Technology

Hydration made
better

Details matter and we spend thousands of hours
considering, and refining, each and every one.

A HISTORY OF DESIGN AND INNOVATION

We’ve been designing and producing flexible performance hydration systems since 2001. “Good” is never “good enough” and each time we make an improvement to a product, we erase the whiteboard and, again, ask ourselves “now how can we make this even better?” Year after year, the innovations have added up. Our industry-leading, performance-driven product line is better than it’s ever been, but we’ll never think a product is absolutely perfect. So we’ll continue to design, test, and innovate: it’s at the core of what we do. And we’ll continue to work with our brand partners to leverage their athlete R&D processes to gain insights that help us make the high-performance hydration solutions our customers want and demand.

THERMOPLASTIC POLYURETHANE (TPU)

Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) is at the core of every flexible hydration product we make. We’ve been using it for nearly 20 years and the reason is simple—it performs better than any other material for our application. To start, it’s incredibly strong: able to stretch up to 5x its original size without breaking. Because it’s so resilient, we can use minimal material to meet our strength needs. Our hydration products are 3 to 6 times lighter than their hard plastic or stainless steel equivalents, and—as any performance athlete can tell you—weight matters. Lastly, TPU is safe and reliable. It’s 100% BPA and PVC free: every one of our products meets or exceeds the most rigorous national food safety standards in the world. Every year we test other materials and TPU formulations against our proven TPU for strength, abrasion resistance, hydrolysis resistance, durability, and taste. We keep coming back to our TPU performance “sweet spot” and will continue to do so until a higher performance material becomes available.

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Thermoplastic Polyurethane Thermoplastic Polyurethane

RADIO FREQUENCY WELDING

One of the reasons we work with TPU is it responds extremely well to radio-frequency welding, which is used to bond film or molded pieces to one another. RF welding passes electricity from an anode to a cathode through the TPU material, exciting it on an atomic level to create extremely localized heat. Molecules in the two pieces of material bond so completely that the site of the weld is actually structurally as strong as the material around it. In addition, we use an “overlap” welding technique whenever possible that greatly increases weld longevity and remove creases where bacteria can grow. This stands in contrast to the simpler—and cheaper—process of heat welding, which can be equated to ironing two pieces of material until they melt together. Seams created by heat welding are not stronger than the source material around them and are more prone to failure. We never use glue or solvent bonds on any product. Over our nearly 20 years making hydration products our expertise in RF welding TPU has increased significantly, allowing for the stunning and functional, three-dimensional designs you see in today’s HydraPak offerings.

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Radio Frequency Welding Radio Frequency Welding

REVERSIBILITY AND SLIDE-SEAL™ TOP

The original reservoir designs from our early days used roll-top closures much like you’d find on a dry bag used in kayaking. The wide opening on the top—in addition to being easy to add water and ice to—had the benefit of being able to turn the reservoir completely inside out. Reversibility makes our reservoirs easy to clean and—equally important in preventing funky bacteria growth between rides—easy to dry out. These were clear advantages over competitors’ reservoirs with screw top openings, and why it was an essential feature to keep when we engineered the current Slide-Seal top closure. We’ve gone through much research and many iterations to get to our current version and it’s absolutely leak proof, quick and simple to use, and allows for the reversibility needed to get to every nook and cranny when cleaning and drying your reservoir. Additionally, it uses four times less injection-molded plastic to produce, making our reservoirs significantly lighter than competitor versions with a traditional screw top.

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Reservoirs Reservoirs

DESIGN WITH INTENSION

Every HydraPak product is the sum of its parts. No matter how flawless one performs, if another part doesn’t measure up it affects performance adversely, which is why we put hundreds of hours of thought into every component that makes up a reservoir or bottle carrying our name. From tubing and bite valves with higher flow rates to developing IsoBound™ Technology to keep fluids colder, we’re always searching for performances gains without making sacrifices to durability or performance. We use TPU because it’s extremely light and strong. We use RF welding because its precise and makes seams that can survive being run over by a truck. The Slide-Seal™ top uses very little plastic, is leakproof, and makes our reservoirs the easiest to use and clean on the market. We design for lightweight functionality, because we design for performance. With superfluous or marketing-driven features stripped away, every HydraPak product is only exactly what you need.

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Design with Intention Design with Intention

LIGHTWEIGHT AND COMPRESSIBLE

TPU is actually comparable in weight to many of the plastics you find in traditional hydration vessels. Because it’s incredibly strong, however, we’re able to make the walls of our bottles and reservoirs significantly thinner than our competitors—without compromising durability—and this is what translates into HydraPak products leading the outdoor industry in lightweight hydration. Our Stow 1L soft bottle is 3 to 4 times lighter than popular competitor one-liter bottles made from hard plastic or single-walled stainless steel. But weight is only half our story: our bottles are extremely compressible. When empty, that same Stow 1L balls up to the size of a lemon or lays flat to disappear neatly inside a pack or pocket. Additionally, our bottles compress as you drink down the water inside them. A half-filled bottle takes up half the space in your pack, and the remaining water doesn’t slosh around on rough trails. From full to empty, HydraPak products perform optimally and are industry-leading lightweight.

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Lightweight and Compressible Lightweight and Compressible