pfd hydration pack

Just replaced my pfd–mice got into a pocket–and am thinking about replacing the old model Kokatat hydration pack with something better if that something exists. Alternatives? Thanks in advance, John

I managed to attach a Camelback Unbottle to the rear of my PFD, using straps attached to the adjustment straps on my PFD. I like it far better than keeping it on my front deck. I sometimes drink the full 3 liters during a 3-4 hour paddle, so I appreciate having the water there.

It makes the PFD awkward to put on, when the bladder is full, and I catch the bottom of the unbottle on the cockpit coaming when I complete a roll. Those are the two drawbacks, neither of which outweighs the benefits, for me.

2nd that
I also attached an unbottle to the straps on the back of my PFD, and I love it. I remember to drink way more than if I have a bottle in the day hatch.

I agree that the weight is noticable when donning the vest, but I don’t notice it while paddling. And I got the smaller size Unbottle (maybe 80 oz.?) and I haven’t had any trouble with it catching the cockpit coaming, or interfering with layback rolls or reentries in any way.

To me, the size is just right. On a hot, active day, I’ll refill it at lunch from a bladder stored in my boat. But many days the 80 ounces is sufficient.

3rd CamelBack
I tried the system made for Extrasport, but found the bladder to be too small. I think Kokatat’s also has a similarly small bladder. The CamelBack is plenty large, but nit so large that I feel the weight nor that it gets in the way of the skirt/combing.

Make one

– Last Updated: May-19-10 8:55 AM EST –

The pocket for a hydration pack doesn't have to be elaborate. I've been using one for years that I glued up from scrap neoprene. Sewing one out of Nylon would be even easier. All you really need is a pouch with some Velcro at the top to seal it and a simple method of attachment to the PFD.

I’ve been looking for something like the Unbottle to put on my PFD. I just hadn’t got around to asking here.

So thanks for asking and thanks to those who answered!

Astral Tempo 200
I have the Astral Tempo 200 and the platypus bladder that fits inside it. The whole thing seems to work very well for me.

It seems to have a small bladder but I think I am going to get one. The Camelbacks all seem to hang to low for me. This new NRS has a large pocket for extras also.


Second the NRS…
I have several products from Camelback, including a large Unbottle. I really like them for hiking and back-country use, but I much prefer hydration systems that are specifically designed to be mounted on pfds. I do quite a bit of rolling, sculling, rescue drills, etc. and I want a system that really stays put. Yes, I could go Brian’s route and make one myself, but I have just never been that handy. :frowning:

I too like the NRS hydration system It has a very well thought out attachment system and a wide-mouth, easy access screw top bladder.

I have tried the Astral Buoyancy Full Bladder (for Astral PFDs only). I thought Astral could have done a much better job in the design. It’s nice that the Full Bladder tucks away in Astral’s hidden pouch, which will keep the bladder insulated. However the Full Bladder is very awkward to fill due the hidden mounting system and it’s ridiculously small screw cap. Astral also wants a pretty penny for what amounts to just a plastic bag and two nylon straps. There is no case or cover provided and the bite valve is bush league.

Lastly, one of my favorite pfd mounted hydration systems is called the ‘Big Drop’. It was made by Ultimate Direction, but they only marketed it for one year. I still have mine, but the pfd attached carrying pack is getting a bit long in the tooth (UV damage). I recently picked up the NRS Hydration pack to eventually replace it.

NRS on Kokatat?

I just wanted to make sure I understand you correctly: You have attached the NRS Hydration pack in a good way to a Kokatat PFD? I have a Ronin Pro, do you see any reason why it would not work there?