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Thread: Camelbak - Yes!

  1. #1
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Camelbak - Yes!

    I was at REI a while back during a big sale and saw that they had Camelbaks on sale. Thinking it could come in handy on hot days in my Aerostich behind my K75RT heatsink fairing I picked up the big 72-oz backpack model and tucked it away. I found it yesterday morning while gearing up for a 350-mile day-ride exploration of Pennsylvania around the Rally site.

    I had one a decade ago, before my post-accident sabbatical when I rode a lot in the summer. It was a bit unwieldy and didn't work very well. The new one has fixed every quibble I had, most particularly the chintzy harness/straps, the small fill opening and the poorly designed bite valve.

    Back at REI, as I looked over the many new configurations Camelbak has added over the last decade I settled on a few things I wanted, namely (1) a tight-fitting form factor as I wanted to wear it under my Aerostich and didn't want too much of a hunchback; (2) a decent-sized capacity; (3) netted harness for coolness and a cross-chest strap to hold it in place.

    The Camelbak Classic 70oz seemed to be just what I was looking for.



    Camelbaks really seem oriented towards trail runners these days with most resembling backpacks, too much I think for wearing under riding gear. The Classic has one small pocket and a long form factor that follows the back (making for a great back pad by the way.) The harness is a perfect mix of substantial enough to keep it snug and in place but small enough (and netted) so as to be unnoticeable to the rider. The drink tube can be used on either side, and the bite valve is substantial, easy to use, and best of all -- it works perfectly. The pack itself is insulated to keep the ice from melting too quickly, but still was noticeably cool on the back. Lastly, the opening to the 70oz resevoir is B I G, big enough to easily shovel ice into yet still secured by a flat, low profile cap that does not leak.

    I set out yesterday morning after filling the Camelbak with ice and water. I had the drink tube over my left shoulder and hanging out the collar of my Stich - seems like it might be annoying but it is not at all. Drinking from the Camelbak was easy, just direct the bite valve into the screen opening of the helmet, grab the bite valve with your mouth, and, well, suck.

    It was, in a word, AWESOME. Where earlier this year on warmer rides I felt completely dehydrated and quickly wilted in the heat I was able to stay completely hydrated, cooled off, and never felt spent from the now considerable heat. I ran through the first 70oz by noon and refilled with a 2-liter bottle of Deer Park (and free ice) for the afternoon.

    I give this product five enthusiastic thumbs up, it has made riding in heat much more bearable!
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  2. #2
    Rodwood
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    Just ordered one, thanks for the tip!

  3. #3
    Rally Rat
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    Got a free version from Buell after a test ride, probably not as good as the actual Camelbak, but pretty nice to have along on warmer days when I need to rehydrate. I'd recommend one to anybody, as you don't think about drinking while riding, but when I have it on I do tend to use it, and feel better at the end of the day's ride.

  4. #4
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    I have both the 70 and 100 oz. sizes depending on how long I'm going to out and what the temps will be.

    One of the things that kinda fascinates me is that you can feel the weight of the pack decrease while you're drinking. I wouldn't expect to feel such a slight change, but I do.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  5. #5
    Blue Sky Canadian
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    Hydration

    I keep mine in the tank-bag with the mouthpiece clipped to my jacket. I'm packin' too much weight already!

  6. #6
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesky View Post
    I keep mine in the tank-bag with the mouthpiece clipped to my jacket. I'm packin' too much weight already!
    Regularly check all the connections for tightness. There's nothing worse than a flooded tankbag, especially if you have any electronics in there. DAMHIK
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  7. #7
    Blue Sky Canadian
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    Hydration/Tank-bag

    Good point. I have a system purchased from Mountain Equipment Co-Op, the Canadian answer to REI. Thus far I have never encountered any leakage. I have a less than waterproof tank-bag so I keep "dry" stuff elsewhere anyway. The manufacturer of the system (contacted seperately) sold me an extra long, insulated supply hose that is capable of satisfying my SO's needs (in the hydration department anyway) when she is on the back.

  8. #8
    Tame Racing Driver Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Regularly check all the connections for tightness. There's nothing worse than a flooded tankbag, especially if you have any electronics in there. DAMHIK
    Good point Tom. I'm planning on adding a Camelbak bladder to a tankbag to keep myself hydrated during the hot weather. I find its easy to try to keep pushing a few more miles and resisting the urge to stop for a drink, which easily leads to dehydration.
    Craig
    New York's Hudson Valley Region
    2009 R1200RT
    MOA #146131 IBA #55715

  9. #9
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    I don't know what the maximum fluid I can lose on a days road riding can be but I've consumed over 6 qts ( approx 200 oz) in 9 hrs while teaching in cars at the track in the summer. You lose water so fast that it can't even be absorbed from the gut fast enough for replacement so getting behind in the morning is an all day losing proposition.

    That 70 oz size seems a fair balance between comfort on the back and the need to refill. I've been using a 2L bag with hose in my tank bag and carry a extra liter bottle as well. Can drink while riding but the convenience may not be as good as a camelback.

    Folks tend to underestimate the dangers of dehydration until they have direct experience. At the track, we emphasize adequate hydration at all times because the impact of bad hydration on late day incidents is well known to instructors.

    Ted- thanks for a good review and a timely reminder. Still got my REI dividend to spend......

  10. #10
    Certifiable User Mike_Philippens's Avatar
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    The main advantage of a camelbak (or similar system) is that you can keep drinking in small doses, which is better for hydration than drinking half a litre at a stop.

    I always fill the bladder with water and something like Gatorade powder or Isostar tablets. This provides energy, makes the water taste better and provides nutrients (minerals, vitamins) which are essential for keeping fit.

    Since I also do some offroad driving (on a '88 Yamaha Tenere) I ordered a Klim Nac Pak. This is a ingenius backpack with built in bladder with some nifty features like a removable toolpocket, a soft pocker for goggles etc.



    Tip: look for a camelbak with an insulated hose. It's worth it. Otherwise you'll get hot tea every time you take a sip.
    -=- if you always see the road ahead of you, it's not worth the trip -=-

  11. #11
    Registered User Beemer01's Avatar
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    Not much to add

    I swear by mine - rode thru 105 degree temps in Utah last August - no better solution for staying hydrated. I usually stop at Fast Food place, order a lemonaide using the self serve station - refill the camelback with ice and lemonaide.

    Rocks.


  12. #12
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    Also check out the Hydrapak. This bladder has a folding top that doesn't leak & also you can turn it inside out to clean. I've found I like the bladder design better than Camelbak & other cheaper ones like found at Costco. Oh yeah, just the bladder & hose is pretty cheap, I use it in my Rally II suit.

    http://www.hydrapak.com/
    John.

  13. #13
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    for the hydrapak. I use a three liter unit filled to the 2 liter line inside my tank pannier when traveling. I may have transferred a different bite valve to the unit, though.

    Here it is packed in the pannier when 2/3 full. There's still lots of space for other stuff.



    And here is the unit before I bled out excess air. It is 2/3 full. I hadn't yet attached the detachable drink tube.


  14. #14
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I just started using my Camel last year. I got it for snow skiing but it is great for riding. I have a big back pocket in my Olympia Phantom that holds it, so I don't have to use the backpack part on the bike.

    Here's the only problem. You now have to pee a lot! Someone invent a bike urination system, please.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  15. #15
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    Someone invent a bike urination system, please.
    How many ya want?

    AMXD: Advanced Mission Extender Device, (aka: the Piddle Pack). $2,000. Male and Female versions available.
    Omni Measurement Systems
    115 Catamount Drive, Milton, VT

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