Wednesday, October 5, 2016

CamelBak 2017 Sneak Peak

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.    

Here is a video that talks about some of the new items for 2017 (release date of October 2016).

Quick Stow Flasks

One of the newer products that CamelBak came out with is a collapsible soft flask.  It is available in both insulated and non-insulated versions.  Here are some of the features:

·         17 ounce capacity
·         Big bite valve for rapid hydration
·         Large mouth opening allows for easy filling
·         Insulated version keeps cold twice as long
·         Empty flasks collapses and folds, ultra-compact
·         BPA/BPS/BPF free construction
·         Dishwasher safe
·         Built in dry hanger loop 

The soft flasks are used with the Ultra Handheld Chill as well as their new Ultra Pro Vest. 

Upgrades to the Reservoir

CamelBak is using the new Crux Reservoir.  It’s improving upon an already stellar hydration bladder.  They updated the bite valve to have a larger diameter that is now angled.  CamelBak claims that you exert less energy trying to suck water out of the new valve.    The wider hose slows how fast water in the hose heats up too.  There is a new locking mechanism that is easier than previous models.  The lock valve is way easier to use than trying to twist a small lever on the previous versions. 

The opening used to fill up the reservoir has a larger diameter opening (easier to fill), a new cap that is easy to screw on, and there is an ergonomic handle that makes holding the reservoir while filling it up easier.  Several of the Crux reservoirs have the quick link system that makes removing the hose a snap (although the Circuit does come with the quick link system). 

Ultra Pro Vest

The Ultra Pro Vest is an awesome vest for any distance.  It features CamelBak’s new 3D ventilated mesh that has bigger holes to allow more airflow and cushioning.  I have tested vests from other brands and this is more comfortable in my opinion.  Here are some of the features:

·         Two 17 ounce lightweight Quick Stow flasks
·         3D ventilated mesh offers multidirectional airflow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability
·         Conveniently located cellphone pocket with zipper closure for security (can fit Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7).
·         Dual adjustable sternum straps increases stability and offer a range of adjustments
·         Stretch overflow pocket lets you store extra gear or can be used for a hydration bladder
·         Harness storage offers organization for fuel and gear, and includes Quick Stow flask pockets
·         Reflectivity on front and back for early morning or evening runs
·         Whistle built into the vest for safety
·         Sizes are based on chest circumference: Small = 28 - 34 in.; Medium = 32 - 40 in.; Large = 38 - 46 in.

This is my favorite one of the new CamelBak products that they just released.  It fits great, offering a snug fit that won’t move around on you.  The bottles are easy to take in and out of the pockets and there is plenty of storage.  I personally love the black vest.  It looks super sharp!  There are a total of 8 pockets in addition to the large storage pocket in back.  The weight without the bottles is a miniscule 6 ounces.  You can pre-order this pack at REI and word on the street is that they will start selling them at REI in October (before being released to other retailers). 

Circuit Hydration Vest

CamelBak updated one of its more popular packs, last year’s model of the Circuit.  The Circuit is a versatile, light weight, and low-profile pack that can be described as minimal.  While it holds a 1.5 liter (50 ounces) water bladder, it cuts down on some of the extra features of its other packs so keep the weight down.  The Circuit offers the following features:

·         1.5 liter (50 ounces) reservoir
·         2 storage pockets for storing extra water bottles or gels in front
·         Sweatproof pocket to hold your phone, keys and an additional smaller pocket for gels or snacks
·         Dual sternum straps provide a snug, adjustable fit.
·         External-fill design lets you refill your water without having to take out your reservoir.
·         Hydroguard antimicrobial technology inhibits the growth of bacteria in the tube and reservoir

New features for 2017’s version:
·         New bite valve offers 20% more water with every sip and an easy open/close leak-proof locking lever to prevent accidental leaking during transport.
·         The Crux reservoir has an ergonomic handle that makes filling the reservoir easy.
·         Updated the fabric to the 3D ventilated mesh, which offers multidirectional airflow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability

I really like the circuit, especially for racing since its really light weight and the new 3D ventilated mesh keeps you cool.  The new bite valve is great and improves upon CamelBak’s awesome bite valves from the past, which I feel are the best in the industry.  My biggest complaint is that the phone pocket is a little too small for my Galaxy S7 and I wish the hydration tube used the quick link system that is used on some of the other CamelBak products.  This is an awesome pack/vest though and I am very pleased with the updates.  I will probably use it in some of my upcoming races.

Ultra 10 Vest

CamelBak updated another one of its more popular packs, the Ultra 10 pack.  The Ultra 10 is CamelBak’s most technical running pack.  It has been my running partner for all of my 18 and 20 mile marathon training runs recently for a few reasons.  It holds tons of water, has plenty of storage, and even with all the bells and whistles, it is still fairly light and agile at only 10.7 ounces.  Here are some of the Ultra 10’s features:
·         Adjustable mesh harness with two sternum straps
·         Integrated reservoir with 2L with quick link system
·         Expandable cargo compartment
·         Harness cargo pockets
·         Stretch overflow storage
·         Sweat-proof phone pocket
·         Trekking pole attachment
·         Reflectivity

New features for 2017’s version:
·         New bite valve offers 20% more water with every sip and an easy open/close leak-proof locking lever to prevent accidental leaking during transport.
·         The Crux reservoir has an ergonomic handle that makes filling the reservoir easy.
·         Updated the fabric to the 3D ventilated mesh, which offers multidirectional airflow and cushioning to maximize comfort and breathability

Like I said earlier, this pack hugs your body and really does an awesome job of storing everything exactly where you need it.  It would be suitable for running an ultra, marathon, half, or even on your family hiking trips.  The one thing that I noticed is that the hydration tube tends to flop around quite a bit, but is not that big of an issue.  You can get magnet clips for very little money or do some MacGyver action to fix the problem.

Ultra Handheld Chill

CamelBak came out with a handheld holster for its quick stow flasks.  It is a mesh holder that utilizes its 3D ventilated mesh.  It keeps your hand from getting too cold when running with cold water and dissipates sweat fairly well.  There are two pockets.  The larger zippered pocket can hold an iPhone 6, but not a Samsung Galaxy S7.  The smaller pocket is great for credit cards, gels, and keys.

There are several elastic straps that really make this handheld easy to use.  You can customize how you want to wear it depending on the amount of straps you use.  The Ultra Handheld Chill comes with an insulated quick stow flask that will keep your water cold for a longer period of time.  This is a great product and is great for short to medium runs.  I found that this is one of the most comfortable handhelds that I have tried and love the new trend of collapsible water bottles.

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.
Check out CamelBak’s new gear for 2017 The updates are amazing and I am sure you will be as pleased as I am.  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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