The Bottom Line
- Keeps you hydrated
- Easy to use
- It seems very durable and reliable
- Tubed version only will appeal to some players
- Only holds about 3 cups of water
- Standard model costs about $6
- Tubed model costs about $15
- Manufacturer's Site
Guide Review - PBWaterpod Review
The IdeaThe idea is simple - make a durable bottle the size of a paintball pod and never go thirsty on the field again. PBWaterpod sent me a couple of review samples and I was able to try them out. While the concept is brilliant - simple and useful, I still had to give them a whirl.
PBWaterpods are durable, military-grade plastic canteens that conveniently fit in any standard pod pack. There are then two options with the waterpods - with a tube or without. The standard, tubeless waterpod fits snugly in a pod pack and you simply take it out, unscrew the lid and take a drink. The tubed variety remains in the pod pack and you loop the tube over your shoulder and attach the bite-valve onto a vest or shoulder harness and you just tilt your head to the side, chomp down on the valve and take a drink.
The tube-free model is incredibly simple and works just like a water bottle except more durable and the perfect size to fit in your harness. It's simple and works well.
The tubed model is a cool concept, though in my opinion isn't as useful for as large of an audience as the standard version. First off, the bite valve is great and much improved over the original Camelbak valves - it's easy to use and doesn't let water drip. I'm not sure about durability, but in the short term the valve is wonderful. Depending on your mask, it's going to be kind of difficult to drink without at least pulling your mask forward a couple of inches.
The first problems with the tubed variety is that to get the tube to work properly you need the pod to sit upright in a pod pack (as it works like a straw and goes down to the bottom of the waterpod) which only works if your pod pack aligns the pods vertically with the opening at the top - many pod packs have horizontal pod holsters or inverted holsters so that the pods slide out quickly but then you won't be able to drink all the water before you start sucking air.
Another, possibly larger, problem is that the typical paintball game where you need to drink from a tube is a lengthy scenario game (you shouldn't have time to take a drink behind an inflatable bunker while playing speedball). During multi-hour games, many players take Camelbak or other similar water containers on the field so that they can keep hydrated and can easily drain several liters of water - the waterpod holds a little less than 3 cups of water which really isn't going to be enough for a long scenario game.
Also, as a side note, despite repeated washings and rinsings, the tube still gave the water a funny taste while the standard version tasted fine.