The Source Hydration system has different options for bite valves. There’s the Helix valve and the Storm valve and I get a number of emails about the difference between the two of them. This review is for the Source Hydration Helix valve, which is the one I have the most experience using.
I’ve used the Helix valve for over half of the events and challenges that I’ve brought a bladder to. Although I did buy a spare Helix valve I haven’t had to open it out of the packaging yet because my first is still holding up strong.
As stated above the Helix valve has held up through all of the dirt, sand, and muck associated with numerous GORUCK Challenges. I’ve taken it through one Heavy, three Lights, and a few Challenges and have had no need to replace it yet. I’m not sure about the durability or other bite valves but this exceeded my expectations. I bought an extra because I assumed I wouldn’t be able to clean it out after a few events but that extra is still in its original packaging.
Here the valve is closed…
…and here the valve is open
The Source Helix valve utilizes a twist & bite action to open and close the valve. To get water out of the bladder with this bite valve you need to twist it (first) then bite down on it and the water will flow out. This is a great design feature (in my opinion) because when the valve is closed there’s no way water is coming out of it and when it’s open you still have to bite on it for water to come out. This prevents leaking issues which I’ve experienced with other bladders and valves in the past.
The Source Helix valve comes attached to source bladders (if you choose the Helix version over the Storm) but if you want a replacement you can find them on Amazon or similar websites for around $10.
Overall I think the Helix bite valve is a great addition to the Source hydration system. At about $10 it’s inexpensive enough that you can buy one to see if you like it and prefer it over your current Source bite valve (assuming you have the Storm). When I bought my bladder originally I purchased both the Source Helix and Storm valves so that I could test them out and see which I preferred.