MSR Dromedary or Dromolite Bags

alliemo66

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Do the above bags still give off foul smell and taste? I bought a dromedary bag in 2016 and had to return it because of the smell/taste. Has anyone bought the bags lately? Just wondering if there was any improvement in that area?
 

AM

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I have regular Drom bags that are about 5-7 years old and they definitely impart taste to the water (a bit of a burnt rubber flavour). That said, water source is key. I find that Vancouver water is terrible, but if I run it through a Brita filter it’s better. Creek water is also fine, as is well water. So I’m assuming it has to do with treatment.

Cheers,
Andrew
 
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chodups

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I have a bunch of MSR waterbags. A few of the classic black Dromedary bags go back 15 years old. I also have some red coated fabric DromLite bags plus a couple of those grey vinyl feeling Dromlites. I've never had an issue with taste because the BC water isn't that tasty to begin with. Lots of tannin. I filter everything I drink and I guess I'm just not that picky.
 

ChrisPoteetPdx

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We use the clear 2.5 gallon collapsing water jugs from Reliant. No funky taste. Folks question their durability so I'll leave it with "your mileage may vary". We've been satisfied so far.
 

Tangler

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Wine bags. The clear plastic ones seem better than the shiny silver ones.
Get them from your local winemaking emporium.
Cheap. No taste. Collapse nicely when empty. Had very few problems with them. Can get (or make) cloth bags with handles and little nozzle holes to improve functionality.
 

cougarmeat

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I’m going to try a product called One Step. It’s a clearner for items like drinking tubes/lines (commercial - like in a bar. I’ve had my dromedary bags for years and give them a little Clorox rinse at least once a summer. As far as taste, I seldom drink water from them straight. Usually the water is mixed with instant coffee or used with dehydrated food. If I do have a “water bottle”, most of the time it also has electrolyte power added. So I very seldom taste just the water itself.

And I am spoiled because in Oregon, in Bend, we have great water out of the faucet. I was so surprised the first time I heard of people actually buying water when they had a kitchen faucet right there. Then I tasted their water and understood.

Makes you think, “What are we doing to this planet; our home!"
 

AlphaEcho

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I have MSR Dromedaries from a number of different eras -- 1st gen to current. I don't have any with 'funny' tastes. Not saying my experience is definitive; just offering another data point.

I have had a Hydrapak 3 Litre insulated hydration pack on my deck for 3 seasons now. It was a good move because I now remember to hydrate while paddling and have managed to avoid the 'bonk' on days of 3+ hours paddling. On the strength of that purchase I bought a couple of Hydrapak soft 'bottles' to augment my 10 Litre Dromedary. They are standing up very well and do not absorb tastes.
 

cougarmeat

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AlphaEcho, how do you mange the drinking tube? I’ve satisfied myself that a tube running from the water-pak, clipped to my PFD, would easily slip off if I had to unexpectedly exit. But the mouth end of the drinking tube would be subject to saltwater (occasional spray) such that my first sip would be like drinking from the ocean (not advised - already have my quota of plastic, thank you). I could swish the first sip of fresh water around in my mouth, rinsing off the tube mouthpiece, and spit.

Has having the drinking end of the tube hanging out, uncovered, been an issue. One idea I considered was feeding the tube through a hole cut in a 35mm plastic film container. The lid on the container would provide some addition protection. But then you’d have to take the lid off (and hold on to it) to sip. Not that much more trouble to raft up and drink from a bottle.

I’ve definitely been on crossings where I wished my paddling partner would drink more. I know there are concerns about having “too much water”. I’m pretty sure a couple of liters on the deck would not be a balance problem. Often a 1 qt Nalgene bottle is held there anyway.

How do you handle the drinking end of the tube - or do you just swallow a little bit of the ocean on the first sip?
 

JohnAbercrombie

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About hydration-
It's amazing that humans survived before the present era when everybody walks around clutching a water bottle!
Fun fact: In a recent ZOOM SISKA session, Gordon Brown stated that for the Molokai race (about 4 hours, Hawaii WX) Oscar Chalupsky took 500mL of water/drink.
A backpack hydration bladder works for me, on the PFD. (Kokatat Tributary or similar). I don't need to raft up or have calm conditions to drink. Water only - I don't want stuff growing in the tube. And, I never have a problem with salt on the bite valve.

I think some racers have developed pressurized drink systems that 'shoot' water into the mouth. Sucking water up from a deck (or under-deck) bladder/bottle isn't that easy if you are working hard.

Those smaller (1L and 2L) soft bottles are good for stuffing in the corners behind the seat where a Dromedary won't fit. Also, almost any bottle with a smaller top will have a better closure than a Dromedary. Fortunately the blue Nalgene covers fit the Dromedary threads.

About the original question: I'm not picky about water taste - as long as it won't cause GI problems, I'll drink it. And the Dromedary bags don't seem to me to be a problem re:taste.
 
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AlphaEcho

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There's a big divide between survival and improved performance from hydration. If Oscar Chalupsky did a 4 hour race on just 500 ML of water, more power to him. I've bonked on hot summer paddling trips and it's no fun. I will grant you that it is criminal how Nestle, Evian, etc. sell water because it's trendy.

I have inspected the drinking valves on various systems: Camelbak, Platypus, etc. I like the bite value on my Hydrapak. I've never had it clog or had trouble drinking. It does not retain water (no salty sips) and effectively seals the drink tube because it has a twist lock backing up the valve. There's a cap on the valve to protect it.

I keep my hydration pack on my deck. There's too many things hanging off my PFD as it is. That's just me. I curl the drink tube under my deck bungees and it is out of the way there. It lies flat and does not stick up like a bottle. I can grab a drink in rough water without any fuss. Again, not suggesting this is the best method for everyone: just that it works for me.
 
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chodups

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About the original question: I'm not picky about water taste - as long as it won't cause GI problems, I'll drink it. And the Dromedary bags don't seem to me to be a problem re:taste.
I think that maybe some parts of the world have wonderful tasting water in abundance and the taste that my Dromedary bags may or may not impart would not be acceptable. Wish it were so on the BC Coast but, to me, water is like food. I need to drink and eat but the whole food preparation thing is lost on me. It's fuel. Calories, protein fat, etc. Water is hydration, period. If it is really clear, sweet and good tasting that is a nice-to-have but I'm going to drink what my body needs regardless. Like John said "as long as it won't cause GI problems, I drink it". I'm guessing that maybe some MSR bags got out with a coating that makes water unacceptable. None of mine fell into that category for me.

I know that some folks, including my longest and most trusted trip partner, flavor their hydration water to counter the taste of tannin or bag stink. I tried that but found that it didn't increase my water consumption but did leave lingering bag stink that tannin never did.

What to do?
 

dvfrggr

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Seattle,Wa
I know that some folks, including my longest and most trusted trip partner, flavor their hydration water to counter the taste of tannin or bag stink. I tried that but found that it didn't increase my water consumption but did leave lingering bag stink that tannin never did.

What to do?
One positive effect of losing my keen sense of smell years ago and goes beyond water bag stink!
My gain:) , Paddling partners loss :(
 

YYJ Paddler

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We use the clear 2.5 gallon collapsing water jugs from Reliant. No funky taste. Folks question their durability so I'll leave it with "your mileage may vary". We've been satisfied so far.
Has anyone else tried these in a kayak? I have a similar jug that is 15L and am wondering how reliable it would be for a planned 5 day trip in Clayaquot Sound this spring (subject to COVID, of course). I figure that I could put it in the rear hatch right behind my seat with other stuff packed around so that it doesn't move around too much, and get some of the air out during the trip so it doesn't slosh much. They are pretty sturdy plastic, so I don't worry much about anything puncturing, but worry about maybe leaking from the lid somehow.

Thanks.
 

chodups

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Has anyone else tried these in a kayak? I have a similar jug that is 15L and am wondering how reliable it would be for a planned 5 day trip in Clayaquot Sound this spring (subject to COVID, of course). I figure that I could put it in the rear hatch right behind my seat with other stuff packed around so that it doesn't move around too much, and get some of the air out during the trip so it doesn't slosh much. They are pretty sturdy plastic, so I don't worry much about anything puncturing, but worry about maybe leaking from the lid somehow.

Thanks.
I used some of these really early on but, like you, I didn't trust the lid and I don't like the way they pack. The Reliant folding jugs, even when empty have a footprint inside your boat that a Dromedary Bag or something similar does not have. I find that bags have more flexibility in where I can pack them and by having a few different sized bags I can move them around for trimming the boat as I reduce food weight or for expected persistent upwind or downwind conditions.
 

pryaker

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... They are pretty sturdy plastic, so I don't worry much about anything puncturing, but worry about maybe leaking from the lid somehow.
Many moons ago, in boy scouts, I found that those cube container type jugs can actually pop if you drop them. We had a few do this, they would blow about a 2" section of the seam out. Never really trusted them again.

Droms have been our go to but recently have had too lids start to leak. no matter which bag I put em on 2 of them leak. And I also hate those 3 way lids! Our last tap style lid finally died last year and they don't make em any more. For me that's a much bigger problem than the rubbery taste our oldest bag imparts to the water (newer ones don't seem to do that).
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Droms have been our go to but recently have had too lids start to leak. no matter which bag I put em on 2 of them leak.\
I had a MSR lid leak all the 6L Dromedary contents - fortunately (??!) in the back of my car on the way to the launch.
I've replaced all the MSR lids on my Dromedarys with the 63 mm Nalgene lids - they seem to be a bit harder plastic and don't leak..so far.
https://nalgenecanada.com/collections/accessories/products/wide-mouth-cap

In camp I replace the lid on the 'in use' bag with the 'tap' lid. When it was available it was called the 'MSR Hydration Spigot Cap', but now seems discontinued everywhere- another good thing gone. When mine fails, I'll probably add some sort of valve to a spare Nalgene cap. I don't trust anything with a flip-up cap when packed.

For alternative 'soft' water containers, I've used the nalgene 'Cantene' bottle(s). They have the wide mouth that's compatible with the MSR Dromedary threads. Platypus also makes IMO very good quality soft bags with narrow screw caps. Smaller bags have the virtues of redundancy and ease of fitting into corners where a 4L Drom won't fit.
 
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pryaker

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Oh good points John! I hadn't thought of nalgene caps! And good thought about adding a tap to a nalgene cap. Have you looked into sourcing a tap or some sort of bulkhead fitting?
 

AlphaEcho

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MEC carried these for a little while and I bought a handful to replace the lids on my Nalgene bottles and MSR Droms. The rubberized grips open/close better than the OEM lids, seal better too, and I like that you have the options of using the small opening or large opening: https://humangear.ca/products/capcap

I don't know if I like the newer version of the retaining loop. It seems more prone to breaking, but the overall execution is still one I like.
 
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cougarmeat

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I have a few of those spigot caps on my bags and they work great. I was concerned about leakage while traveling - and still am - but they haven’t leaked once. On the other hand - two of those caps with the flip-up nozzle have been replaced by MSR. Don’t know if it’s the flip-cap itself or manufacturing mistake with the cap treads.

The Nalgene cap replacement would give a solid cap while traveling and could be replaced with a spigot cap once in camp.
 
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