When you think of the hazards involved in playing American-style football, things like being slammed to the ground and buried under a stack of bulky opponents probably come to mind. One of the big dangers, however, is dehydration – this is particularly true for children, or athletes in southern states. While water is usually available at the sidelines, players may risk developing heat stroke before they have a chance to get to it. The Hydromax system is designed to keep that from happening, by supplying each player with their own wearable, armor-protected water supply.
At first glance, the Hydromax simply looks like a CamelBak, and there are definitely similarities. Both systems incorporate a plastic water bladder, with a flexible silicone feeder tube that ends in a bite valve.
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The Hydromax's armored exterior pouch, however, attaches with velcro to the back of the player's shoulder pads. Inside the pouch is the wide, flat bladder. That shape helps it to disperse impacts, and to fit relatively unobtrusively under the player's jersey. When it does get piled into, the bladder can expand up to eight times its normal size without bursting.
The feeder tube is guided over the player's shoulder, and attaches in a downwards-facing position on their chest – this is to keep it from unexpectedly flying up into their face. A supplied bottle can reportedly refill the bladder in under seven seconds, via a refill tube that protrudes from the top of the pouch.
A complete Hydromax system sells for US$49.99, and is available via the company website.
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