I’d like to start off by saying thanks to Source Hydration for stopping by the website yesterday and providing a great article which discusses the differences between the Helix and Storm valves. They corrected me that the Storm isn’t actually a “bite valve” because you don’t have to use your teeth to remove the water. I was considering it one because generally my hands are busy holding a log so I have to use my teeth to open it but that’s a little besides the point.
Both valves are made by Source and are great quality. There’s no difference there. Both are the same price, both come in the same colors, and both remove water from your bladder. I know that was short but they both get the job done so absolutely no complaints there!
This will be broken into two sections: the ones I noticed and have experienced and the ones that Source markets but I haven’t had experience with yet.
Differences I’ve Noticed
The big difference I’ve clearly noticed is that the Storm is a turn and pull-out valve and the Helix is a turn and bite valve. Both keep the water in when closed but for warm to non-freezing events the Helix is my go-to valve. This is because the bite to open system just seems more natural to me. I can easily utilize it hands-free and I’ve never had any issues with it. The valve is silicon as opposed to hard plastic and feels easier to manipulate with just the mouth.
Differences Source Markets
The main difference that Source markets is that the Push-Pull valve is better for “hiking across glaciers in freezing cold air.” There have been reports from the GORUCK community of the Helix valve freezing up in similar conditions and it seems like this one won’t. I don’t have any experience with a bladder in sub-freezing conditions but I know I’ll need to get some with HCL 001 coming up.
My conclusion is for non-freezing GORUCK events and activities to go with the Helix and for events in freezing temperatures the Storm is probably a better choice. Luckily they’re $10 per valve so you can easily pick up an extra to ensure you have the one for the job. They easily snap on and off the Source Hydration system so if you have one bladder and one of each valve you can easily choose the right one based ont eh event.