Product Review: Hydrapak SoftFlask

dscn4508csWandering the booths of Sea Otter brought me to the Hydrapak guys where I found this gel flask, basically made from the material from a Reversible Reservoir II and topped with either a soft bite valve or a flip top. I had been looking for a solution to carrying the tear-off gel packets and the mess that comes along with them…sticky, gooey used packets and potential litter…and the desire to be able to buy gel in bulk (or formulate my own). I chose the 5 fl. oz., 148 ml. version of the Soft Flask although there is a larger 8 fl. oz. one as well.

So far I have found it to do just what I had hoped it would do. It holds more than enough gel to get me through a long day as long as I have other sources of food. If I was 24 hour racing, etc, one could have more than one at hand and trade off to a full one as needed or simply re-fill this one in a few seconds. It has no bad taste to the flask material and it is easy to grab it and squeeze and bite the soft valve letting a small amount of gel restore your hopes of actually finishing the ride in one piece. It does not seem to leak when in a pouch or pocket, it has been pretty easy to clean, and it has basically been very nice to have as an option. I did notice that the soft bite valve is a bit restrictive to the thicker gel and in cold weather, it was a bit of a chore to get the amount of gel I wanted out of the top. Perhaps the pop-top would be a good option, but may not be as one handed an operation.

I like the lack of sticky, empty gel packs in my jersey or hydration pack and I think the Soft Flask will be a happy part of my gear for some time to come.

Hydrapak Soft Flask


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