French company Raidlight concentrates on the ‘fast and light’ end of the market, and this is a hydration system with some interesting features. There’s insulation for the hose to prevent liquids from freezing in the tube, or overheating in the sun. There’s also a small valve at the top so that the bladder can be inverted and drip-dried. The hose can be easily unscrewed from the main reservoir to make this part of the system easier to clean. There are hanging loops at the top of the bladder to keep it secure in your pack, and it comes with a choice of two different bite valves. But on my Raidlight Never Dry Reservoir one of the bite valves simply didn’t work. Either there was a fault, or you are supposed to cut your own aperture, so I swapped for the more solid bite valve, which requires some care to clamp teeth onto the small square button that releases water. Being plastic, this valve also felt potentially more fragile than others. The small lid makes cleaning and refilling less easy, and there is no quick-release for the hose.
Material PU bladder, silicone mouthpiece and PVC tube
Capacity 2.5 litres (also available in 3 litres)
Made in Taiwan
Stockists – tel. (01629) 580484; www.raidlight.com
There are clear weight savings here so the Raidlight Never Dry Reservoir is one to be considered if you’re into mountain marathons or the lightweight ethic. But it is relatively expensive.
Review by Matt Swaine
First published in Trail magazine Spring 2010