WHAT IS IT? It’s a backpack-style hydration system specifically designed for dirt bike riders and used by Mike Alessi, Ben Townley and Eli Tomac.
WHAT’S IT COST? $99.00 ($15.00 for a five-pack of half-liter replacement bladders).
CONTACT? www.uswe-sports.com or (814) 539-4114.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with USWE’s H1 Racer Drink System.
(1) Components. The H1 Racer features USWE’s hands-free kit, quick seal coupling, bite valve, hose, two half-liter (18 ounce) replacement bladders, hose adapter, an insulated bladder pocket, adjustable Velcro straps, and a bag to keep it in.
(2) Fit/comfort. The H1 Racer fits over the shoulders like a backpack with a strap around the midsection to keep it close to your body. It’s reasonably thin and doesn’t interfere with most chest protectors, although it can hinder a tight fitting foam underprotector. It didn’t bother our testers on the track.
(3) Specialization. Why can’t you just buy any Camelbak and route it into your helmet to achieve the same thing? You can, but the USWE is better for three reasons. First, it’s thinner and smaller (about a pound and a half filled with water), so it fits under a chest protector. Second, the hose comes with adhesive and Velcro mounts designed for a helmet. Third, a quick disconnect lets you put your helmet on separately without having to remount the hose to it.
(4) Bladders. The bladders are made with minimal material and are designed to be thrown out and replaced after a few uses. They are recyclable and approved for food and putting in the fridge. A new five pack of half-liter bladders costs $15.00.
(5) Options. USWE offers models similar to the H1 Racer that are designed to mount to neck braces and eliminate the body harness. The SP1 Racer mates with Leatt and EVS braces, and the SP2 Racer mates with Alpinestars’ brace. They also offer the H2 Racer (1.5 liter capacity) and the H2 Big Racer (2.5 liter capacity) for longer races and thirstier riders. The H1 is available in two sizes: medium/large and extra large/double extra large. Black/red is the only color offered.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There are some compromises with the H1 Racer Drink System: (1) As with all backpack hydration systems, the mouthpiece gets dirty when you get roosted. The first sip from the hose is warm, and drinking from the mouthpiece while racing is an acquired skill. (2) The handsfree kit does a good job of routing and securing the hose along the side of the helmet, but an additional securing method is needed at the mouth piece of the helmet. Moreover, modifications may be necessary to get the hose through the mouthpiece in the first place, depending on the helmet.
The H1’s moto-specific features make it much better on the track than a standard hydration system. It would easily get another star if we didn’t have to use a piece of duct tape to secure the hose at the nose of the helmet.