Is the mouthpiece something children (6 year olds) can easily operate? My kids are just getting old enough to hike with me (yea!), and I want them to be able to share my water bag so I don't have to carry separate bottles. I've tried others where it was too hard for them to bite down to open the spout, and one that kept pinching their lips. Any thoughts much appreciated!
BRIAN G George:
I think a 6 year old should not have any problem biting the mouth valve. The valves did not leak and worked great for us. We bought extra valves in case of loss but did not need them. We used our bladders on a Boy Scout trek at the Philmont Ranch in New Mexico. The large opening made them very easy to fill compared to a Camelback. Best wishes.
SHARON F I haven't asked my grandchildren to try it, but I THINK that a 6 year old would manage just fine. It's easy to use.
PRESTON P Hello George,
To be honest, I changed the mouthpiece to a nalgene gulper because I am a long-distance runner and drink a lot during the run. The only inconvenience with the Platypus mouthpiece is that you have to drag on it to sometimes draw water. For kids, young ones, it might be difficult.
The nalgene gulper is in silcone and kids chew too hard and you have to change the nipple nozzle more often than you might wish. But the nipples are cheap. 2 bucks a shot.
Hope this helps
BRUCE H Hi George,
My guess is that the mouthpiece might be a bit too stiff for a younger child to "bite and suck". It would would prooably work better for early teens and beyond.
Hope this helps!
ETHAN F Yes it should be easy enough for kids at the age of 6 to drink from. The mouth peace is soft enough for them.
MATTHEW L I would think so, I don't know if it's "that" different than any other bite-valve though. I'm not a 6yo so I can't say for sure.
WILLIAM C Over the years I've used a variety of bladders with different bite valves. I find the Platypus valve to be easy to use and problem free. I dont have any experience wtih its use by small children, but I see no reason why it wouldn't be at least as good as other bite valves.
DONNA P The mouthpiece should work fine for smaller kids. You'd have to explain the "on/off" on the valve. I'd have a slight concern if they'd have enough suction to pull the water up through the hose, but you could always drink first and it wouldn't be an issue.
We LOVE our Big Zip. It's technically mine, but it always ends up in my 14yr old scout's backpack!
BILL B George, My three daughters started using the Camelbak version of this when they were younger than your children and have not had any problems. The youngest two did create holes in the mouthpieces after a couple of seasons because of excessive biting using their molars . I have the Platupus Big Zip SL and the mouthpiece on it is stiffer (not as flexible and requires a harder bite) than the mouthpiece on the Camelbak. On all the ones we have it seems when you bite the mouthpiece on the Camelbak it opens out which I could see grabbing and pinching their lips. When I bite down on the Platypus mouthpiece it opens in which would be less likely to pinch their lips but as I said earlier it requires a bit more bite but a 6 year old should be able to use it. Check out the kids hydration packs. Having them carry their own water has many benefits and my kids seem to enjoy felling more independent. Bill
ELISABETH M I think it is a little easier to use than the camelbacks. Our kids have had no trouble using it including our 3 year old. It is really easiy to fill especially with ice. We've had two of them for 3+ years and no leakage or problems.