View Full Version : hydration packs

05-26-2003, 12:59 PM
i am thinking about getting a camelback to wear when i ride on the road. it is quitean undertaking to grab and drink when on the bike. am i being a weenie? should i learn the skill and be done with it? or is getting a camelback a good alternative?

05-26-2003, 01:07 PM
I love my camel back...i only take bottles when it's an "epic" ride.

plus you cram all your goodies in your pack, wait not so sure that's a good thing...I always carry tools, first aid, camera, food, etc.


05-26-2003, 01:12 PM
may i ask what model you use?

05-26-2003, 02:27 PM
I have a big fanny pack (Eagle is the brand) that has the side-adjustments. I put a 100 oz bladder (Platypus) and hose in it, and run the hose around front.

I also have a 100 oz Camel Back, but in warmer weather I prefer the fanny pack! Some of the newer models are probably less "hot" on the back than mine ... (I think it's a Rogue? came in blue or mango when I got it...)

Both are big enough to carry a granola bar, and my wallet, keys & cell phone as well! (the fanny pack has more room!)

I only use water in either of these, and gatorade (or carrot/pineapple juice) in a gatorade bottle on the bike if the ride is going to be longer than an hour or so. I have found that the gatorade bottles (24 oz, with the green and orange sport top) are the easiest to use on the bike. They slip in and out of the cage easily, and opening the bottle itself once it's out is a simple twist of the lips &/or bottle! I never use "official" bike bottles anymore ...

05-26-2003, 02:46 PM
mine is an antique Jandt bag with a 70 oz baldder nothing special bu tit does the job


05-26-2003, 03:04 PM
I love my Camelbacks. I primarily use the "blowfish" because I can carry extra stuff that I use on longer trail rides. I was recently given a small Camelback, "flashflo"; it has a bladder (45oz) plus a place for 2 bottles on the sides. I can carry a bar, keys, some first aid stuff in its pouch for short rides.

I would find it "hair-raising" to take my hands off the grips to reach for a drink from a bottle on a mountain bike ride. The Camelback takes one, fast, easy move to get the spout to the mouth...less time and effort and you can drink while you ride with both hands on the bar. I only use bottles in spin and if I wouldn't get "stared at" I'd bring the Camelback to class!

I did have a Platypus but, the second time I used it, I had taken a fall and it burst open. I took it back. I didn't find the seal to hold under impact. I think the Platypus is great for hikers.

05-26-2003, 03:36 PM
Terry who cares what they think... I've taken my camel bak and Fox full finger gloves to spin class, complete with dirt falling off my shoes.

but I imagine I won't see a spin bike until November now.


05-26-2003, 04:34 PM
do any of you find that they cut into your shoulders?

p.s. hey irulan, how did you get that cool icon scanned in under your name?

05-26-2003, 05:11 PM
I use the Camelback Rogue and no it doesn't cut into my shoulders at all. I think the only thing I don't like about the Camelbacks is locking the front straps together - right over the boobs :rolleyes: I just leave it undone and I was surprised that it stays on fine.

I don't have the endurance to ride for more than 2 hrs so if it isn't 100 degrees out and I'm not drinking every 10 seconds, the Rogue is perfect. I can fit my pump, keys, micro-tool set, and Power Bars in it. And when its full, it provides great waterbed like padding for the unexpected falls :D


05-28-2003, 03:36 PM
I just got a Ultimate Luna Hydration Pack. Its made specifically for women. The shoulder harness and waist belt are designed to fit our bodies. The pack is long so it rides on the hips and doesn't pull on the shoulders. It's big enough to carry a jacket and all of your essentials.
The bladder holds 64oz, is wide mouthed and very easy to clean. I use Accelerade in it and it hasn't stained like my camelback bladder did.
I used it for two 50 mile rides this weekend and did not even notice that it was there. And it was wide enough to keep my back dry in the scattered shower I rode in, for an hour and a half!
I ordered it from REI, had to do a search to find it, it is not listed under cycling hydration packs.

05-28-2003, 08:07 PM
Irulan-- I DID wear a Camelback to class right after I had a bout with alergies this winter...I could hardly suck the water up the tube, that's how bad my air passages were! Right now, the Camelback is an extra thing I have to carry to the gym, but I'm considering it. I do wear my gloves and "use" the Terry thumb right up front! And the mud from the red rock on my shoes
...works for me!

The shoulders straps have yet to bother me. I confess...I usually do this corny thing with my guy and ask him to fasten the boob strap for me...hey, I like getting coped for a feel before a ride! It's good luck. (Bada-bing-bada-boom)

Kathi, the hydration pack you discovered sounds fantastic! Thanks for the information.

05-29-2003, 07:14 AM
There are a huge range of backpacks designed for cycling that have space for a camelback bladder in them.

I use my backpack (a Vaude Splash Air 20) for both commuting to work and for my off-road adventures. I like it because it expands to take all the stuff I need to carry to work and compresses down to only hold a few tools for offroading (but that's a whole other topic...) and it means that I always have heaps of water which is readily accessible.

In terms of water storage I prefer the platypus system to the camelbacks. I've never had any problems with the platypus and find it much easier to clean than the camelback. It's also much cheaper :)

06-08-2003, 08:11 AM
I use a Camelbak Rocket on my road bike on longer rides. Nice padded shoulders. Like Kpicha, I took off the front "boob straps" and it stays on just fine.

For shorter rides under 1.5 hours, I prefer water bottles. Just personal preference - I don't tend to like stuff on my back. I have to admit though, the Rocket is darn comfortable and unobtrusive.

I also pull out the Rocket's bladder (huh...now there's an image) and stuff it into the seat bag of my recumbent on my recumbent days.

bladder holds 72oz, btw. Wide mouth, easy to clean, very convenient.


06-08-2003, 09:27 PM
I will be getting a recumbent soon, so I was wondering how that worked with a Camelbak. Do any of the recumbents have Camelbak pockets built into the seat? I drink a lot of water, sometimes 3-4 Camelbaksful on long rides like centuries. I've got 4 Camelbaks and a couple of extra bladders so I'm set if I can just find somewhere to put the bladder(s).

06-09-2003, 05:36 AM
fanny pack turned forward?

06-09-2003, 06:21 AM
Originally posted by DoubleLori
I will be getting a recumbent soon, so I was wondering how that worked with a Camelbak. Do any of the recumbents have Camelbak pockets built into the seat? I drink a lot of water, sometimes 3-4 Camelbaksful on long rides like centuries. I've got 4 Camelbaks and a couple of extra bladders so I'm set if I can just find somewhere to put the bladder(s).

You might consider asking the folks at http://www.hostelshoppe.com. They sell lots 'o recumbents and accessories including seat bags that hang off the back of your seat. They're very friendly and knowledgeable - likely would know what would work with the 'bent that you ordered. I got a seat bag for my Lightning Phantom recumbent and just stuff my Camelbak bladder into it. I use a badge clip to help route the tube over the seat and my shoulder. Works great.


06-24-2003, 07:25 PM
Don't get this one. The mechanism for filling is very annoying, you have to almost lay it flat and they have a huge mouth on the opening so it leaks out when you close it after filling. HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED :D

I will end up going back to my old Camelback which is about 5-6 years old but it's better than the new designs that are supposedly supposed to be for road bikers!

06-25-2003, 04:44 PM
Love it! I got a pair of Hydrapak Trackers for $19.98 at PricePoint. That is for BOTH of them, not each! Couldn't pass up that deal. 70 oz, and the bladder opens up all the way across the top so you can turn it inside out for cleaning. REALLY love that feature!

anyhow I hemmed and hawed about getting it for a while, but I really do love it more than bottles. I do drink more often because I don't have to look down, grab bottle and drink, and fight with it to get it back into the cage. It's got removable sternum straps, a key clip, a velcro-closing pocket and the little stretchy thingys on the back to stow stuff too. I dig it.


07-30-2003, 04:37 PM
I know this response is a little late- i am getting an '03 Rans Tailwind and one of the improvements for this model year is a built in pocket in the seat- also- there are bags specifically made for bents that slip over the back of the seat and have a pocket for a hydration pack like the camelback- unbottle- which is very easy to fill and clean. they also make longer tubes so that is not a problem. if you want more info about anything and everything to do with bents you can check out www.bentrideronline.com- they have mesage boards also and all kinds of reviews on bikes and all accessories. hope this helps- i can't wait to get some miles in on my tailwind.

:) jhm45-

07-30-2003, 08:52 PM
I have been able to attach my old original Camelbak holder (c.1996) that has clips built into the straps (more recent models don't seem to have this feature anymore) directly to the seatback frame of my recumbent (Sun EZ1-SC-Lite). I also got the underseat pannier rack option, so I can stash extra Camelbak bladders in the panniers on really hot days and the center of gravity will be very low and stable. This is working well. I don't notice any instability with the Camelbak there on the seatback. I really don't notice it being there except for having easy water on tap of course!

07-31-2003, 09:42 PM
Has anyone used this model? It carries a 2L (70oz.) bladder.
It appears to be big enough to hold small gear, but I'm afraid I'll want to pack more on some rides (longer ones) and feel like the pack part is too small to hold it all.

Suggestions? Should I just buy it and hope it works out???

(I originally fell in love with the Camelbak MULE, but rethought about it as it carries a 3L bladder, and after thinking about that, realized that was a bit too much water to carry around.)

08-01-2003, 05:54 AM
if you are concerned about capacity for "stuff" why not just head to the store with all your stuff and see how it packs up. Or, if it's mail order, order it, see if it works and if not just send it back...?


FWIW I have a really old Janddt hydration pack, haven't a clue as to it's gear capacity, I just stuff it full and go ride...

08-04-2003, 12:46 PM
My sweetie surprised me with a water bladder back pack by "Next" and I tried it out for the first time on a 30 mile ride this weekend. I liked it -- hardly noticed it was there once I got used to having it on. It holds 70oz and it was easy to reach over & take a sip (I'm on a road bike). I thought it was cooling to have up against my back -- it felt good.

08-07-2003, 08:57 PM
I just purchased the Camelbak "Mule" off EBAY.
Hope to receive it soon, maybe next week.

Will give my critique after I use it a while... I can't wait!

08-07-2003, 09:06 PM
I've seen it recommended to attach modern Camelbaks (without the separatable straps) to recumbent seat back with carabiners, though certainly a few carabiners would add some weight, and would probably rattle unless they were taped (even more weight), so I haven't tried this.

08-08-2003, 06:48 AM
maybe try the lightweight mini carabienrs like they sell at REI for key rings and non climbing use...?


08-08-2003, 08:33 PM
I've got some REI mini 'biners but they are too small to fit around my seat frame.

10-05-2003, 10:42 PM
it seems that many roadies don't want to use hydration packs but i love mine. i have two and both camelbak. for short rides i use the small one that just holds fluid and has a cord to hold a windbraker or something and my second one is a full fledged one with a big pocket to hold a tube and my tool kit for those long rides in the middle of no where.

i hope this helps. oh, i found that www.performancebike.com has the best deals on gear like this.


10-06-2003, 05:08 AM
Originally posted by VenusdeVelo
Don't get this one. The mechanism for filling is very annoying, you have to almost lay it flat and they have a huge mouth on the opening so it leaks out when you close it after filling. HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED :D

I will end up going back to my old Camelback which is about 5-6 years old but it's better than the new designs that are supposedly supposed to be for road bikers!

I just bought a Siren, and LOVE IT! The resevoir is rather small (1.5L) but it's great for short day rides! You just have to grab the black handle, fill it and keep holding the handle as you close it up. I have had NO PROBLEM with mine!

Give it a try if you haven't already!


09-10-2005, 06:24 PM
Sorry to bring up an old thread but wanted to get the current opinion on Camelbacks and what model you use. I'm looking for something small that I can use on the bike, hiking, and walking. The HydroBak model looks good from the pics.

09-11-2005, 04:38 AM
I have a HydroBak and I love it, love it, love it for snowboarding. Much easier to keep well hydrated because I don't have to actually wait until I'm really thirsty to take a break and go down to the caf or the car to grab a drink. It's also small enough to fit under my jacket comfortably (makes me look a little hunchbacked when it's full, but I can deal with that) and provides a nice cusion on the chair too! I've had it for four-and-a-half years without the slightest hint of a leak, and believe me, it's taken some hits! I've never found the 'boob straps' uncomfy, but possibly/probably I have less boobage than some of the ladies who have had troubles with that. You can't fit a lot else in it though - maybe keys, cards, a muesli bar stuffed in with the bladder and an extra layer in the elastic on the back - so if you haven't got lots of pockets and want to carry a bunch of stuff, one with a bit more dedicated storage space might be better. I have a little Black Wolf backpack (the model is Fox 1.0, I believe) which is great for biking around town when I want space for my lock, lunch, A-Z, etc. The bladder that came with that is pretty crap though: after well less than a year it began leaking from the closure and both ends of the tube and I never use it anymore - I really ought to pull the one out of my CamelBak and use it in there too.

Hope that helps you make your decision. :)

09-11-2005, 07:50 AM
I have a Jansport womans Isis for longer trips. It has lots of pockets and a 70oz resevoir. Enough room for a jacket, wallet, keys etc. I like that the bladder is bigger on top so most of the weight is higher up on your back. For shorter trips I have a camelback pixie which only holds 35oz but has enough room for wallet, jacket etc. Plus you can zip the shoulder straps together to make it a one strap sling off the bike, oh and more importantly it was purple! :)

09-11-2005, 08:42 AM
The HydroBak model looks good from the pics.

I use the HydroBak bladder in my handlebar bag (the smaller Topeak Tourguide). It is small enough that it doesn't affect bike handling any more than the bag itself does. 45 oz (1 L) is enough to get you between water stops on most rides in mild weather. It would not be enough on a really hot day. I like putting the bladder there because it minimizes neck strain and back ache. If you don't like the idea of the weight on your handlebars, using it as a waist pack is still a possibility if you aren't too tall. I also have a Siren, but it only gives 5 oz more capacity and puts the weight on my back.
I find the hydration bladders to be the only solution for keeping myself hydrated on any ride. Since I'm short my frames are small and it is often hard to fit a bottle in a cage standing next to the bike, forget while riding.

09-11-2005, 06:37 PM
... I'm looking for something small that I can use on the bike, hiking, and walking. The HydroBak model looks good from the pics.

I have this one:

it's a waist pack rather than a back pack ...

09-12-2005, 08:34 AM
Another Rogue user. The boob strap is S-T-U-P-I-D but otherwise it's been great. I like that the straps are easy to adjust even when riding so I can move the load up or down my messed up old back as necessary. There is also plenty of room for my junk, my wallet fits behind the bladder and I can tie a jacket to the outside for those iffy days.

09-19-2005, 11:50 AM
and yet another rogue gurl! i find it very comfortable! i resisted getting one for the longest time cuz i thought it would hurt my shoulders and back... nope!

i chose the rogue for it's water capacity.... i didn't need (or didn't think i needed) a lot of extra storage space... i can get a bunch of stuff in the rogue!