JetFlow Hydration System

19 Nov

One of the first purchases I made after I took up cycling was a Camelbak Hydration Pack. At the time I was mainly riding on off-road trails and water was hard to find. A few weeks after buying the Camelbak I had to go back to the sporting goods store to buy a cleaning brush kit and some cleaning tablets. Then I had to go back to buy a reservoir dryer—a plastic device allows you to hang the bladder of the Camelbak upside down so it will dry faster. After a year of messing around with two different Camelbak Hydration Packs I finally gave up on them and just started carrying my drinks in the water bottle cages on my bike. A few weeks ago the folks at JetFlow Hydration Systems sent me one of their new Tomahawk Hydration Packs to try. If you are tired of messing around with Camelbak packs, but still need a way to keep yourself hydrated, then the JetFlow products are going to be of great interest to you! This product is not only for cyclists—runners and hikers will also find it to be a great addition to their normal gear.

JetFlow Hydration System

JetFlow Hydration System

JetFlow’s Tomahawk Hydration Pack is similar in shape and function to Camelbak products, but in terms of functionality there is no comparison. Instead of relying on an internal bladder (water reservoir) like the Camelbak, JetFlow allows you to use almost any plastic bottle instead. JetFlow has a complete list of compatible bottles on their Website, but the list includes almost everything you will find at a convenience store from a 16-ounce bottle of Pepsi to a 24-ounce bottle of Aquafina or Dasani water, or even a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew! The advantage is that you never have to worry about a moldy bladder or bad tasting water again!

JetFlow Hydration System

Use your favorite bottle instead of a moldy bladder!

If you’ve ever used a Camelbak Hydration Pack before you are familiar with the two major parts: an expanding bladder holds the liquid inside the pack and a long hose leads out of it and ends with a bite valve (the business end of the system). JetFlow eliminates the hydration bladder and lets you use disposable water bottles (or Gatorade bottles, soft drink bottles, etc.). When you get home from your run, bike ride or hike you can simply throw the disposable bottles away. Since the JetFlow system also works with many insulated bottles or Nalgene bottles you can just put these items in your dishwasher for easy cleanup.

JetFlow Hydration System

A thermos bottle connected to the JetFlow manifold

You attach a bottle to the JetFlow system using what they call a manifold—a piece of plastic where the water hose and bottle adapter meet. The manifold also has a second hose that lets air into your bottle to release vacuum pressure. The manifold is built to accept a standard 16 to 24-ounce water bottles—if the bottle you want to use has a larger opening (like a Gatorade bottle) you can use one of the two included adapters to connect the bottle to the manifold. Once connected to the manifold you just place the bottle upside down in the backpack and you’re good to go. I tested the JetFlow Hydration System on several occasions. The first time was with a 24-ounce Aquafina bottle, then I switched to a 20-ounce thermos bottle I had. The water delivery was smooth and the product never leaked.

JetFlow Hydration System

Two adapters for different size bottles

JetFlow makes several different hydration packs. The Drone can hold one bottle up to 1.5 liter bottles (48 oz.) and has 250 cubic inches of storage space. The Tomahawk (featured in this review) has a maximum capacity of two 1.0 liter bottles with 250 cubic inches of storage space. The Raptor has a maximum capacity of two 1.5 liter bottles with 600 cubic inches of gear storage. The Warthog is the biggest pack they offer—it has a maximum capacity of two 1.5 liter bottles with a whopping 1350 cubic inches of storage space and 14 organizational pockets.

JetFlow Hydration System

Earphone / headphone port on the backpack

The important thing to remember when looking at these hydration packs is not the design of the pack, but the way the water is stored inside the pack! This product has two big (and very important) selling points: ease of use and ease of cleanup. However, I do want to mention a couple of things about the backpacks anyway. These packs all come with an earphone / headphone access port on the top of the pack. You can keep your iPhone or MP3 player inside the pack and still listen to your tunes. All of these packs also have active harness suspension, an adjustable sternum strap, and reflective piping.

JetFlow hydration system products are new to the market, so they are not yet available at your local bike shop. The Tomahawk retails for around $55. The best way to buy these products is from the JetFlow Online Store. You can also find their products on and at your local Cabela’s store (but not their online store).


Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Product Reviews


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30 responses to “JetFlow Hydration System

  1. Carrie

    November 19, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    I love that you could hook up a bottle of Mountain Dew! Whatever works, right? Ha!

  2. billgncs

    November 19, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    good info — but listening to music while riding is a good way to into a wreck.

  3. Joboo

    November 19, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    And one for all you cold weather freaks!! :)
    Oh, wait….. That’s me??!!?? Ha Ha ;)
    After you get over the sticker shock; it makes perfect sense!!
    Pedal On!!

  4. tischcaylor

    November 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    I was going to put a Camelbak on my Christmas list, but this sounds much better. Thanks for your thorough reviews!,

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      As I mentioned in the review, they have several other sizes available. Just go to their Website and see what works for you. And have a Merry Christmas (I hope it’s not too early to say that).

  5. mywac

    November 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Great review! Thanks for the ‘like’ on my blog. I’m going to have to read a lot more of yours now. During MYWAC (MyYearWithoutACareer) I’m making a lot of efforts to get/keep fit and as a result am attempting my first triathlon. I haven’t bought a bike yet, but will be sure to take any of your thoughts on board – especially when it comes to gadgets – Christmas is just around the corner. Cheers – MYWAC

  6. Lisa Shaw

    November 19, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    I’m so glad somebody has finally solved the icky bladder problem all other reservoir packs have. Neat! :-)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 19, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      This hydration pack really was a case of “love at first sight” for me!

      • Lisa Shaw

        November 19, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        I kinda had the same feeling. ;-)

  7. Be fit, be full, be happy!

    November 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Sweet! I should get this for doing long distance running! :)

  8. meltingmomica

    November 19, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    This is really cool. Could you take it apart for backpacking? I really don’t like my current system so rely on carrying LOTS of Nalgene bottles, which I find difficult to drink out of while walking.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 19, 2012 at 8:35 PM

      This system is a breeze to take apart (and refill). Most Nalgene bottles will fit perfectly. Just find a pack that holds the right amount of liquid for your needs.

      • meltingmomica

        November 19, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        Thanks! Let us know when they’re more widely available! :)

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          November 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

          You can get one from their Web site right now. I have no idea what their marketing plans are for the future though.

        • meltingmomica

          November 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

          Thanks again.

  9. Irish Katie

    November 19, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Oh ….. I have a camel pack … and agrees that getting the bladder dry is a chore. I have never seen this before…that is brilliant!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 19, 2012 at 9:26 PM

      This company is rather new, so I don’t think many people have seen them yet. However, I imagine they will do very well. Everyone I know hates messing around with the bladder inside of Camelbak products.

  10. AndrewGills

    November 19, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Looks amazing. I wonder whether they are available in Australia. I’ve shared the link to this blog post with my running group on Facebook.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 19, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      I doubt if they are available in Oz yet — they are very new to the market. Let’s hope they do well!

  11. Colleen Lerro

    November 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Nice review – This is very cool. I really like Nathan hydration packs for running – they’re more along the lines of the traditional packs, but they are a lot easier to clean and more comfortable than CamelBack.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      Thank you! The truth is that I am just too lazy to clean the bladder inside the Camelbak — I always get sidetracked.

  12. Felicity from Down Under

    November 23, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    What a great idea. We gave up on the Camelback-style packs because no matter how we tried, we couldn’t make the water potable (so, okay, maybe we’re wimps).

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      My son is a U.S. Marine and has used the standard Camelbak hydration pack a LOT. When he saw the JetFlow he was really impressed as well — no matter how hard you try the “flavor” of Camelbak water just doesn’t taste right.

  13. Felicity from Down Under

    January 6, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Happy New Year – and I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve just shared this post with my husband on his Facebook page, because it’s about the only time he actually reads links I recommend to him! LOL


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