A Better Way with Bottles?

Staff Writer
New Gear: Jet Flow Convertible Hydration Bladder

For any hiker or cyclist whose hydration pack bladder dates back to the Clinton administration, the new Jet Flow converter promises to be an easy replacement solution that will work with most any bottle available at the local convenience store.

Simply thread in any recycled disposable drink container into the device (it also works with one-liter Nalgene bottles) stow it in your existing pack, and go.

The device’s eco-friendy factor is somewhat questionable in that it would seem to encourage the use of disposable plastic bottles, and in terms of value - it goes for about the same as a high-end  two- or three-liter replacement bladder from Osprey or CamelBak with built-in anti-microbial liners.

Still, for certain die-hard DIYers, the modular, adaptable device will be well received. The Jet Flow’s double-input manifold lets the user set up a hose on either side of the bladder, while a check-valve helps relieve pressure.  Unlike standard bladders, the Jet Flow can be pressurized via a standard Schrader for ultra-expedient water delivery.

As most hydration pack users know (likely having found out the hard way), putting anything but straight H2o in a bladder leaves a sticky, mold-prone mess that requires immediate cleaning. But for those who just have to sip Gatorade or some other sticky-sweet concoction, the Jet Flow kit included a piston-actuated bottle attachment for pressurized cleaning with hot water.

Jet Flow founder Andrew Peterson says the original idea for the device came from mountain bike trips when he’d find himself buying drink bottles only to drain them into his reservoir. “Really it was a tragedy on two fronts,” says Peterson. “First I hated using the bladder and the necessary post-ride cleaning, and second, I was opening and recycling a perfectly good reservoir on its way into the bladder.”

The $30 Jet Flow system comes with adapters for a wide range of bottles, two full-length hoses, a mesh back to clip onto camping bags and a 1-Liter bottle syringe system for cleaning.