View Full Version : Hydration systems.

Scott Evans
January 12, 1999, 11:28 AM
The Camelbak series of portable water bags look to be one of the sensations in the "gear & Accessory " market over the last 5 years or so. I left the Marine Corps near the end of 1991 and I never saw one. Now I see them every where. Looks like a good system but I have never used them. Have any of the members? Is it really better then the canteen systems … and if so why? Last what are the better brands?

January 12, 1999, 12:23 PM
I've got a Gregory Mirage Arroyo. Nice big water carrier and it holds quite a bit of gear for it's size (700 cu in). Unfortunately it also leaks at the fill hole. The seal in the cap doesn't work very well. It has a slow drip.

January 12, 1999, 12:25 PM
Along with Camelback, two other names are good for general purpose hydration systems, Gregory, and, I believe, Ultimate Directions. There are makers of more cycling- and sports-specific hydration systems out there, but these three companies seem to carry systems that allow for various amounts of carry capacity, in some cases, up to 22-2500 cubic inches. Mountainsmith has a smaller hydration pack, and Mountainsmith, Gregory, and Dana have accessory pockets or built-in systems for their larger packs.
I never believed how much water I could drink until I started using a hydration system. I used to hate stopping to dig out bottles, and found myself feeling more worn out at the end of the day. I find that with a hydration system of some sort, I drink a little less at a time, but much more frequently, and usually feel fresher at the end of the day. The "clear and copious" rule for proper hydration also applies here.
What would be really cool is if, say, a custom kydex maker expanded his repetoire a bit to include shoulder-strap sheaths and holders for use with larger packs and the smaller hydration systems. What a market! He could make a million bucks and give me a kickback for the great idea. ;)

Scott Evans
January 12, 1999, 12:38 PM
We call that a royalty. :) Sounds interesting please develop this idea a little further. I have also thought of an accessory for the back carry water bags. Many of the Local Marines damage their bags in the field especially around barbed wire. I have always wondered if a hard Kydex shell to protect the thing might have a market. A "Turtle back". Combine that with your idea and maybe ?? we would have a whole new line of … what do ya think ?

January 12, 1999, 10:25 PM
I am a huge fan of "the mule" by camelback. It holds 100oz(2.7L) and has a small pocket for lip balm & wallet, a bigger pocket for food, and a nifty mesh that held my .357 quite nicely. Also if you put cold water in it the insulation keeps it cool for~1 hr in extreme heat. Used it last year in Az on lotsa hikes. They even have a model that holds 2 100oz bags :).

When I bought the camelback I looked at a bunch of others. I liked the sturdy shoulder straps- they made the load quite comfy. Some of the models really chinze out here. Also I prefer the slit for the nipple end instead of the pushbutton. The slit never leaks but the pushbutton always seems to.

Compared to canteens- well there isn't really a comparison. The "backpack" is barely noticible and completely out of the way(BTW the waist strap is useless). With canteens you have an uncomfortable load around your waist and its cumbersome to get a drink. I never had any problems going through brush.

wish I had thought of it


January 13, 1999, 10:16 PM
Camel bak's RULE!

my personal favorite is the Go-Be.
rides on my hips with the pouch behind me
and has enough room to put my HK USPC
along with some other goody's. It holds
50 ounces of water, not the biggest...
but I havent run it dry so...
I've also had the original, I own 4 of
them currently. They are a great thing!


Mouse Assassins inc.

January 14, 1999, 01:11 PM
I didn't think that a somewhat off-handed and light hearted comment would be taken so seriously, but I read your post yesterday and did some thinking over the past day. Most larger packs have pretty much standardized on 2" webing for the hipbelts. Sheaths can attach to the outside of the webbing (unless the webbing is integral with the particular hipbelt pads) or can sandwich between the webbing and the hip pad.

Shoulder strap carry is a bit more difficult. Again, many have standardized on 1" webbing, but there is a myriad of methods that attaches the shoulder pads. Some have the pads "floating" on the webbing, held in place by fastex rings. Sometimes the webbing is built into the base of the pad, and there is a section of webbing attached to the face of the pad for the sternum strap. It would have to be adjustable for the various attachment methods or location. I don't think there would be any way to work up a truly universal type of sheath system, as it would become more complicated and expensive than having something made up for a different pack or hydration system. The best to hope for might be categorizing something like, "Model C-1 will fit Camelback Rogues, MULEs, HAWGs, and standards made after 1998". (Camelback went to a wide-section shoulder pad in 1998.) Another example would be, "Model D-1 will fit Dana Designs Killer B, Arc Light, and Arc Flex models."

Hydration systems, since they're in between sizes, seem to have an even more bewildering array of webbing sizes and configurations. As such, each would have to be worked on in a custom, individualized manner, but since you do that for a living, Scott, you'd know more about the process than I would. If it's okay, I'll try to decide which of my several packs I use the most, and contact you privately (e-mail or phone) about commisioning such a project. This might be a fun and informative project for everyone here.

Jeff White
January 14, 1999, 06:57 PM
No one has mentioned the Eagle Industries Liquidator. I've go the 90 oz model. It comes in a pouch with two zipped pockets (similar to the CamelBack HAWG). I've got mine attached to a TAC vest so I can't comment on the webbing execpt to say it is one inch nylon with two inch pads (the pads have a spandex type material sewn to the backside so it grips your clothing and doesn't slide around), fastex quick release buckles and a sternum strap. You can see it at www.eagleindustries.com


January 16, 1999, 03:53 PM
I've had great results with my 70 oz CamelBak. The bite valve keeps a good seal, and the constant hydration keeps me very comfortable on long training days in the Florida heat.

January 17, 1999, 03:43 PM
I've considered purchasing a "Camelback" of some type but have stuck with my canteens for one reason. Leakage! How easy are they to get a hole, rip, etc. and then you are sitting with ONE LARGE EMPTY container? That has been my biggest concern. Are any made with large capacity but with separate compartments? Then if a hole did appear you wouldn't worry about losing all of your water.

Plainsman :-)


January 19, 1999, 12:30 PM

IMHO that is not a problem. The bag is sturdy and it is in a insulated nylon container that appears pretty "poke proof". Sure a long thorn could puncture it, but I doubt you would be crawling through cactus. It is pretty well secured from pointy branches and stuff.

Just try one- you'll never go back!


January 19, 1999, 03:12 PM
I've got an insulated 70-oz Camelbak backpack (in the stupid-looking desert camo . . . I figure it'll reflect more light and won't get warm as quick) that I used all last summer for running and mountain biking here in the high desert of NM. Wow, it's great.

I can't imagine a leak problem if you take care of it, and extra bladders are available. (I've got several friends with them, and no one's ever had a leak.) They'll get yucky if you don't either a) dry them completely after use (which is a pain in the tush), or b) re-fill them and keep them in the fridge (they fit great along the ledge at the back of the bottom shelf). Spend the extra $3 (if you're not already getting one of the "deluxe" Camelbaks that have all the bells and whistles) and get the bite valve.

Camelbak makes an excellent product. (They have a pretty good site, too, as I recall . . . )