When going on an outdoor adventure, you must always bring enough water with you. Carrying multiple water bottles isn’t particularly convenient, which is why hydration packs are slowly taking over the market. While many different hydration backpacks are available, one name stands out above all others – CamelBak.
CamelBak specializes in hydration on the go – their products are safe, reliable, and incredibly easy to use. As a bonus, they are also very durable and easy to maintain so you can count on using them for many years. In this article, we’ll discuss the features that you need to consider when buying a hydro pack and present the best CamelBak backpacks for different activities.
How To Choose A CamelBak Backpack – Buying Guide
Compared to other hydration methods, a CamelBak hydration backpack offers several significant upsides. This being said, there is a large number of different models available and choosing the right one comes down to what type of activity you’ll be using it for.
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Regardless of what you need, CamelBak has you covered – products in our reviews can be used for hiking, running, cycling, mountain biking, or snow sports (among other things). Their hiking daypacks are comfortable and lightweight, cycling packs use a low-profile design, while snow backpacks feature hose and bladder insulation. As long as you know what you’re looking for, you really shouldn’t have a hard time finding the best CamelBak backpack.
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One of the upsides of getting a CamelBak is how easy it is to get it refilled. All products come with removable bladders, which is a big plus not just for filling, but for cleaning too. In addition to this, some backpacks have convenient flaps that allow you to pour water into the bladder without taking the reservoir out.
This is probably the most important thing when shopping for hydration backpacks. Depending on the model, bladders in CamelBak products vary from 1 to 3 liters (30oz to 100oz) in capacity. A 30oz bladder will hold enough water to keep you hydrated for a couple of hours but, if you plan to out all day, you should probably get a 2 or 3-liter model.
Since you’ll be wearing your backpack for many hours at a time, it should feel nice on your back. Besides high adjustability which is typical for CamelBak products, they also pay attention to the design. Most of their products are padded in the right places, with a good weight distribution which is also important when the backpack is full and heavy.
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After size, the fit of your backpack is the most important consideration. The bag you choose needs to be adjustable so it can sit well on your back without causing discomfort. Torso diameter is the most important factor here, and you need to measure it properly so you can see if a certain backpack model fits. Luckily, CamelBaks are highly-adjustable and fit most adults of both genders really well.
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Bite Valve Switch (Lever)
The bite valve switch is a small lever located underneath the bite valve which you control with a flip of your finger. It’s an incredibly useful feature that blocks the water from running through the hose even when the valve is open. This, in turn, prevents accidental leaks.
Many people who use hydration backpacks find it annoying if the hose just hangs and bounces around when not in use. Because of this, CamelBak products come with a type of clip of some kind to solve this problem. It’s usually a classic clip, but some of the high-end models feature a magnetic one that is easier to use.
This handy system allows you to quickly detach and attach the tube to the bladder. It’s a very convenient solution for refilling and cleaning the bladder. The link is very secure when connected (no leaks), but it also allows you to quickly remove the reservoir from the backpack without taking the tube out too.
To prevent the water from freezing, you want to make sure that you get a CamelBak with added insulation. This layer of synthetic insulation around the drinking tube and bladder maintains the temperature inside regardless of the outdoor conditions. Besides winter, this can also be useful in the summer because it keeps the water cool.
Even though CamelBaks are made from high-quality materials, none of them are fully waterproof. They usually feature a water-repellent coating on the surface that makes them water-resistant to a degree. While they’ll be able to protect the gear inside in light rain, they won’t keep water out if it starts to pour.
Sweating is inevitable when we take part in physical activity, so the backpack must be breathable. Because of this, all CamelBak models use a lot of mesh on back panels and straps to allow air circulation. Additionally, some products have special grooves on the back panel to further boost air circulation and create a nicer feeling.
Pockets and Compartments
Having external pockets is a big plus because it allows you to keep your wallet, keys, phone, and GPS within hand’s reach. While CamelBaks are usually very basic and can accommodate only the bladder without much else, there is a smaller number of models (like the H.A.W.G) that offer plenty of additional gear space.
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Materials and Safety
CamelBak backpacks are usually made from either strong nylon or polyester, two materials that guarantee durability. However, it’s even more important that the hydration bladder is made from safe materials. For this reason, CamelBak uses only tested materials that don’t contain BPA, BPS, or any other harmful substances. In addition, the insides of the reservoir and tube feature an antimicrobial layer that prevents the growth of bacteria and mold.
Q: Why Chose A CamelBak Hydration Pack Over Other Hydration Packs?
You should choose CamelBak hydration backpacks because they are better than the competition in terms of quality, performance, and durability. They constantly improve the design based on user experiences, so you can expect great functionality too.
Q: How To Clean A CamelBak Backpack?
When talking about the shell, it’s usually enough to just wipe it down with a damp cloth and leave it out to dry. However, the bladder is a whole different story and requires more attention. When it’s time to clean, fill it with warm water, add some baking soda or bleach, shake the bladder, let the solution through the hose, and leave everything to rest for about half an hour. Afterward, drain it and rinse everything properly and leave it to dry before packing.
An alternative is to get CamelBak tablets and their cleaning kit. Tablets work very similarly to the bleach/baking soda option, but it takes only five minutes for them to work. The cleaning kit is specially made for their products and allows you to reach all the difficult spots without effort.
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Q: What Can I Use My CamelBak Backpack For?
You can use your CamelBak backpack for any type of outdoor activity (hiking, cycling, trekking, skiing, etc). You can also use it while working around the yard for example, when you don’t want to constantly stop to take a drink. Of course, you can use just the backpack itself without the bladder when you need extra storage.
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Getting a CamelBak backpack is an excellent way to stay hydrated and avoid carrying a water bottle. In addition to carrying water, the best CamelBak backpack also offers quick and easy gear organization. We guarantee that it’s worth the investment, and you’ll be more than happy if you give one a try.
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Have you tried a CamelBak backpack that made it to our list? Which model did you get? Are you satisfied with the bladder capacity? Which additional features did you find useful? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.