Getting water from point A to point B while on an expedition can be quite cumbersome. 

There are so many different ways to transport water while backpacking, hiking, camping, rafting, or simply adventuring. From hard plastic reservoirs to ultralight hydration bladders, there are so many options these days. Of course, you can always fall back on the tried and true Nalgene. But, no matter what, you don’t want to be caught somewhere trying to rig a water filter when you’re out of clean water. So, if you need a tough hydration bladder that can go anywhere with you, check out what MSR has brought to the table. Their MSR Dromedary Bag is an incredibly tough yet easy option for carrying water wherever you need it to go.

A Little Bit About MSR

MSR Dromedary Bag

Credit: MSR

Mountain Safety Research, or MSR for short, was founded in 1969 and dedicated themselves to making backcountry expeditions and mountaineering safer. Founder Larry Penberthy, an engineer and inventor, tested ropes, fuels, and various amounts of equipment to get a better handle on the safety of the equipment that adventurers use. He would send out information on the best gear and make inventions where he saw gaps in safety. Over the years since Penberthy’s activism, MSR has been creating products that only provide the top quality and safety measures to travelers and mountaineers alike. So, with any MSR product, you can be assured you’re getting the best of the best in the industry.

On top of that, MSR is dedicated to repairing and recycling their gear. If your MSR Dromedary Bag ever fails, send it in and they will try and repair it to keep it out of the dump or will send you a new one if it is unfixable. Overall, you can see how MSR truly stands behind their products and mission.

MSR Dromedary Bag Features & Benefits

Collapsible Water Storage


MSR Dromedary Bag - Water Storage

While there is a great feeling to a hard plastic or metal water bottle in your hands, they can get a bit bulky. Carrying them around when they’re empty takes up much-needed space and often adds weight. Over a long journey, that can wear you down. So, MSR has designed their water reservoir to be collapsible. It is made of fabric, which allows it to compress quite small and roll up when not filled with water. The nozzle is made of hard plastic which is the only element of this product that cannot be collapsed fully. However, it is still quite small so should hinder your placement of this.

In addition, the nylon straps that are threaded through the grommets will help you attach this easily to the outside of your pack if you so desire. The four grommets are located at all four corners of the bag for ease of attachment and hanging. All in all, the MSR Dromedary Bag is ready to be filled up, emptied, and collapsed down at any moment.

Food Grade Interior Lamination 

In recent years, rumors of BPA leaking into your water have flooded our ears. Whether you are avoiding these or not, MSR has gone ahead and made their MSR Dromedary Bag BPA-free and put food-grade lining inside. Not only does this protect it from harboring bacteria, but you will also have better tasting water. The lamination helps keep the hard-earned drinking water inside while keeping the dirt, debris, and bad stuff out. You won’t be dealing with the pesky metallic tasting water of so many outdoor water bottles with this, which is a feature we love. While this food grade interior is a great feature, you will still need to replenish the water inside every now and again. MSR does not recommend storing water in here for extended periods of time. So, you won’t think twice about the safety and taste of your water when using the MSR Dromedary Bag.

Multiple Size Options & Made in the USA

MSR Dromedary Bag - sizes

Depending on your adventure, you might be counting ounces or simply want the biggest and best hydration bladder you can find. Well, the MSR Dromedary Bag comes in three different sizes to help you pick the best one for you. The smallest is four liters. It measures 10 by 18.3 inches and weighs 6.9 ounces. While this may be a few ounces heavier than alternative water bladders, the tough Denier fabric is worth the extra weight. If you need to bump up to six liters, it will weigh 8.7 ounces. This one measures 11.3 by 20.6 inches. For the big haul, grab the 10 liter MSR Dromedary Bag. It measures 12.5 by 23 inches and weighs 10 ounces.

Keep in mind these are all the dry, empty weights. Water is obviously quite heavy. Think through if you’d rather get two smaller ones to split the weight between your party rather than putting it all on one person. But, as you’re planning this out, you’ll be happy to know that all each MSR Dromedary Bag is made in the USA. Keeping our citizens employed and watching the quality and craftsmanship is important to MSR. You can be assured they will back each bladder with a three year manufacturer's limited warranty.

Tough, Durable Exterior

Keeping the water clean and inside the reservoir is exactly why you are looking into the best ways to carry water. Well, the MSR Dromedary Bag has been armed with an incredibly tough 1000-Denier fabric. Denier is the weight used to measure the density of fibers. So, the higher the Denier, the more durable and fabric. 1000 is on the very high end of the spectrum, giving you the best quality you can find in a fabric made of the rugged outdoors. The MSR Dromedary Bag can handle the tough conditions that come with freezing temperatures. While it can’t keep your water from freezing, it won’t burst when the water starts to freeze. So, this makes it a great option for colder expeditions when you need to bring water along.

What Travelers Are Saying About the MSR Dromedary Bag

For tough, endurance treks, the MSR Dromedary Bag gets rave reviews. It is known for being a great option at both base camps and while hiking around to provide water to all. The most commonly applauded features are the durability and attachment options. Many reviewers have had the MSR Dromedary Bag for years without any leaks. They are not concerned about dragging it around, smacking it against rocks, or it getting dirty. The black color hides dirt exceptionally well, although it does heat the water up if left in the sun. This can be a major perk if you want to turn it into a quick shower, but might not be your favorite if you’re taking this to the arid desert. These quality features that MSR has innovated into this bag is what has brought the overall 4.2 out of 5-star average on Amazon. 

There are a few downsides to the MSR Dromedary Bag, depending on what you’re planning to use it for. There is no simple hook or latch to hang the bag if you’re hoping to do so. Instead, you need two hooks to put through the top grommets or something else along those lines. The second con of the MSR Dromedary Bag is that many people do not like the taste of the water that comes out. While most do not say it has a bad taste, those who do say it taste of chemicals. Perhaps this was a small fluke in manufacturing at one point, but most reviewers do not notice this, or simply don’t throw a fuss about it. Because of the rest of the solid features of the MSR Dromedary Bag, it is still a spectacular option when choosing the best hydration bladder for you.

Alternative Hydration Bladders That Might Better Fit Your Needs 

Unigear Hydration Water Bladder Reservoir

Unigear Hydration Water Bladder Reservoir

This alternative to the MSR Dromedary Bag is quite different. The Unigear Hydration Water Bladder Reservoir has just a two-liter capacity, but it has a drinking attachment and cleaning kit included. It has been manufactured with food grade material to make it BPA-free and FDA approved. This provides the taste and odor free water you always hope for in a water bottle. The low profile design keeps it stable even when full of water. This will keep your back from jiggling around less when moving quickly. The quick hose attachment with an antimicrobial mouthpiece allows easy drinking, but the large opening provides easy access to inside. You can easily put ice in here or scrub it down really well with this feature. The Unigear Hydration Water Bladder comes with a 60 day Money Back Guarantee, so you’ll be taken care of if you choose this the best reservoir for you.

Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration Engine and Reservoir

Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration Engine and Reservoir

This next alternative reservoir has a few unique features to set it apart. First off, the Geigerrig Pressurized Hydration Engine and Reservoir is a smidge bigger than the Unigear, holding up to 3 liters of water. The slide top opens wide for quick refills and easy cleaning. You can even reverse it inside out and clean it in your dishwasher. Even with this, they still back their product with a lifetime warranty against leaks. This reservoir can be paired with an Aquamira Frontier Max Filter or Geigerrig filters to filter clean water directly into the bag. In addition to this perk, you can pressurize the bag, allowing it to spray out the nozzle. This is a great trick for cleaning dishes, cooling off your friends, as well as simple drinking. You can tell that Geigerrig thought through each feature to produce a unique but incredibly durable and versatile water reservoir. 

WACOOL Hydration Pack Bladder

WACOOL Hydration Pack Bladder

Our final alternative to the MSR Dromedary Bag is the WACOOL Hydration Pack Bladder. The 3 liter capacity doesn’t hold a flame to the potential carry capacity of the MSR Dromedary Bag, but it comes at a much lower price point. Under twenty dollars, the WACOOL Hydration Bladder is made of a super thick .6 millimeter plastic which is pressure-tolerant and wear-proof. The double soldering on the seals makes it ridiculously durable. It is made of odorless and tasteless BPA-free material so you will have fresh tasting water with every sip. It is also simple to clean with its large, dual openings. This also allows you to put ice in on the hot days. Overall, this has won Amazon’s choice as far as hydrations bladders go, and we can see why. It’s a great, inexpensive, and durable hydration bladder.

Overall, the MSR Dromedary Bag will be your largest and most durable option when it comes to hydration bladders.

If you’re just looking for a day hiking water hose or something for car camping, this might be overkill. But, if you’re a heavy-duty trekker who needs to be assured his water will be safe and sound after miles of rugged terrain, the MSR Dromedary Bag has been made for you. While it does not come with an attached hose, you could still rig one onto it and put it in a hydration pack for all-day water supply. Be sure to track your water intake with an app to keep yourself healthy. It can be hard to choose which hydration pack is best for you, but often the hydration bladder you want will help you decide. So, keep all that in mind as you figure out if the MSR Dromedary Bag is what you need for your next adventure. 

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Lauren Nowack is a trekbible writer and story maker from Pine Valley, California. She and her husband work in the recreation department at a camp. In their free time, they enjoy mountain biking, building out their Sprinter van, and adventuring with their new puppy, Shadow.

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