(kind of a necropost I know, but the mod is still useful and here's some extra info).
One added step, I prefer to use the Hydrolink conversion kit
that I was originally running with the SFAS canteen straw mod (**see below).
1. Buy Canteen straw conversion kit (~$10 ea @ GenJax or C&S)
2. Cut off tube close to canteen cap and add Hydrolink conversion kit
- Rubbing alcohol or Bic lighter help - don't be a jackass and set it on fire though.
- The rubbing alcohol is for lube - you put it on Hydrolink conversion tip before finagling it into the straw tube.
- Other method is to put Hydrolink tip into freezer for ~1/2hr then heat the tube to make it malleable. the tube is heated (expanded) and the tip is cold (shrunk) so they fit together nicely and then form a good seal once the temps equalize.
This gives you an inline quick-disconnect with a shut-off valve.
3. Add Hydrolink Filter Adapter
to bladder end of drinking tube. You can either use the existing tube (taped and mouthpiece converted as described below), or cut off the female adapter at the end of your (better) insulated Hydrolink Tube kit
and install the (male) filter adapter.
1. Canteen Straw conversion kit
<$10/ea @ Military Clothing & Sales.
2. Hydrolink conversion kit
(~$8/ea @ Mil C&S)
3. Hydrolink Filter Adapter
4. (Optional) Hydrolink Tube kit
This is PER Bladder, so you'll probably need/want at least two of everything. Although you can also do this with one qts and route the straw through your FLC if you like (for drink mixes / ORS packets, etc.)
If you have already spent $20 converting the existing hoses, 'F it - good enough. If you're starting from scratch then the extra $5-$10/ea to get the Camelbak straws is prob worth it. It's either spend $8-$10/ea upgrading the mouthpieces of the existing straws, or spend $15-$20 on better tubes that already have the better-sealing QD mouthpieces.
Another couple things you can do:
1. When 550 cord securing the bladders to the ruck, use a secure slip knot like a double-stoppered fisherman's (or the shittier mil std sq knot with a half hitch safety if you're a traditionalist) to the bladder. Do this again with a separate piece to the ruck. Make two safetied end-of-line bowline loops and use a carabiner or S-Biner for a quick disconnect of your safety line as well.
2. If you run a Molle Ruck, go buy the PALS compatible 2-Qt holders made by TRU-Spec / Atlantco
. $14/ea at GenJax in ACU (cheaper online). They secure better to the ruck. They also make it easier to attach to the higher up PALS webbing made for the sustainment pouches. The higher the bladders are, the easier it is to drink out of them through the straw (less gravity and all...).
** The standard SOPC/SFPC & SFAS thing now (2011) is to get the canteen straw kit from GenJax or Clothing&Sales and cut off the crappy tip they come with (they leak) then add the Hydrolink conversion kit to give you a Camelbak mouthpiece. Then you 100mph tape the sleeve at both ends (they tend to ride up and expose the clear tube, bunch up, collect land nav debris, etc.). This is good, but can be cumbersome when you want to pull the bladders for refill or weight checks.
Hope that helps,