MSR Dromedary Working Capacities

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by JohnAbercrombie, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Not a huge deal, but possibly worth noting:
    My Dromedary bags actually don't hold their stated capacities of water.
    I've always thought that my Dromedary bags 'just didn't look big enough' for their stated capacities.
    I just spent a few minutes with a 1 L measuring cup and my Dromedary bags.
    (I have a bit of a collection, since the 10L bag won't fit through some of my day hatches.)
    The bags were 'filled to the brim' under the tap, holding them vertically.
    Results (which were roughly confirmed by weight using a bathroom scale)
    Actual capacity of 4L Dromedary = 3.6L
    Actual capacity of 6L Dromedary = 5L
    Actual capacity of 10L Dromedary = 7.5L

    So, something to factor into your calculations if there's not a lot of water along your route (which I'd guess applies to a lot of places right now).

    BTW, I'd be happy to find I was mistaken, so please repeat this 'check' if you own Dromedary bags.
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    John, I have never measured how much water we squeezed into the 10 L bags, but I can report that how you finish the bag and whether the skin is fully wet both can jncrease capacitu by at least a litre.

    We plop them in the kitchen sink and gef the bags thoroughly wet on the outside, then fill, lifting the mouth but allowing the tail to be supported by the sink surface. Filling the way you describe, with the bag hanging verticslly and not supported at the opposite end decreases the maximum fill quite a bit.
     
  3. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Dave-
    I just repeated the measurement on the 10L bag, soaking it and laying it flat in the kitchen sink, and filling it as full as it could get it (it was overflowing when I screwed on the lid).
    You are correct - I got 8.4 L into the 10L bag with that technique.
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I think you could get even more in if you floated one in a large sink or horse trough, lifting the opening just barely out of the water to fill. We use the big opening for most of the fill, finishing with the smaller one. I don't think we have ever gotten a fill over 9 L in one.
     
  5. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I just don't understand 'corporate think' at all.
    I still would have bought the Dromedary bags if they had been advertised as 3.5L, 5L and 8L units.
     
  6. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I think they got those original ratings by inflating with CEO and CFO hot air.
     
  7. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    :clap: :big_thumb :lol:
     
  8. DALAJS

    DALAJS Paddler

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    Try filling them outside with a hose. Fill via the small cap, and use the pressure from the hose to keep adding pressure and letting air out. The trick is getting the cap back on in a hurry while the bag is spewing water back out.

    You can get quite a bit more water into the bag this way. Just be careful not to leave your bags lying in the sun on the beach. I've lost one bag this way because the pressure increased as it heated.
     
  9. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    DALAJS solution is a good one. Somebody with a modified small cap could probably make some bucks by providing one with a small shutoff valve.
     
  10. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I'm not very concerned with filling them 'to the max'. I find the Dromedary bags are easier to pack into the boat if they are very slightly under-filled.
    For me, it's more important to know how much water I have....not that I've ever planned to take 'the minimum' amount of water- I always have more than I think I'll need..
    Never know when one of the containers may fail :yikes: , so I use multiple smaller bags rather than the 10L one.
     
  11. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    I need a couple, about half full or so, for ballast, so I always have extra. On a multiday trip over a week long, I need to resupply, so typically we are drinking down the bags more or less uniformly, only filling when one is exhausted.
     
  12. kisielk

    kisielk Paddler

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    That's been my experience with the bags as well. I filled a 5 L and a couple of 10 L as much as I could on a recent trip. I managed to fill around four 1 L Nalgene bottles from the 5 L bag and around seven from the 10 L.

    While on the topic of the MSR bags, does anyone else notice the water tastes a little bit plasticky? Has happened with all of mine and my friends' bags as well.
     
  13. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Yes. A wash / rinse with some vinegar ... making sure it contacts all the inner surfaces, followed by a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water or so, well shaken and distributed inside the bag, with a final tap water rinse will get rid of that taste. Does not seem to return until after the bags have sat empty for a long time. I think it may be the plasticizer, or maybe something chlorine makes when it hits the plastic.
     
  14. DALAJS

    DALAJS Paddler

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    Some people have had success with soaking and rinsing the bags with baking soda and water. Other bags seem destined to taste bad forever. I've had a few that were absolutely tasteless, and others that were undrinkable.

    Try the baking soda and water first, but I've heard rumors that MSR might send you a new bag if it is really bad.
     
  15. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    The original MSR dromedary bags, circa 2000, or maybe earlier, used a preservative/antibacterial agent in the inner coating that was aggressively foul. I hated it. MSR traded those out to owners for the newer versions about 2000, which are OK for most people, but some folks do not tolerate the taste. I think chlorinated tap water may have exacerbated the problem for both generations, because after a couple cycles of water pump filtered from shoreside streams, I never notice any off taste, even for the old ones.

    YMMV.
     
  16. SheilaP

    SheilaP Paddler

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    Good thread and observations. I have noticed this too and pack a nalgene or bladder with a few litres per drom. I find if they are overfilled they are more likely to leak and/or rupture, so it is not worth filling them until they look like a bloated seal. :shock:

    I find they taste awful if they are stored damp as well. Still, these bags rock and fit places where hard containers never would. :big_thumb
     
  17. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I agree. :big_thumb
    Nowadays, I either dry them on the boot dryer :yikes: or for containers I'm using often (Platypus water bottle, hydration bladder, etc. ), I store them filled with water, and rinse them regularly.
     
  18. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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    While we are talking Dromedary Bags.........I have one that I used to collect unfiltered water with recently and need to purify it. What is the best practice for purifying these bags?
     
  19. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Woof. I think some diluted bleach, swished around thoroughly, is about the only sure cure. Rinse to get rid of mostof the bleach. Hit it with baking soda/water solution, rinse with water, sniff to make sure the chlorine is gone, swish around a half cup of vinegar, and rinse again. All this folderol just to get rid of residual bleach. Some folks just do the bleach, rinse thoroughly with tap water, let it hang dry and call it good. That would be me.