RoguePak replaces the hydration bladder with disposable hydration "cartridge"
The hydration pack has been a boon to all types of sports enthusiasts, providing an easy way of carrying enough water for long adventures in dry, hot weather. If there's one knock on such packs, it's that the hydration reservoirs inside can be difficult to clean. It's a problem that the industry has been continuously addressing with new reservoir designs and alternatives like the JetFlow. Texas company APK Gear has its own solution: disposable, self-sealing bladders that you never have to clean.
APK Gear's parent company AquaStorage has its roots in emergency preparedness. The company's AquaPodKit water bladder holds a two-week supply of water (65 to 100 US gal/246 to 379 L) in a home bathtub during natural disasters and other events that threaten to cut off water supply.
With the RoguePak, APK Gear shrinks this bladder technology down into backpack size. The low-density polyethylene bag comes in 50, 70 and 100 oz (1.5, 2 and 3 L) sizes. Unlike your typical hydration bladder, though, it is designed to be filled up, used once or a few times, then disposed of or recycled – no scrubbing and no residual soap or cleanser taste in your water.
The RoguePak can be used "as long as you want," according to the company. However, the value of this type of system is really in being able to quickly replace an older bladder with a brand new one.
RoguePak bladders are more than just heavy-seal plastic bags. They include a purpose-designed internal port that lets you fill the pack quickly but seals itself when you stop filling it, holding the water in without any additional adhesive or threaded closure. The company shows that you can turn the bag upside down without spilling any water. The top port clip isn't necessary for holding water in, but it does help keep the cartridge clean and prevents overfilling. The wide port can accommodate ice cubes.
The RoguePak cartridges are designed to eliminate cleaning while saving money compared to replacing permanent, reusable hydration reservoirs like those offered by Camelbak and Platypus. While cheaper than permanent reservoirs, they don't necessarily solve the expense issue. They average right around US$25 (cost varies by size) for a pack of four with a single drinking tube, bite valve, connector valve and top clip.
Once you have the drinking tube, you can just buy the refill packs, which average $13 and include three cartridges with single top clip. That's over $4 apiece, or the price of several gallon-size bottles of water. If you run or cycle everyday, or close to it, and start replacing these things regularly, you may find yourself spending more on portable tap water than on fancy coffee or alcoholic beverages.
The 70-oz RoguePaks are available now, and APK Gear plans on ramping up production on the 50- and 100-oz bottles in the coming weeks.
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The better comparison is with the existing older hydration systems. The RoguePak has half the plastic as similar sized hydration packs, reduce.. and the product is designed to be reused until it gets dirty and unsanitary. Then unlike other hydration packs on the market that are not recyclable this product is specifically designed to be easily recyclable. So yes thank you for making my point.
The RoguePak is designed to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Verses the status quo which is only reusable.
The price is nuts though. It's basically a wine-cask without the box, but priced double what that costs at the shop, except the wine cask comes with wine in it. Actually - I expect the wine cask is probably superior in many ways: I've tried to burst one by jumping on it - they're *way* stronger than a water bladder, plus they're silvered: blocking light keeps the water fresher (yuck can't grow in there without the light energy)
It's the tube and bit-valve which are hard to clean with conventional systems unless you buy their cleaning kits, which make this somewhat easier. The reservoir is easy to maintain (unless you're terminally lazy or careless).
Platypus used to offer free replacements for their reservoirs so you were buying one for life, don't think they do that any more - they must have over-estimated the longevity of their reservoirs.
From the look of the "Related Articles" below people are devoting a lot of energy to solving non-problems in this area!