Wednesday, April 20, 2016

CamelBak Spring ‘16 Review


I have been using CamelBak hydration packs for about 15 years.  My first one was orange and I used it when cycling.  I still have it and other than the bladder looking pretty old, it still works great. 

CamelBak started in 1989 when Michael Eidson, who was an EMT by trade, took an IV bag filled with water and stuffed it in a tube sock.  Michael then put the contraption in his bike jersey pocket, put the hose over his shoulder and clamped it with a clothespin.  He wanted to have extra water during the “Hotter’N Hell 100.”  That was the first CamelBak.   

CamelBak feels strongly about “Giving Bak.” They started a program called We Know Water.  It is designed to teach 4th and 5th graders the benefits of using a reusable bottle.  CamelBak also believes in being environmentally responsible in their day to day operations.  The CamelBak headquarters is located in Petaluma, California.    



Quick Grip Chill Handheld Bottle

The Quick Grip Chill Handheld Bottle takes the idea of a handheld water bottle to the next level.  The Quick Grip Chill comes with a 21 ounce insulated bottle.  There is nothing I love more on a hot run than to get a nice drink of cold water to wake me back up and give me a little bit of a boost.  I fill the bottle up to the top with ice and then add water.  My water typically stays cold for 45 minutes to an hour (non insulated bottles are warm after 10-15 minutes).

There is a nice sized zippered pouch that has enough room for keys, gels, and smaller smartphones (my Samsung Galaxy 6 with a case did not fit).  There is an additional mesh stretch pocket for a few more items.  It does have a decent amount of storage space, although I wish it was just a little bigger for my Galaxy 6.

The hand strap is lined with a Velvetex material that won’t chafe your hands.  It really is comfortable and cinches down easily with a simple pull of the strap.  The strap really secures it to your hand without making it uncomfortable.   

One of my favorite parts of the Quick Grip Chill is the cap.  It features CamelBak’s patented Jet Valve technology.  This allows you to get water without having to push or pull a valve like many of the bottles out there.  You simply squeeze and the water shoots out.  You can twist the cap to lock it and prevent leaks during transport.  You don’t want to lose half of your electrolyte drink in the bus on the way to the marathon starting line (this may or may not have happened to my friend).   This is a great handheld that is balanced well and the insulation is amazing.  You can get yours for $28 on Amazon, or at the CamelBak website.  You can also find CamelBak products at your local retailer (click here for locations). 

Pros:
Comfortable hand strap
Light weight, breathable materials
Plenty of Storage
21 Ounce Insulated bottle
Great price starting at $28

Cons:
I wish it fit my Samsung Galaxy 6 with the case


Arc 2 Hydration Belt

The CamelBak Arc 2 is a hydration belt that is made with a breathable, laser bonded mesh to keep everything light weight and provides a perfect fit.  The elastic really does a great job of eliminating any bouncing of the belt. 

The Arc 2 comes with two 10 ounce bottles that clip into the belt with ease.  I have had other brands with clip in bottles that fall more times than they stay in place, not with the Arc 2 though.  I found that taking the bottles out of the holsters was easy.  You just grab the bottle and slide your finger between the bottle and the holster.  Easy peasy!  The bottles are 100% BPA-free and are made with CamelBak’s TruTaste material that eliminates any funky plastic aftertaste.  It also does a good job of keeping any residual taste of electrolyte drinks out of your bottles. 

There is a zippered pouch where you can store your gels, keys, and even a small phone, but like the Quick Grip Chill, the pouch on the Arc 2 will not hold a Samsung Galaxy 6 with a case.  That really is the biggest negative that I had.  Other than that I love the Arc 2 Hydration Belt.  You can get yours for as little as $33.97 on Amazon, or at the CamelBak website (for $50).  You can also find CamelBak products at your local retailer (click here for locations). 

Pros:
Comfortable, bounce-free elastic belt
Light weight, breathable materials
2-10 Ounce TruTaste bottles
Bottle snap in and out of the holsters easily
Great price starting at $33.97

Cons:
I wish it fit my Samsung Galaxy 6 with the case
Not enough storage for really long runs (i.e. marathons)


Marathoner Hydration Pack

I contacted CamelBak in September about testing a hydration pack for my first full marathon training and they sent me the Marathoner Hydration Pack.  I used the Marathoner for my marathon training and during the race.  It worked flawlessly, not that I would expect anything less from CamelBak. 

Hydration packs can get heavy, even before you put in any water.  Not the Marathoner; it weighs in at a mere 11 ounces (pack only).  The included 2-liter reservoir has a quarter turn wide mouth opening for easy filling, which is an improvement over the first versions of the CamelBak.  The hose has a quick connect so you can disconnect the hose before pulling out the reservoir to fill.  It makes the filling process much quicker and easier. 

One of the best features of CamelBak packs is their Big Bite valve.  You get a decent flow of water.  Nothing bugs me more about a pack than having to work really hard to get a few drops of water.  When I am running hard, I don’t want to struggle to get a drink of water.  There are also arms that fold down to keep the reservoir open after you clean it out.  That way the inside of the reservoir can dry completely.

Other cool features of the Marathoner are the multiple pockets, 5 in all.  There are two pockets in the front that are big enough to hold bottles, although I use them to hold gels and my cell phone.  There is an envelope pocket, which is where I put my used gel packs/trash.  You even have a sweat proof pocket for your phone.  I found that it felt better to have my Samsung Galaxy S6 in one of the front pockets instead of the sweat proof pocket.  Under the reservoir flap, there is another pocket to stash your keys and credit card. 

The CamelBak Marathoner is an amazing hydration pack for runners.  It is extremely light weight, carries plenty of gear during a run, and holds up to 2 liters of water.  CamelBak has the best hydration bladders and bite valves in the industry and I couldn’t be more impressed by this pack.  You can get yours for $100 at Amazon or at the CamelBak website.  You can also find CamelBak products at your local retailer (click here for locations).  Do yourself a favor and pick one up today. 

Pros:
Light weight, breathable materials
Plenty of storage
2-Liter reservoir
Great price starting at $100



CamelBak’s Social Media Links:
CamelBak to make its products with the best materials for a more durable product. They want to exceed your expectations.  The Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee covers all reservoirs, backpacks, bottles and accessories from manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product.
CamelBak will repair or replace (at its discretion) any manufacturing defect at no cost to you. The Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee does not cover normal wear and tear, if you lose your hydration gear, improper care, or negligence.  Product must be purchased from an authorized CamelBak dealer and should be returned to CamelBak for evaluation.  Click here for their full warranty policy.
CamelBak makes some amazing products that you definitely should try out.  Get yours today and stay hydrated.
Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

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