Friday, 30 December 2011

Camelbak Hydrobak review


A condition of entry into the Kedumba half marathon was that you carried your own water supply. I'd been toying with the idea of getting a hydration pack for a while so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I knew what I wanted; a small, lightweight pack that didn't move around while I was running. Getting recommendations was near on impossible though. It doesn't help that most hydration packs are designed for cyclists (still not worked out why) and finding running reviews was pretty tough.

I should give a hat tip to the Running and Rambling site which contains lots of reviews, but unfortunately most of the packs mentioned don't seem to be available in Sydney.

In the end I decided on the CamelBak Hydrobak as a bit of a random choice based on size and price. I've been getting on with it pretty well since I bought it.


The 1.5l reservoir sits high up in the small of your back. I was a bit concerned about movement as it didn't have any chest straps, however, I've found that it doesn't move around at all.

I haven't had any chaffing problems either. Although I must admit I haven't used it while running with a singlet yet just in case some chaffing did occur.

Apart from the compartment that carries the bladder there is a small pouch for your keys. I deliberately didn't want a pack with lots of pockets as it adds to bulk, however, some people could find this limiting. 


One of the annoying features of the back is that when you have the straps fully tightening they trail down your back. I found that they can flap around annoyingly. I keep them tied up with elastic bands which is effective by not very elegant. I've seen other packs with loops and storage holes for the straps. It would be good if the hydrobak had something similar.


If you have the hose going across your body (which seems to be the most common method) it feels a bit like it is strangling you! As you can see from the middle two photos I've gone for an other the shoulder and under the same arm arrangement.

Now I'm used to it I find this perfectly ok, but it was a bit fiddly at first. Some of the latest hydration packs have magnets on the hose and the pack. This seems a much quicker and easier arrangement so I'm looking out for a set.

Two useful tips I've learnt from Youtube. Firstly, after filling it with water turn the pack upside down and suck all the air out of it. This really helps to reducing the bouncing around as the water has nowhere to 'slosh' to. Secondly, when not in use keep the bladder in the freezer. They are a nightmare to try and dry out fully and this prevents bacteria growing between uses.

1 comment:

  1. Actually I read it yesterday but I had some thoughts about it and today I wanted to read it again because it is very well written.
    ​aqua arm

    ReplyDelete