Staying hydrated during the winter is just as important as the summer, but during the colder months it can be a bit more tricky. When it’s really cold, exposed water becomes a brick of ice before you can say frosty. Insulated hydration pack hoses are nothing new, but Geigerrig’s accessory takes it to the next level. On top of an insulated hose, the Insulated Tube Garage provides just that – a nice, warm, sheltered place for your hose and bite valve.
Unless you like crunching a frozen bite valve between your teeth desperately trying to get some water, check out the universal Insulated Tube Garage next.
On a regular basis I have been using Camelbak’s Thermal Control kit, which is basically a neoprene cover for the hose and a rubber cover for the bite valve. It works most of the time, but in really cold conditions it still freezes up. Not only is the Geigerrig Tube Garage insulated, but it also includes a zippered pocket on the inside of the garage for one of those chemical hand warmers. The combination of heat and insulation should keep the valve from freezing during long days in the cold – which is why this is marketed to skiers as well.
Obviously, one of the big concerns is ease of use, especially with bulky gloves. If it’s cold enough for your water to instantly freeze, that means it’s cold enough to mean big obtrusive gloves which make it difficult to do things like work bite valve covers. The Tube Garage uses a fairly large zipper pull for that exact reason.
While advertised for use on Geigerrig’s packs, the easy velcro attachment to your hydration pack’s shoulder strap means it should be compatible with just about any hydration setup. The Insulated Tube Garage retails for $30, which makes it pretty tempting if you’re constantly coming up with ice when all you want is water.