Updated: May 29, 2015
Camelbak Hydration Pack Reviews:There are certain things every athlete needs, no matter what sport or what time of year they train and practice, and none is as important as water. Without this, not even the best athletes can compete. Water is essential for hydrating and energizing your muscles, maintaining mental and physical alertness, and maintaining ideal functioning. It is premium fuel for the body - but it can be difficult to carry it around with you on hikes, runs, and other intensive activities without slowing yourself down or taking your eyes and hands away from rocky, rugged, or uneven terrain. Camelbak creates innovative products to allow hands-free hydration. Their packs are some of the most well-respected and popular in the world. When you need your hands and your hydration at the same time, Camelbak hydration packs are a must.
Why Camelbak? - A hydration pack is a backpack that holds a bladder or reservoir of water. A tube comes out of the bladder and is positioned so you can take a sip whenever you need to without slowing down or even using your hands. When you need a drink, you simply bite down on the valve to release the water. These packs typically hold from two quarts to a gallon of water, plenty for a bike ride, hike, or run. Camelbak makes a variety of hydration packs, and several are sport-specific. Whether you're hiking, biking, or training for your first marathon, you need hydration before, during, and after your workouts. Camelbak allows you to access water without having to carry bottles. The hydration bladders fit smoothly and compactly into the packs so you're not weighed down. You also have the luxury of space for other necessities, like keys, money, and cell phone so you can clear out your pockets. Studies have shown that athletes who used Camelbak hydration packs drank more water - and performed better - when they had a Camelbak pack on. Camelbak's mission is to ensure that you can have proper hydration no matter what activity you are pursuing, whether it is running, walking, hiking, skiing, or biking. The military even uses Camelbaks for their soldiers, offering a way to transport gear and stay hydrated while on patrol. You don't have to be an athlete to use a Camelbak; you just have to value your body's health and want to get more out of it. Finding the Right Camelbak - The best Camelbak for you will depend on your needs and your comfort. You will want a pack that is comfortable to wear, has the right fit and the right amount of strap and back padding, is made of moisture-wicking material so your back isn't overly sweaty, and has the type and number of pockets that you want for your other accessories. If you don't know where to start, it is good to go to the Camelbak website's hydration pack section. At the top of the page, you will see several options: outdoor, multi-sport, run, women's, kids, bike, all-mountain free ride, bottle-based packs, ski and snowboard, or hunt. You select the activity for which you are going to use your hydration pack. Camelbak then displays the choices that would be best for you. This is a good starting point. If you want the most versatility and usefulness, an outdoor or multi-sport pack will be your best bet. Other than that, you can specify to get exactly what you want. The Most Popular Camelbak Hydration Packs - Camelbak is the biggest name in the hydration pack industry. No matter which product you end up choosing, you will get superior performance, comfort, style, and, of course, hydration. Even so, a few stand out. We'll take a quick look at the most popular Camelbaks to give you an idea of the quality you can expect - and the price you can expect to pay for it. You can browse the best selling CamelBak hydration packs here.
Best Camelbak Hydration Packs:The Camelbak Men's MULE 3-Liter Hydration Pack - The MULE was chosen by several outdoor recreation websites as the best hydration pack for mountain bikers, and Mountain Bike Action Magazine gave it a perfect score of 5 stars. It offers a 3-liter liquid capacity, Omega reservoir that keeps your water cool, 540-cubic-inch cargo pocket with organizer, splash guard, Air Director back panel for optimal ventilation, weather-resistant pocket for your mp3 player, removable waist belt, reflective detailing, and dynamic suspension harness. It comes with a two-year warranty. An Amazon reviewer said it was "light years" ahead of other hydration packs - even earlier Camelbaks! You can find this great pack for $80 to $90.
The CamelBak Alpine Explorer - A top pick of Buzzillions reviewers, the Alpine Explorer hydration pack is a versatile pack for those who love the outdoors. The pack features a 100-ounce hydration reservoir, which is fully insulated and accessible through a full-zip back panel, 1952 cubic inches of storage, light 8.75-pound weight when full, two zippered compartments, fleece-lined glasses and mp3 player pocket, and Air Director ventilated back panel with lumbar support. This pack is perfect for hikes, offering about three hours of hydration. A review in Associated Content noted the roomy style, hydration, and ability to use the Alpine in extreme temperatures without freezing or heating the water. The Alpine is $85 to $115.
The CamelBak UnBottle - The UnBottle helps you turn any backpack into a hydration pack. It is designed to fit into an overnight pack to add easily accessible hydration. It can also be secured to the back of a kayak, jacket, or personal flotation device (PFD) for water sport use. The UnBottle offers 100 ounces of water storage in an Omega HydroTanium insulated reservoir, easy attachment to a variety of items with clips, lightweight abrasion-resistant material, integrated hanger loop, and lifetime warranty. This great accessory won the Backpacker Magazine's Editor's Choice Award in 2002 and continues to impress consumers. You can find the UnBottle for just over $30. Camelbak is one of the most respected names in the backpacking industry, and certainly a stand-out in the hydration pack world. You can't go wrong with these well-reviewed, high-quality packs. Camelbak has a wide selection so you can find the pack that works for your needs, budget, and comfort level. Don't forget to hydrate!