When it comes to bikepacking or camping, carrying the least amount of gear you can without sacrificing too much comfort is an art. A new company called Hydrolight Outdoor Gear has found a unique way to eliminate one extra piece of camping gear – They’ve just introduced their patented Hydrolight 2L Reservoir, which does double-duty as a hydration reservoir and a campsite lantern.
The Hydrolight Reservoir is a 2L hydration bladder with a transparent external pocket that holds your headlamp. With the headlamp switched on the water pack diffuses light in all directions, creating an area light for your campsite or tent. While it’s a simple innovation on an existing product, the illuminating reservoir does combine two clever ideas; giving one item more than one function, and using water’s natural ability to effectively diffuse light.
The reservoir boasts several typical features, like a fold-over Slide Lock top closure that’s leak-proof and easy to fill. Hydrolight’s self-sealing bite valve offers an on/off switch so you can block off the hose when it’s not in use. The 36” hose attaches to the bladder via an auto-shutoff, quick-connect mechanism. The reservoir also has a rigid handle to make filling and carrying easy, and a capacity gauge so you can track your consumption.
Located on the lower backside of the bladder, the Hydrolight’s transparent headlamp pocket is waterproof and has a zippered closure (The above video gives you a quick look at the headlamp pocket). The reservoir does not come with a headlamp, so its brightness depends on whatever light you put in it.
The Hydrolight reservoir is made from a durable and abrasion resistant plastic with welded seams. It can tolerate a wide temperature range, so it’s OK to freeze it or clean it in your dishwasher. The reservoir is 100% BPA and PVC free. The 2L Reservoir weighs 6.5 oz/0.41 lbs, and measures 15.75 x 7.75”. To make hanging it easy, an adjustable nylon buckle strap is included.
So is this a worthy innovation for bikepackers and backcountry enthusiasts? The Hydrolight reservoir will save you from carrying a camp lantern but you still need to bring a headlamp to illuminate the bladder, and whenever you walk away from your campsite, you’ll lose your area light. The skeptic in me also wonders how easily this could be done with any bladder and headlamp, with the addition of a few elastics or small straps. But…
…at just $34.99, the Hydrolight 2L Reservoir is about the same price as other bladders. So, if your pack is due for a new reservoir, trying out the Hydrolight could be a “no extra cost” option that packs a little bonus.