If you spend any time in the outdoors, you’ll eventually need to address how to keep yourself hydrated. The first obvious option is to carry water with you, but that source will quickly run out as the length of your activity increases. Conveniently there are several options for carrying and replenishing that water supply while you are on the go.
You are on a multi-day bike outing where you need to carry all of your gear and be self-sufficient. You’ve brought along some water in a hydration pack, or water bottles, but it’s hot and you used it all up already. Fortunately, you find yourself sitting on the bank of a stream with not a care in the world. Why? Because you planned ahead and brought along a water treatment system to replenish your water stash.
There are lots of options for water sterilization, but on my adventures, I carry a Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter. It’s a small three-ounce filter that screws onto a bag, or plastic bottle, and cleans your water as you squeeze the dirty water through the filter. If you don’t already know, you should never trust water sources in the field, no matter how clean you think they are. You don’t want to get some nasty bacteria that wreaks havoc on your gut for a few days, or worse! I’ve seen people’s once-in-a-lifetime trips come to an abrupt end because they were careless with water. This is where a filter and the Cnoc Vecto bag comes into play.
The bags that come with the Sawyer filter are decent but will fail over time. In my experience, they don’t last very long at all. Mine have all developed leaks at one of the seams in a matter of weeks. I’ve tried several different bags as alternatives and found the Vecto to be substantially better than others, especially this second generation version.
Cnoc sent over their newly redesigned two liter (68 US fl oz) bag for some field testing and it and I have been getting along well! Some of the updates include a tether for cap and slider so you don’t lose them…very important; a taller neck so more accessories can be attached; the wide opening is softer and easier to fill with one hand. BPA free it weighs 2.6 ounces and rolls up to a packed size of 7 x 2 x 1.5 inches.
If you’ve never used a filtration system and bag before, it’s a pretty straightforward concept. Fill the bag with water from whatever source you’ve found, add treatment chemical, or filter with something like a Sawyer or Katadyn BeFree filter, then drink!
Filling and filtering are where you’ll find the differences in a subpar bag and the Vecto. The Vecto allows you to gather water more easily through its wide collection opening, slide it closed, attach your filter to the threaded end, and squeeze! The Vecto is designed to stand up to 220 lbs of pressure, so you won’t pop it like a balloon if you’ve got some crazy strong grip. You can even use the loop that’s molded into the slider to hang the bag from something and let gravity do the rest. No additional effort required. I like employing the gravity option before bed and waking up to nice clean water ready for that morning cup of coffee.
If your day’s travels are going to put you into some areas where finding water will be difficult, I suggest doing the following: filter and drink as much water as you can without getting bloated; filter and fill up all your hydration packs / bottles; finally, fill up your Vecto bag(s) with dirty water and pack away for later filtration.
How to use video (first generation, but still applicable):
At $19.99 the two liter Cnoc Outdoors Vecto bag is a great buy if your adventures take you past the capacity of your current water storage options. If you use a filter, make sure you pick the right thread size. Sawyer, LifeStraw, and HydroBlu filters are 28mm. BeFree filters are 42mm. There is also a three liter (101 US fl oz) version that runs $21.99 www.cnocoutdoors.com
Photos courtesy of Cnoc Outdoors.