Years ago, when I was 17, I was on a day hike with my brothers. It was in Phoenix, Arizona, near the end of Spring. So it was HOT. We didn’t take water bottles with us because, y’know, they get in the way and we were dumb teenagers. We were getting thirsty and tired, about to turn back. We sat down at a bench to rest and catch our breath before we made our descent, because, dang we were thirsty! And guess what was behind the bench. Five water bottles! Unopened, and there were five of us. Isn’t that crazy?! We thought so. What are the odds of that?! So we all took a small sip at the same time, in case it was a trap and the water was really poison, we would all go down together. And then another sip, we were still okay! Like happy gummy bears, we trotted up the mountain with our new found water bottles. Little did I know, little bags that you can wear on your back and fill with water exists.
Enter the hydration packs a.k.a Camelbaks. Yeah I did it also, I called all hydration packs Camelbaks just like how we replace search with Google now. If you’re just starting off, trust me, invest in a backpack with a hydration pack. It’s a BIG help. You’re less likely to run out of water with a hydration pack and it’s way easier to drink water while you’re hiking. The ones I currently use are the Camelbak Crux. It’s Camelbak’s new reservoirs with a bunch of new features (I know, I know, a lot of features that Osprey already had…but can Osprey’s lift a car?!). I’m never 100% satisfied with any hydration packs until the plastic taste goes away…impossible! Although, it’s pretty cool that these can get beat up by crossfit people, and still be in good in shape. What.
I’m using the Crux Lumbar reservoir which came with the Camelback LUXE backpack. The idea is that it shifts the water weight to your lower back for better stability. This is perfect for me since I like to trail run, so anything that helps with stability gets my attention. The only issue is that it leaves a lot of empty space in the sleeve which is kind of wasted space since it’s not being used for anything. You can still store items in there but I like to keep my reservoir in it’s separate space without anything else.
WHAT I LIKE
- Variation of shapes and sizes.
- Removable hose!
- Wider hose (at least wider than my last one)
- No leaking issues thus far (except if you thread the cap wrong)
- It’s supposed to deliver more water per hose, which is true compared to my last one but not sure how it compares to other brands.
- BPA free
- On/off lever so that you can seal your drinking tube easily with one hand.
- Bite valve doesn’t drip…so far!
- The handle makes it easy to hold while filling with water.
WHAT I DON’T LIKE AND THINGS TO CONSIDER
- Make sure you thread it right with no gaps or it’ll leak all over your backpack. There can be a gap if you screw the cap on at an angle.
- Bite valve doesn’t include a cover. This is the same for most hydration packs. I think they should all come with a cover. It just makes sense!
- Hose is very stiff so it might sometimes create a hard edge when you curve it to get a drink but nothing a little wiggling can’t fix.
- Doesn’t work with soda or beer 😛
- Water still gets a kind of plastic taste after a few hours (this is the case for all hydration packs I’ve used).
- The lumbar shape might make it harder to get water when you’re running low since it’s probable that the water will shift to the side without the hose.
Overall, I’m happy with this hydration pack and can see myself using it for years. I did have to buy a cover for the bite valve which costed me a bit more money on top of the Camelbak. Why doesn’t all hydration packs come with a bite valve cover?! It just makes sense to have a cover by default. Anyways, go watch the video on how the hydration pack gets pounded by weights and um, it still looks okay? I would test it myself but I don’t want to risk having to buy another one 🙂