouthpiece junction. This is the narrowest region and the mouthpiece tube itself forms a small lip inside the delivery tube that holds a small but critical bit of H2O, & this causes a small plug of frozen water to form @ this junction..even with consistent blowing back after drinking.

    I think the answer is to remove the mouthpiece and use a removable plug, like those used in exercise balls & other large inflatables. Will try this out over the next several frigid days here in northern MI & report back with results."

    Ok, have results after riding several times @ subzero F temps. Removing mouthpiece and using a plug worked..sort of. Plug would freeze to tube making plug removal difficult but not impossible, still the process was a hassle.

    What has worked exceptionally well was to replace the original mouthpiece with a Camelbak "Big Bite Valve" mouthpiece. This required removing the insulation from a couple cm from the end of the tube to fit the Camelbak mouthpiece. Result is a straight through route without any interior ledges, turns, or kinks. As long as I blow back and then drain the few remaining drops from the mouthpiece, this setup has been foolproof…even with the tube outside my jacket. If I don't completely drain the last drop from the mouthpiece, this mouth piece is pliable enough to break up the minor ice block and get a good flow going.
    - the Lipid Licker rides again -

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