If youre wondering who or what Source are then youre not alone. For a number of years, Camelbak have been the name for portable hydration systems. Thats about to change. When I first received the WXP and removed it from its packaging I saw that far from it being a Camelbak copy, Source have taken the idea and completely reworked it. Although the basic design is the same, the WXP has a lot of unique features.
For starters, theyve included a plastic handle to hold the bladder by whilst filling it. It doesnt appear to be particularly sturdy at first sight but it is more than strong enough to hold the full bladder with.
The filler cap arrangement is a lot easier to take apart compared to my Camelbak. I got the stand-alone bladder from Source but they do offer several containers for their bladders. Its very easy to unscrew the cap and take it off completely. With my Camelbak, I find it fairly difficult to pop the cap off to take it out of the protective container.
Potentially the best feature of the WXP is the fact that you can open it at one end. Even though Source say that it doesnt need regular cleaning, it is a very good feature that you can open it up to give it a thorough clean out. To open it, you slide off the plastic thingy (and thats the technical term) from the top and unfold the end of the bladder to get inside it. To close you simply fold the flap down and slide the thingy back over.
I found that whenever I tried to clean my Camelbak, I struggled to get it fully dry. With the WXP, you can put a hand towel (etc) down and dry it in seconds.
Another handy feature of the WXP is the way that the tube attaches to the bladder. Firstly, it is very easy to disconnect (unlike my Camelbak). Secondly, when you do disconnect it, water will not flow out of the bladder. This is in contrast to my Camelbak reservoir which has an open end attaching it to the tube.
The water flow is a lot greater than my Camelbak. The WXP doesnt require you to bite the valve in order for water to flow, it uses a push-pull system. This allows more water to flow, and it is easier to drink from. You can lock the valve by turning it clockwise. Theyve even put grooves on the mouthpiece and dots on the valve body so that you know, at night, when the valve is locked. There is a cover that fits snugly onto the mouthpiece to protect it from getting dirty.
When I first got the bladder, I didnt bother washing it out before filling it up to test. There was a vague chemical taste to the water but nothing bad. I left it for a few days and whenever I tried it the water was drinkable.
I then poured some of the rat pack Lucozade sachets into the bladder and filled it up with water. The bladder can take 2l of water and I only had two sachets. I filled the bladder about half full and the drink tasted nice, no chemical residue.
After finishing the Lucozade mixture, I washed the WXP out. Using warm water, I opened it up and sloshed that around inside. I then drew water through the tube to clean that out. Drying out the WXP was incredibly easy and it only required about 30 minutes for the tube to dry. Compared to the day or so that it takes my Camelbak to dry out, I was very impressed!
After that, I filled the bladder up again and left it for five days. Drinking from it just now, the water doesnt taste of either chemicals or lucozade! Leaving the water standing for that amount of time didnt make it unpalatable, but it did taste a bit stale. Not enough to make it unpleasant to drink, but there is a noticeable difference between it and fresh water (durr!)
Anyway, thats enough rambling from me. Im really impressed with the WXP and will definitely be on the lookout for more Source products. Move over Camelbak, the spotlight is now on Source!