Thursday, October 25, 2012

Geigerrig Hydration Bladder Review

One of the most important pieces of gear that I use and always pack is water. The challenge I have always had is packing enough water without taking up so much space. So I started doing some research and came across the Geigerrig Hydration System. This wasn't like any other hydration bladder. The main difference I saw was the fact that it was pressurized. Yep. It would actually spray water and you didn't have to suck on the bite valve. Here is a quick video of the Geigerrig System.

While I was communicating with Bob Geiger he gave me a little information on how he came up with the idea for the Geigerrig System. While Bob was with the US Marine Corps he noticed some reasons as to why the Marines didn't like the traditional hydration packs. Here is what Bob had to say:

"Yet another reason is that Marines often need water for purposes other than drinking. They need to clean off their feet before changing socks while on a long hike. They need to spray sand out of the magazine that holds their ammo (sand in the magazine often resulted in mis-feeds, jams and malfunctions of the weapon). They need to spray the sweat off of their face and head. They need to spray and clean their body as a matter of field hygiene (foot rot and crotch rot are real game changers for Marines operating in the field). They need to add water to their MREs. They need to clean out a wound. They need to treat a casualty. They need to share their water with a fellow Marine. Etc. Etc. Etc."

"In building the GEIGERRIG product, we did a lot of work to analyze the various views and attitudes that the general consumer had about hydration packs.  My experience in the Marine Corps was always in the back of my mind, but I didn’t know how those experiences would translate when it came to civilian, recreation use of a hydration pack.  What we found though, was that the general consumer of a hydration pack shared many of the very same feelings and attitudes about their hands free hydration system as Marines did."

The Geigerrig bladder peaked my interest in the fact that I don't have to try and suck the water through the tube. I don't know how many times I have climbed up the top of a ridge and was out of breath trying to suck through the tube to get some water. I felt like it was too much work to get enough water to drink. So obviously not sucking for water was very appealing. 

Some of the features that stand out the most for me:
  • Pressurized so I don't have to suck.
  • Slide Top and wide mouth to easily fill and clean. 
  • Quick Release valves for the pressure tube and water tube.
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • Inline filter capability.
Now the biggest challenge for any water bladder is trying to fit it into your hunting pack. Most hunting packs have places for a hydration bladder, but getting one to fit is sometimes a challenge. I received the 3 Liter bladder to try and fit into my Eberlestock X2 Pack and I'm not going to lie, I was a little nervous. I know my pack said it could hold a 3 Liter bladder but it looked like it was going to be a tight fit. Secondly I was nervous how to feed the valve and the bulb through the hydration pocket in my pack.

I quickly found that the bladder fit in the pack very easily. I thought it would have been a tighter fit but it was perfect. Even with the inline water filter it fit perfectly inside the pocket and had plenty of room to spare. I thought that it fit perfectly was curious how it would work once I pressurized the bladder.

You can see the black inline filter in the picture and the bladder is pressurized. There was still some room in the pocket if I needed to put something in. I fed both the water and air tube out the same opening and this worked out very well for me and was very simple. I liked this set up because I was able to have the pressure bulb and the water valve available on the same side.

The inline water filter and the hoses are easily removable with the quick release valves. This allows you to quickly remove the hoses from their position on the bladder which was very helpful when I needed to refill or even clean the bladder. All I had to do was remove the hoses from the bladder, then take the bladder out of the pocket in order to fill it, and then I attached the hoses back up to start using it.

I absolutely enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to suck on the valve to get water. This made it more than just a water bladder for drinking. I used it to fill my pot for boiling water to cook my Mountain House meal for lunch on one of my hunts. You can see the pressure that the bladder has by the stream of water coming through the valve which made it easy to use.

Overall I was very satisfied with the water bladder and the ease of use. The simplicity of cleaning with the slide top, being able to turn it inside out and just throwing it on the top rack of your dishwasher was very beneficial. The inline water filter did slow the stream down slightly but it as you can see in the picture it still had a lot of pressure.

I looked at my pack specs and found that my pack would hold up to a 3 liter bladder and sure enough it fit just fine with no issues. The price for a 3 liter Geigerrig Hydration bladder is $49.00 which isn't too bad. You must buy the filter separately but the filter is rated to filter 50 gallons and removes 99.9% of Cryptospordium and Giardia. This is definitely worth looking into if you are in the market for a hydration bladder.

Overall I would recommend this to anyone who is wanting a hydration pack. I was skeptical of the durability of the bladder until I watched some of the tests that were performed by Geigerrig. Here is one of the videos that shows the durability of the bladder.

I figure if it can withstand a bomb, it would be pretty reliable in my hunting pack. Definitely go and check these hydration bladders. Here is a link to their YouTube channel with all sorts of different tests like dropping the pack out of a vehicle at 100 mph and a dry ice bomb inside the bladder itself!

Watch for the review of the Geigerrig Rig 500 Ballistic Pack shortly!

As with all reviews on High Country Bowhunter, the following review is my honest opinion, I received the Geigerrig Hydration System  and agreed to provide a review in exchange. I am not sponsored by or associated with Geigerrig and accepting no other compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.


  1. Thanks for the great feedback Dustin. Props to the Eberlestock X2 Pack for providing a pack worthy of toting a GEIGERRIG engine, your packs are great!