What’s the best drinking valve for your hydration pack? – It may sound like a technical question but it’s way more than that. It’s also personal.
You take our hydration systems biking, running, snowboarding, hiking, fishing, camping, canyoning, paragliding, rock climbing … And we make sure you get the most advanced and convenient hydration technology possible. That’s why we offer a range of water bladder sizes and shapes, and two different solutions for the mouthpiece: Our Source Helix™ Bite Valve and the Source Storm™ Push-Pull Valve. Which one’s right for you? Here are a few hints.
Helix™ Bite Valve – preferred by bikers
You’re going for a bike-ride in the summer? Or paddling in the surf? Or motorcycling? You probably want to use our Source Helix™ Valve. It’s a bite-valve – meaning apply pressure with lips or teeth and the water flows, no skill needed, you’ve been doing this since you were a baby. You can do it completely hands-free. Which is obviously a major benefit when biking or paddling or even driving a car, where you need both hands on the handle-bar at all times.
Key bite valve benefits
- Our Helix bite valve offers high water flow, which is another central detail to any valve.
- The extra locking mechanism makes our bite valve completely leak proof, and keeps your pack dry when it’s not in use.
- And our Hydration Packs were the first ones in the market to have a lock-system on all valves.
- For many years, SOURCE Hydration Valves also were the only ‘angled’ mouthpieces in the market. We found the right angle fits more comfortably while drinking, and the design allows a significantly shorter tube, which makes it more convenient to store away when not drinking.
High flow and multi-purpose Storm Valve
You’re ice-climbing, skiing or paragliding across a glacier in freezing cold air? A bite-valve might not be the right choice, as the silicone mouthpiece is likely to freeze and will need defrosting before delivering full flow. We recommend you use our Storm™ Push-Pull Valve: there are no soft silicon parts and it’s a free flow valve, therefore the risk of a hydration-freeze is significantly reduced. Also when things get really dirty, and you know ahead of time that you will be dragging the valve through mud and sand, and you will not be able to protect your valve (with our Dirt Shield valve protector), you may want to opt for the push pull valve, as it has no soft silicone parts that can get clogged or damaged.
Push-pull valve benefits
Also if you’re not comfortable with how the mechanics of the bite valve, and you are looking for the experience more like drinking from a bottle, we suggest you use our Storm™ Push-Pull Valve. It’s full flow, no teeth needed, 100% like drinking from a bottle. And when going for a family hike or taking your son on a fishing-trip, it delivers higher flow than a bite valve and you’ll be happy to use it as a ‘tap’ to rinse the fish you caught or your kid’s sticky hands. The uninhibited flow of water is one of the big pro’s of the Storm Valve. When not in use, you lock it like the Helix Valve with a little twist and it stays 100% dry.
Bottom line: Bite Valve or Push-Pull Valve?
Having said all this, there’s a lot of room for discussion and personal preference. Drinking from the bite-valve is a somewhat simpler hands free experience – but we know plenty of people that operate the push-pull valve just as swiftly.
Valves available in accessory packages
As a standard extra, all our valves come with a dirt-shield cover, to make sure your drinking-water always tastes like water, also when you’re out in the mud or sand. The Source Helix™ Bite Valve is shipped with all our outdoor and biking hydration systems and hydration backpacks.
With cold temperatures coming up in the northern hemisphere you should definitely consider upgrading your Hydration System with the Winter Tube Kit (Storm™ valve with a winter insulated tube).
So, which valve do you prefer?
Let us know…