Application: Platypus Insulator hydration system - Kurt Papke
- Application to test the Platypus Insulator hydration system - Kurt Papke
Please accept my application to test the Platypus Insulator hydration
system. I agree to comply with all the report requirements found in
the BackpackGearTest.org bylaws v. 0609 which I most recently read on
August 31, 2008.
Name: Kurt Papke
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 220 lbs (100 kg)
Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Minneapolis, MN USA
Date: October 30, 2008
Why me? I have fair experience with hydration systems, and I hike in
very cold weather:
- My first OR was for a Platy reservoir
- I am in-test on another reservoir (Moflow), and a water filter
(Frontier Pro). The Moflow has given me a lot of insight on what can
go seriously wrong with a hydration system.
- I currently use a Platy insulator with a 1L reservoir on winter
- I live and hike in Minnesnowta
Backpacking Background: mostly in the Upper Midwest - all of the
Superior Hiking Trail and Border Route, Isle Royale. This year
includes hiking in Michigan, Wisconsin, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota
and Oregon. Mostly Spring/Fall seasons, but started to do more winter
hiking last year. ~25 lb 3-season baseweight, 15-17 miles/day pace.
Testing would take place in the Minnesota River Valley, the North
Shore, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and western Wisconsin. The
terrain would be forested hills/valleys, with elevation in the
neighborhood of 1500 ft (460 m). Temperatures would be as cold as it
gets in the Continental U.S.: the average high/low in the Minnesota
Arrowhead in January is roughly 17F (-8C) / -4F (-20C), but I would
expect daily swings much in excess of this.
I am a bit new to Winter camping, so my test plan will be conservative
in regards to length of backpacking trips. I will test it in at least
2 (maybe 3) different packs with different hydration sleeves. I will
*not* be able to test this in the "blazing sun" - ain't no such thing
in Minnesota for the next 6 months.
This will be as much a test of the Big Zip SL as it is the insulator.
I will evaluate the gear for:
- Out-of-the-box fit and finish: any leaks, or rough seams? Do all
the connectors work smoothly at the outset? Are the instructions clear?
- Usability: can I do everything I need to do (drinking, re-filling)
with gloves or mittens? Threading a drinking tube through a pack
hydration port is always an occasion for some good cussing - how easy
is it to get this insulated one through? I will be re-filling this
reservoir with melted snow - how easy is it to fill from my pot?
Hooking a drinking tube to my pack shoulder straps is always a pain -
how well does this one hook on when the insulator is installed?
- Reliability & robustness: all the hose connectors on this thing look
like a recipe for failure in cold weather when the plastic gets
brittle. How well does it hold up? Does the SlideLock close work
when its icy? If I pour hot melted snow from my pot into it, any
problems with plastic degradation from the hot water? How easy is it
to thaw the bite valve when it freezes up? Any rips or tears in the
insulation over time? How well do the insulation closures (look like
snaps) hold up over time? How well does the bite valve work (does it
leak) after repeated freeze/thaw cycles? Any problems with bursting
or cracking if the the reservoir freezes solid when its full? (this
might be the last test I try before I write my LTR...)
- Functionality: how cold and for how long can I take this and have
water, not ice? How well does the hangar work on my various hydration
sleeves? Do I find the D-rings useful for strapping it onto a pack?
Does the Slimeguard work well with the tannin-laden North Shore water?
- Packing: does it slide in/out of my hydration sleeves smoothly?
Does the shape profile fit with my various pack sleeves? The good
news is the Sierra Long Trail I am testing has a huge hydration sleeve
that the Insulator should easily fit into. How well does it mate/hang
on the various reservoir hangers in my packs?
- Adaptability: how well does it mate with my Katadyn filter hoses? I
have an adapter for my 3L Platy Hoser that doesn't look like its gonna
work with this bad boy. Can I use the Insulator with any of my
current Platy reservoirs?
- Aesthetics: do I like the blue color? Any taste effects from long
or shorter-term storage of water in the reservoir?
My reviews: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/kwpapke
I am finishing up the Aquamira water filter and Moflow hydration
reservoir tests, started the Exped Multimat, Nite Ize and High Sierra
90L backpack, and will start the Kayland boots when they arrive.
I have pending test applications for the Stormtrack tent.
Thank you for your consideration.