5 quart bladder canteen
5 Quart Bladder Canteen
The 5 quart bladder canteen entered service in 1968 in response to the need to provide troops the means to carry larger stocks of water on patrols. It is a very compact canteen, and takes up basically no useable space when stowed since it ties into the inside of your ALICE pack frame and acts as a back pad when empty. When you need it, you just untie it, pull it out, fill it up, then stow it on the top of your ALICE pack where it will carry the easiest.
The 5 quart canteen was designed to gather water from local sources such as streams and ponds, and as such is fitted with a screen to keep out debris.
The bladder is a simple plastic bladder built exactly like the later Camelback bladders and just like the Camelbacks, they can get mildewed if not kept clean and sanitary. You remove the bladder via the snap secured flap on the side and can clean/maintain it from there.
When shopping for 5 quart canteens remember that many of these have been around for 40 plus years and in time, the plastic bladders can degrade even if it's new old stock. Check for potential leaks, stiff plastic, and cracks paying particular attention to any spots that have been folded for a long time. Once you get your new canteen home, fill it up and check for leaks at home. It's better to know that your bladder leaks at home than to find out that it leaks only after it fills your sleeping bag with water on a patrol. We have yet to find anything that patches these well so for the most part, if the leak is minor, we just live with it, if it is major we toss it out and try again.