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  1. #1
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    KoleGear Pressurized packs

    Hey Guys,
    My name is Chris and I am with Kole'Gear waistpacks and backpacks. We are a new company just trying to get our product out there so everyone can see how much better pressurized hydration is then the traditional "suck" or sip method for hydration packs right now. We have a website with some basic info at www.kolegear.com. Its a new pressurized pack that uses a whole new method that is not currently on the market. Instead of using air to pressurize our water we use something much simpler, a balloon. A food grade natural rubber latex balloon bladder is inflated with water with the included pump and creates that pressure naturally from the balloon stretching out to fill with liquid. No sloshing, or sucking for water. "DONT SUCK" as we like to say around here. Feel free to check us out and give us any feedback you have.

  2. #2
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    Interesting idea. what happens if the latex ballon fails can it still operate like a traditional hydration pack?

  3. #3
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    Ok, tell me what's wrong here, but when I'm wearing my pack, it's strapped down and I'm riding, my pack is pressurized and the moment I bite down on the valve, water comes out on its own.

  4. #4
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    IF the balloon fails you will need something to contain the water. Replacement rubber latex balloons will be sold separately. However we have put the balloons through rigurous testing and they hold up quite well. They are made of a thick and strong rubber latex. It would take over inflation and or a puncture to guarantee failure.

    Im not sure what other pack you might have that is pressurized but the common camelbak requires that you "sip", or basically suck the water from the reservoir. Kole'Gear is far different from that in that no sucking is required at all.

  5. #5
    PCC
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    In a recent thread about a product that places the water bladder under the seatpost there were a number of posts about folks who crashed with their hydration packs on and that the bladder cushioned their impact with the ground. How would your latex rubber bladder handle this, especially if it were filled to capacity?

    It would seem to me that the latex rubber bladder would not last as long as a plastic bladder like the ones that Camelbak uses.

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    Im not sure what other pack you might have that is pressurized but the common camelbak requires that you "sip", or basically suck the water from the reservoir. Kole'Gear is far different from that in that no sucking is required at all.
    It's this that leads me to believe you guys aren't even in the biking world and just saw someone using a product, or read the word "sip" in an ad, and decided to make a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

    Every hydration pack I've used allows the bladder to be placed under some type of force. Usually, the force comes from the natural position of the body and the arc of the back, gravity, and in my cases, the straps about halfway up that allow one to cinch the pack together. Sometimes the force comes from elastic mesh or straps inside the pack. The cinching straps generally go to the back surface of the pack, instead of a layer on the outer surface, so that more support and proper tensioning, or "pressurization" of the bladder can be established. I know this, because I purge my hose with every ride, simply by depressing the bite valve with my thumb and allowing the water to spray out.

    So how have you addressed the weight weenies and the minimalists that want the smallest, lightest package available? Or those who, if they use a larger pack, want the actual cargo carrying capacity for such things as more tools, clothing, more water, etc?


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    for those concerned on weight, its going to entireley up to that person on who much weight they want to carry. The actual pack itself is very lightweight, and without water , hardly noticeable. With the rubber balloon bladder, you can hold up to 1.75 liters of water. So if you dont want the weight of that much water, then you only put in 1 liter, or however small amount you desire. For those looking for a bigger bag, that is currently in production. It is a heavier duty bag that can carry 2 of the balloon bladders allowing for a lot more water plus plenty of cargo space. If you should only choose to have 1 bladder, then even more space. Currently the only 2 models that will be available will be the waist pack and the backpack. Both will carry up to 1.75 liters of water.

  8. #8
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    How does that differ from current "conventional" backpacks? There are 3 liter bladders available (I use them almost exclusively) and have the choice to run them low (which I do) or fill them up and add secondary ones for long rides.
    Last edited by Jerk_Chicken; 07-02-2009 at 08:42 PM.

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    It's an interesting concept, and no, camelbaks do not work like that. I've ridden with a ghetto-fab mountaindew drink line that I made, and since the drink was pressurized it was actually a lot easier than sucking water out. I'm not associated with the company but don't knock it 'til you've tried it.

  10. #10
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    In a recent thread about a product that places the water bladder under the seatpost there were a number of posts about folks who crashed with their hydration packs on and that the bladder cushioned their impact with the ground. How would your latex rubber bladder handle this, especially if it were filled to capacity?

    It would seem to me that the latex rubber bladder would not last as long as a plastic bladder like the ones that Camelbak uses.
    Any answer to my inquiry?

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    I have at three different backpacks on the go right now, all with bladders. None of them require any sipping or sucking when I want to drink, obviously for the reasons that Jerk explained. I know this because I routinely pinch the bite valve with my fingers to spray some cool water on my arms when its hot out. It certainly does not shoot out like a super soaker but it comes out at a good pace.

    No, I have not tried a KoleGear bag but it simply sounds like it's not needed... although that doesn't stop most people from buying things they don't need. Good luck!

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    My suggestion to this company is to just make a good backpack, with the strengths being fit/feel, ergonomics, usable storage volume, and perhaps expandability options. People really aren't going for gimmicky backpacks.

    Leave the gimmicks to seatposts.

  13. #13
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    If these things spray with pressure like squeezing a water bottle I am all over them. I totally prefer bottles over camelbacks and a hands free bottle would be awesome.

    1.75 liters is a little low on the capacity scale though.

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    so its different, but how is it better?

    If it aint broke, dont fix it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterC
    If these things spray with pressure like squeezing a water bottle I am all over them. I totally prefer bottles over camelbacks and a hands free bottle would be awesome.

    1.75 liters is a little low on the capacity scale though.
    Here is an instructional video made. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGye7-IR3Cw

    This can give you a better idea about the waistpack.

    As for PCC inquiry. We have not tested a full 200 pound person falling on the waistpack. We have done many other endurance tests on the pack and they have all passed. It is a thick rubber latex so it will handle alot more then a traditional water balloon.

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    Here also is a set of pictures taken for KoleGear packs.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/40025647@N06/

    This waistpack is really a preference item. It will be better for some people and not for others. There are some who do notice a difference in their waistpack and dont want to suck for water. Some people may not see this need to suck. But some do. And we provide this product for those who do. If there was no demand for a squrting water as opposed to sucking then we would not make this product. But we definitely get replys from both types of athletes out there. There are those who dont see the difference... but those who do see it love the pressure and thus it works better for those ones.

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    so you don't have to suck but you have to pump. seems like a pain in the neck. I really like the other types of bags that have a large lid so its easy and quick to fill. I can add ice etc. What if you are on a long trip would you need to bring your "pump." Also where do the tubes stow on the waistpack??
    life is steeper than it looks

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    There is room in the waistpack to stow any tubes. And yes if you wanted to pump up the same bladder on a long trip you would have to bring the pump. However the bladders with the quick disconnect will be sold separately, so you can pump up as many bladders as you want, and exchange them out for another when you run out.

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    1.75L seems a bit low for a "long" ride.

    Again, you guys are getting good suggestions, and totally missing the mark because you're hell-bent on this idea that won't work.

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    We are all open for suggestions you guys may have to make this product better and something that you would like to possibly purchase in the future.

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    Here's just one example:
    http://www.dakine.com/sport-packs/bike/nomad/

    Study it, from the functionality, to the ergonomics.

  22. #22
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    Hey Kole Gear,
    Let me clarify. Sometimes on a really long ride bikers need to refill their water supply. On some rides there are places to get additional water and one can use a filter etc and refill their pack. If I had to bring along already filled bladders that would be a lot of weight. So my point is that if I already have a bag that is refillable and works on long rides, it will work on short rides too. So why would someone buy two packs. You are limiting your potential sales. Where I am trying to lead you is to re-think how you pressurize the bladder, or the pump device can you make make a smaller version etc., an adapter???

    Also by tubes, i meant the TUBE FROM THE BLADDER. It looks like it just swings around?? (Man there are just too many possibilities for inuendo in discussing this)

    Try to step back a second from all of your hard work and listen to the end users/consumers. I agree with JC that you are being a bit defensive for lack of a better word.

    Launching new products, R&D is a lot of work, so keep trying
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  23. #23
    PCC
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm not all that big, at about 145lbs, but crashing, especially on a mountain bike, is all too much of a reality for me.

    WRT to filling up the water bladder, if it requires a part that I may inadvertently leave at home, it is not going to work for me no matter how well designed it is. With a normal hydration pack I just open the bladder (or pull it out of the pack) and fill it up at the closest convenient watering hole/drinking fountain. K.I.S.S.

    For folks like me, what's to prevent me from putting an air balloon inside my hydration pack to apply pressure to the bladder to give me positive pressure? To repressurize the system I just blow into the drink tube. Then again, I don't mind sucking the water into my mouth regardless if it is from a hydration pack or a water bottle. As you can see, I'm not your perfect customer, but there are others here who would probably buy your product sight unseen.

    I, too, agree with JC that ergonomics mean more than anything else when it comes to a hydration pack.

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    What are the most important ergonomics to you guys as the daily riders?

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    Let me turn that around on you:

    What do you think a rider would want?

  26. #26
    PCC
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    Well, at the face of it the requirements of a hydration pack, as needed for mountain bikers, would seem to be at odds with each other: A snug fit so that the pack doesn't swing around but ventilation so that our backs can cool/dry off while riding. That means that a normal shoulder strap is not enough. Camelbaks use either one or two cross straps that join the normal shoulder straps. Looking at the pack where it lays on your back they use a mesh over foam bumps to try to allow air to flow between the pack and your back. Other than that, a narrow pack is probably preferred for elbow clearance. After that, have fun with it. Putting the bladder lower would lower the center of gravity of the pack, which may help with maneuvering around on the trail.

    A drain hole at the bottom of the bladder pocket would allow the water to escape instead of soaking our stuff in the main pocket. A waterproof liner between the bladder pocket and the main pocket would probably help here, too.

    Little features like a pump pocket or sleeve, a dedicated pocket for a patch kit would be nice, too. Maybe a small pocket for a first aid kit, too. One of those little clips for our keys would be nice, too.

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    How to clean the inside of the bladder?

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    KoleGear im sorry to tell you but PCC and jerk chicken make some good points, when buying a new pack the bladder system is a very small portion of it. A lot of rides buy a pack because of the pack, it is easy to buy a new bladders, bite pieces, insulators, and 100 other things...The point is if you want a product to sell put it ahead of the compitetion by putting what we really need, full face helment carrying ability, plenty of room for pumps, patch kits, extra tubes, multi tool, a place to put full armor, make the "no suck" part of the pack just an extra perk....but thats just my 2 cents

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    I use the Camelback....and blow a little bit of air in and I get just enough pressurized drink. No gimmicks.

  30. #30
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    Some of you guys are missing the point...

    There are many different requirements for hydration packs. Not everyone wants to carry a big pack 1/2 filled with water especially on shorter, hotter rides or when racing. I currently have 2 Camelbaks that I use for different purposes. I use one for shore rides because I need to carry armor and a full faced helment and I use the other for my epic rides. Other than that I use waterbottles for my faster rides because I don't have the hot hydration pack on my back and I can blast the water into my mouth very quickly. I would welcome a lighter, smaller capacity pack that would get water into my mouth quickly when I'm breathing hard.

    There is definitley room for some options for hydration packs as long as the secondary features are there, it is well built and the ergonomics are correct.

    Bog
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    Vancouver, BC

  31. #31
    PCC
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    Quote Originally Posted by bog
    There are many different requirements for hydration packs. Not everyone wants to carry a big pack 1/2 filled with water especially on shorter, hotter rides or when racing.
    Which is why companies like Camelbak make so many different hydration packs. I, too, own two different Camelbaks. A small one that barely fits a pump, patch kit, first aid kit, spare tube, and my car keys. Comes with a smallish bladder. The other one actually is a backpack that I had bought for long rides where I may want to actually bring lunch with me as well as for being out with the family, storing their stuff, too. This one came with a larger bladder. I could have bought an even larger one but wanted something in the mid-size range.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by TylerZR6
    I use the Camelback....and blow a little bit of air in and I get just enough pressurized drink. No gimmicks.
    Thank you...that's what I always do as well
    Blowing air into the tube makes the cleaning process much faster too....
    Pressurized air bladder with additional balloons and such sounds like an old Reebok pumps basketball shoe commercial or something....
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  33. #33
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    We ride bikes, up mountains, so that we can ride them back down at breakneck speeds... I think we are okay with the effort that "sipping" out of a camelback requires.

    I need a pack with a big mouth, how else am I going to get a can of fat tire beer inside my hydration pack?
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    To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it."
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  34. #34
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    This is an interesting concept. I like this idea for a short, weekday ride where I normally only get in a few hours. Have you thought of offering the pressurized system without a pack? I think it would be great for those of use that just want to try the bladder and don't need a new bag.

    Also, I visited your web site but it doesn't appear that anything is in stock. What is the price on these?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat2A
    How to clean the inside of the bladder?
    ...and the inside off the pump and pump bottle. I don't like the black fuzzy stuff.

    You definitely have a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and have created many actual problems in the process.

    Impossible to clean, can't refill without bringing along bulky additional equipment = FAIL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr
    ...and the inside off the pump and pump bottle. I don't like the black fuzzy stuff.

    You definitely have a solution to a problem that doesn't exist and have created many actual problems in the process.

    Impossible to clean, can't refill without bringing along bulky additional equipment = FAIL.
    Our tubing and bitevalves are made with microban antimicrobial protection. It prevents against 99% bacteria, and mildew buildup. They are able to clean by pumping warm water with a mild soap inside of them and draining out.

    As for the refill option, they are refillable anywhere. All you need is the pump which is small and compact, and easily fits inside the pack. The pump also fits into gatoraid, poweraid and many other type of bottles. It is very portable and able to refill virtually anywhere. We provide a bottle with the product for your home use. It also helps the user to gauge how much liquid is supported in the pack. I hope that you can check out the product to see how well it works. We have been getting a great response from everyone who has tried it. All sports enthusiasts who actually ride hard and exhaust themselves can tell you that it interrupts your breathing routine to have to have to stop breathing and suck for water instead. Please feel free to ask me any other questions you have.

  37. #37
    ozz
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    I see the advantage of a pressurized waterbag. I'd buy one if it's offered with a hi-capacity pack similar to the Camelbak MULE or HAWG, and offered with a good quality bite valve...and all of the cool gadgets available for the bite valve (90 degree bend, valve cover, open/close valve etc...).

    I'd also buy the waterbag alone if it is compatible with a MULE or HAWG.

  38. #38
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    Yes our product is able to fit inside any bag. simply pump it inside your bag, or place in bag after it is filled. Our bitevalves do have the 90 ' angle and are completely leak proof. We spent the time ensuring that they are leak proof since the contents are constantly under pressure. We do not have a shut off valve. In any case that you did not want to risk something squeezing the bite valve and its contents coming out, then you would simply disconnect the driking tube from the bladder.

    I commonly fill up 3 different bladders with whatever fluid i want and save them in a cooler, so when Im ready for the next beverage, its cold and ready to go.

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