Author Topic: Bottles or Backpack with Water Bladder?  (Read 8269 times)

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Offline dacrazyahn

Bottles or Backpack with Water Bladder?
« on: June 02, 2017, 05:54:29 am »
Dear Community,
I will be cycling the Trans Am from West to East as from mid July. My question now is: should I rather bring bottles / foldable emergency bottles or is a water bladder the better solution for the hot times? I used that riding in Germany a lot but don't like the sticky backpack as additional water reservoir... any opinions on this? How much water does one need in the Plains where it is super hot?
Thanks already,
*Sometimes I wonder whether my bike is thinking about me, too*

Offline staehpj1

Re: Bottles or Backpack with Water Bladder?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2017, 08:07:07 am »
Personally my preference is to use regular bike water bottles for drinking.  I use two bike bottles in cages on the frame, but supplement as needed with recycled sport drink or bottled water bottles carried in the bags or sometimes in a jersey pocket.  The ability to pick up or discard capacity on various sections is nice.

I did use a camelbak on one trip and it was ok.  I filled it with ice on hot days and it remained cool on my back all day even in 100 F heat.

I do sometimes carry a small ultralight backpack and at times and may carry some water bottles in that for days places where it is a long way to the next water.

At times I have also carried one water bladder, but I wouldn't take one with the maximum capacity that I might only need here and there, preferring to just use discardable bottles where extra capacity is needed.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Bottles or Backpack with Water Bladder?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2017, 09:00:43 am »
Bottles are simple. They are low cost. They can be washed so you can put drinks other than water in them. It's easy to add Nunn tablets if you need some electrolytes.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Bottles or Backpack with Water Bladder?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2017, 11:57:28 am »
I rode the TransAm with bottles -- 2 24-oz bottles.  Even on hot, windy days it's not usually a problem to find refills before you run out.

For the exception to that "not usually" a 2 liter collapsible bladder in a pannier worked well.  Those exceptions are noted on the AC maps -- when it says "No services next XX miles" it's time to bring out the bladder.

Pete's extra water bottles would work, too, but I prefer not to refill the cheap ones to keep them from leaching any more plasticizer into my water.  YMMV.

Offline rondickinson

Re: Bottles or Backpack with Water Bladder?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 04:04:11 pm »
I did the Trans AM in 2014

My bike held 3 water bottles.  This was plenty.
Normally 2 would do the trick, and the third was a backup.
If we were running short we would go up to the nearest house and ask permission to fill up.
Once in a while when no one was home we would use the outdoor faucet.  Not really recommended, but if you are respectful you could always explain your intentions.   

When we had long stretches of 40-60 miles between towns in the west we would throw and extra Gateraide in the panniers.
We also had a collapsible bottle and used it once or twice. We were really chicken to run short, but always arrived at our location with water to spare.

You could also bring a filter straw, but I think it's tough to go down to the water source from the road.

I would not want to wear a camel-back.  Too sweaty.

Just stay aware of your daily objective and refill when you have opportunities.

Offline maxton

Re: Bottles or Backpack with Water Bladder?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 03:23:24 pm »
I did the Trans Am with 5 bottles, but 3 should be fine if you are diligent about filling them up. there were often stretches where I didn't feel like stopping at every convenience store, so the extra 2 came in handy.
Adventure Cycling Association Sales & Shipping Specialist