23 October 2008

bikefix Exclusive Review: Lezyne 3L Resivoir

I don’t know how many people are picky about their water reservoir, but I am, so I keep trying new ones in the hope that I will find one that is: easy to fill and clean, doesn’t leak at the valve or the filling cap, and whose hose is the right length. Sound reasonable? So far, no bladder I've tried has managed to live up to all these criteria.

Part of what makes Lezyne's new resivoir unique is it's zip-lock style closure. The idea bothered me at first but it is industrial strength and has posed no problems as far as leaking or damage are concerned. The bladder is a clear(ish) plastic material which is more supple than many bladder plastics. This isn’t really a problem but it can make the bladder a bit harder to stuff down in your backpack if it's already packed with a day's gear. Lezyne has a bite valve of their own design (as far as I know). It works fairly well but isn’t as high-flow as some I’ve used. More than anything else, I am very happy that the bite valve has yet to leak- ever. This alone may be enough to recommend it over other brands, which almost always have this problem at some point. The bite valve is designed in such a way that you can rotate the mouth piece 180 degrees- this too is a cool and useful feature. The hose unscrews from the bladder for easier cleaning but this is potentially another place where the bladder could develop a leak. It hasn’t been a problem, but then I don’t detach it very much. If you do, be aware that there is an o-ring on the end to help seal the connection. The bladder has a Velcro-closed sleeve to run the hose up through and I really don’t know what this if for other than to keep things tidy.

I really like this reservoir. The only niggle is the hose is far to long for the way that I set up my backpack. Let me state that this is only an issue for ME. I am sure that many people [including Ergon pack owners] are looking for a bladder with a longer hose and for them the Lezyne will be perfect. I will eventually put the hose under surgery and try to make it the proper length for my set-up, but I kind of suck at that sort of thing. Any local bike store should be able to order this bladder. While I haven't seen an MSRP, it should sell for a reasonable $22-28.



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