If you’ve ever used a portable camp water reservoir, you know that it’s a critical part of daily operations. Everybody in camp visits it at least a time or two daily. It’s especially important to have a good one in the backcountry or anywhere where there’s no running water nearby.
A good camp water reservoir should work well in a few key ways — it should be tough, packable, and easy to clean and use (especially with one hand).
The HydraPak Pioneer looks like everything we’d want in a camp water reservoir. It’s got a big opening for emptying and filling, a tap you can operate with one hand, and semi-elastic TPU material with welded seams.
This handy, concise video explains it all in a little over 2 minutes:
HydraPak Pioneer details and functionality
Its ripstop nylon outer shell helps keep it safe from punctures and includes an ingenious zipper storage pocket for odds and ends. Thick cinch cords should help it carry comfortably and resist wear when you hang it from trees around camp.
The spigot works with one hand and in one of two ways. Either use it as an auto-sealing button (think the classic spigots on sideline Gatorade jugs) or twist it to lock it in place to wash your hands or dirty dishes. It also locks closed for transport. And it’s on the end of a flexible 7-inch tube, which detaches and stashes in the pocket.
The TPU reservoir is BPA and PVC-free. Its slide-seal top helps it not only open wide for fast filling but also turn inside out for cleaning. HydraPak’s slide-seal system is a lot like a freezer bag with one of those plastic zippers — the sliding, slot-like closure seals the two sides together.
Finally, you can fit the HydraPak Pioneer with a portable water filter in case you need to gather from a sketchy source. An optional adapter (included) connects to a 28mm backcountry water filter like a Sawyer Mini Water Filter.
Options and pricing, plus an ultralight tease
The Pioneer comes in 6- and 10-liter sizes and HydraPak’s Beyond Lifetime Guarantee backs it up. Interestingly, you can pick whatever size suits you without worrying about a substantial price gap. MSRP for the 6-liter Pioneer is $63; the 10-liter costs $65. And though weight stats weren’t out as of this pre-embargo writing, HydraPak President Matt Lyon hinted that it should please anyone looking to cut grams out of their bikepacking kit.
“As with all our products, the Pioneer was developed to address the specific needs of outdoor enthusiasts,” said Lyon. “2021 saw an unprecedented amount of new campers and backpackers looking for lightweight and versatile water storage solutions. The Pioneer is an easy-to-use — and clean — product for weight-conscious backpackers.”
To learn more about the brand’s array of hydration solutions, check out HydraPak.com.