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SOURCE is an Israeli company founded in 1989 and specializes in hydration gear as well as outdoor sandals. In fact, their hydration packs are well-used by both professional military units as well as militia units around the globe. For a MilSim airsoft player, who needs gear capable of taking a beating while on weekend-long games or for hikers needing to stay hydrated while on long excursions, they would both do well to consider SOURCE’s Rider 3L hydration pack.

Available in both Multicam as well as Coyote flavors, low profile is the name of the game for the Rider 3L. Measuring only 14.1″ inches tall, 9.8″ inches wide, and 2.7″ inches deep, the hydration pack has quite a small footprint being only slightly taller (yet narrower) than a large size SAPI plate. It also features several rows of MOLLE webbing so that you can attach additional items to it, and even has a built in reflective safety strip that can be displayed or stowed depending on your needs. Rounding off its MOLLE section are two rows of velcro – so, just because you are wearing this pack doesn’t mean you can’t display a name, unit, or morale patch. Additionally, the Rider 3L has a carrying handle, backpack (with sternum strap) straps, and X-QCA straps to quickly attach the hydration pack to a MOLLE equipped pack or vest.

Official Product Features

  • Tuck-Away Contoured Shoulder Straps Shoulder straps are patterned for comfort and are designed to fold into a back storage pocket when not in use.
  • Adjustable Sternum Strap Adds carrying stability. Adjusts to fit a range of body types.
  • Elastic Strap Retainers Secures dangling strap ends.
  • Dual Function Can be worn backpack style or quickly converted for direct armor attachment or streamlined ruck insertion.
  • X-QCA™ System Connects Rider securely to armor or rucks with no need for additional straps or hardware. Fits a wide variety of vest configurations.
  • Easy Reservoir Access Rider’s design allows the bladder to be quickly removed and refilled while its carrier stays on the vest.  The zippered wide opening is secured with Velcro plus an optional snap.
  • Cool Insulation Closed cell insulation keeps liquids cool for better absorption by the body.
  • Easy Dry Loop With the zippered front open and the WLPS™ closure removed, the pack hangs upside down for draining and quick drying.
  • Condensation Drain Port Drains condensation from the insulated reservoir sleeve.
  • Dual Tube Routing Top and side ports allow the drinking tube to be routed either over the shoulder or below the arm.
  • Hi-Vis Option Back pocket holds an attached strip of high visibility reflective material for use in low light conditions. Ideal for PT.
  • Storage Space External 1.5L zippered pocket provides quick access to small essentials.
  • UTA™ Compatible Our UTA™ adaptor (sold separately) allows Rider to be refilled from bottles, spigots or mobile water units directly through the drinking tube. There’s no need to remove the system from your back!

One of the most impressive things that the Rider 3L brings to the table is its versatility in uses. It can be carried in one’s hand, worn like a backpack with its straps, or even attached to your plate carrier’s MOLLE webbing with its X-QCA strap system. Using the X-QCA strap system is slightly deceiving at first, if you don’t know the trick. I had initially-began installing the strap flange through my MOLLE weave and then attempted to thread it back through the plastic buckle. This is not the correct way to do this. Instead, unbuckle the plastic buckle and thread the entire buckle through the MOLLE weave. This can take some pushing as the buckle is pretty large in comparison to the MOLLE weave, but work it in there enough and it will go through. Once cinched down, the Rider 3L sites snugly against the plate carrier and didnt wiggle around, sway, or “jump” when I moved. It is a very impressive system.

If you don’t want to attach the Rider 3L to your plate carrier or vest, you can simply use it in a backpack style, where you put your arms through straps and then have the option of connecting the additional sternum strap for stability. Once all adjusted, I would love to take this hydration pack hiking or camping, etc. It fits great against your body and having a couple velcro loops to attach the drink hose to makes it so that it won’t swing around on you if you use it for jogging, etc.

Removing the water bladder from the Rider 3L is as simple as opening the bottom panel, disconnecting the bladder from the hose via the QMT connector, and pulling it out. Cleaning didn’t take long and I was surprised at how much better the water tasted over my CamelBak hydration pack. Additionally, there are four ports on the pack where you can have the hose exit from, making it able to accommodate however you want to wrap it around your MOLLE gear (e.g. Over the shoulder, under the arm, etc).

Overall, SOURCE’s Rider 3L Low Profile Hydration Pack is an excellent choice – regardless of whether you are on long ops, airsoft tournaments in inhospitable environments, cycling, or one of at least a dozen other scenarios where you need to take your hydration with you. We are awarding the Rider 3L a 5 out of 5 stars and hope you will check the product out on SOURCE’s official website. The Rider 3L retails for $119 dollars for the Coyote color and $125 dollars for the Multicam.

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Jerry Paxton

A long-time fan and reveler of all things Geek, I am also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of GamingShogun.com