OR: Cool Stuff--Geigerrig Hydration Engine - Backpacker

OR: Cool Stuff--Geigerrig Hydration Engine

A new hydration system asks why suck when you can squirt?

It’s always after you’ve climbed something tough, sweat pouring off you, that the thirst seems the most powerful. That’s when the old kung fu between air and water ensues: You stop breathing while you suck from the hydration hose, then you inhale mightily through your nose attempting to build up enough oxygen surplus to swallow the mouthful. Repeat, ad hydratium.

But what if you could turn your hydration reservoir into a low power water gun? The Geigerrig Hydration Engine (available in two and three liters, for $48 and $50, respectively) does just that. Using the same pump the doc uses to measure your blood pressure, the reservoir inflates with enough pressure to force out a liters per minute.

The pressurized system also makes sharing water with your friend or dog less gross, and it keeps mouth bacteria from backwashing into the reservoir and turning it into a petri dish. When it’s time to clean it, it flips inside out and is dishwasher safe.

Snap on an in-line water filter ($28) and have 50-ish gallons go creek to throat with the same pressure. (No word on how it works toward the end of the filter’s life).

The boys in the booth said they put it through some heavy testing, like dropping it from a helicopter, detonating a shrapnel-free bomb next to it, and throwing it out of a moving car (that sounds familiar) but it didn’t leak.

If only for the novelty sake, this thing is pretty cool. It’s possible to pressurize your own reservoir by squeezing it under your arm like bagpipes, or wrenching compression straps hard on it, but the Hydration Engine does that for you—so long as you don’t mind a blood-pressure pump dangling from your shoulder strap. geigerrig.com

—Casey Lyons