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Which hydration "backpack" is the best??(22 posts)

Which hydration "backpack" is the best??notes_clp
Jun 6, 2001 10:20 AM
Ok, couple of questions from a somewhat newbie roadie..

Which model or brand of "backpack" type of hydration systems would you recommend? Any features that are a must have? How hard are they to keep clean? Does wearing one of these give you a "hot spot" on your back?

Check on mtbreview.commike mcmahon
Jun 6, 2001 10:36 AM
I don't mean to be facetious, but you may have more luck getting an answer to this question on mountainbike review. A significantly higher percentage of mtbers than roadies use hydration packs. I'm sure you'll find a few people here who can give you advice but if you want more responses, you may want to pose the same question on the other board. Good luck.

re: Which hydration "backpack" is the best??Zignzag
Jun 6, 2001 10:45 AM is selling the Blackburn Pipeline for $25. It's very easy to fill and clean because the top of the reservoir opens. The gulp valve works better than the bite valves on other hydrapacks.
Jun 6, 2001 10:50 AM
I have both Camelbak and Blackburn. I prefer the Camelbak. The cloth portions of the packs are really about the same. What sets them apart for me is the reservoir. Camelbak is more supple, easier to deal with due to the wide screw top, more supple hose, better valve (I like the bite valve better). If you get Camelbak, get the 90 degree elbow for the bite valve, it does make it easier.
CamelbakLen J
Jun 6, 2001 10:55 AM
Great resevoir, Great Valve, Easy to Clean etc.

Just make sure you clean & air it out after every ride to ensure no mold.

I do not get a hot spot on my back. I use the rocket.

I find I hydrate more with the C/bak than I ever did with bottles.

Good luck
here ya go!Haiku d'état
Jun 6, 2001 12:52 PM
check here, this one, and here for some good feedback from prior (and current) posts.

personally, i have a jandd mountaineering 70oz hydration pack, but the bladder and accessories (bite valve, tube, etc.) suck. no pun intended. it only had a chest strap, no waist strap, but overall, it's a good pack. just the water parts are horrid. i'll replace the resovoir and valve and put a waist strap on myself and be good to go. it has lots of storage.

second and most appreciated, i have a nike hydration pack that holds a custom 100 oz bladder and has a storage pocket and a place to clip a rear blinkie light. it's well designed, but could use more storage. i use it all the time. never seen one in stores, catalogs, or online anyplace, so you may be SOL on that one. i bought it at a nike employee store at one of the factories, accessed through a good friend that worked there.

on the notes front, i administered a nationwide notes (and cc:mail) mail system for a worldwide brokerage house for awhile, left the notes world, then came back to it at one of the "big five" professional services firms as a developer on 4.x for awhile. alas, i've left the notes universe once again. small world, eh?
Only my opinion...MrCelloBoy
Jun 6, 2001 1:29 PM
of course. I own a Camelbak Blowfish. I'm in the market for a more "low profile" road pack for wearing on my tandem as the blowfish ends up right in my stoker's face.
Camelbak seems to pay attention to the small details really well. They also make a large variety of styles for different applications. The Blowfish has an expandable storage area as well as several smaller pockets. It's always felt comfortable, even filled with the 100 oz. bladder and extra cargo.
I don't have much experience with other brands. I looked at Performances' offerings but the quality level was WAY below the Camelbak. (As well as the cost!)
re: Which hydration "backpack" is the best??Ian
Jun 6, 2001 1:41 PM
In terms a quality, fit and finish, Camelback leads the way. Others opinions will differ, but if you asked 100 people for the best hydration system, Camelback would win with a large majority. For road riding you will probably want the Razor. It holds 72 oz of water in a baffled reservoir. The baffle helps with air flow down your back. To keep things from growing in the reservoir, store it in the refrigerator.
To keep my Razor clean, I fill it with Listerine (the bluebill
Jun 6, 2001 3:41 PM
stuff). Listerine for now and for always reminds me of riding. If you can stand that, it works.
I used to hang the thing with the bladder opener, but then I realized that sh*t was growing in the drinking tube, which never seemed to dry.
would never use it for road ridingColnagoFE
Jun 6, 2001 3:54 PM
but i have a camelback mule i use for off road adventures. easy to drink from and carries all the stuff i need for off-road riding. on the road i prefer bottles. i just don't want it on my back. maybe one of those road models you can put under your jersey would be OK, but bottles work just fine so why mess w/ it.
Jun 6, 2001 5:38 PM
Two big h20 bottles will get me far enough that I can scope out a mini-market if I need to. Tried a hydration pack on road rides and it was just too hot. Besides, roadies w/ hydration packs bring a certain degree of Fred-ness into the equation. :-)
Uh-oh (nm)mike mcmahon
Jun 6, 2001 5:40 PM
What is Fredness?SSgt Jeremy in Germany
Jun 6, 2001 6:47 PM
What are you talking about here?
You don't REALLY want to know.....look271
Jun 6, 2001 6:52 PM
Just check the archives.
Please let's not start the "Fred threads" againmike mcmahon
Jun 6, 2001 6:55 PM
A "Fred" in cycling is the equivalent of a "kook" in surfing. Maybe you grew up in the midwest so the reference doesn't help. Anyhow, a Fred is someone's idea of antithesis of the ideal cyclist. In the minds of some people, a Fred is a guy who goes out in a pair of cut-off shorts, tennis shoes, and a t-shirt. To others, a Fred is a guy who rides a Mapei C-40 with full Mapei kit. To others, a Fred is a guy who's slow. To others, a Fred is a guy who's fast but doesn't wave when he passes you in the other direction or let you know when he's about to pass you from behind. In other words, the term "Fred" is just a word some of us use to make ourselves feel better about our choices and abilities. BTW, although I used the male pronoun, I supposed women are just as entitled to be called Fred among those who think the title is warranted.
Yep, i'm a midwest boy.SSgt Jeremy in Germany
Jun 6, 2001 7:51 PM
Fred and kook are new to me. I will just take it that its a slang term that has many meanings. Kind of weird though, especially if you are named Fred, like my grandpapy, God rest his soul.
It's what the Army guys call the airmen, sailors and Marines. nmblue bayou
Jun 6, 2001 10:45 PM
I've never been in the military but that's funny (nm)mike mcmahon
Jun 6, 2001 10:55 PM
Army Guy. So that's what you call someone in the Army. I alwaysBrianU
Jun 7, 2001 1:05 AM
wondered about that. Anyway, I have been using a camelback for the last 6 years. I initially bought one to use while mountain biking. The ability to drink while riding and capacity being the main reasons for using it.
Last summer I decided to buy a Camelback Rocket to use with my roadbike. I know that some people will find this hard to believe, but here in Oklahoma I can actually ride 60 miles on Sunday mourning, without passing an open mini-mart of some sort. So far, the only real disadavantage I have noticed over water bottles is that my back does get sweaty where it is covered by the camelback. I wouldn't say it gets hot though.
I have no experience with the other brands of hydration packs. I still have and use my Camelback Packster my wife bought me in 1996. It has seen many, many miles of off-road use and it still works like a champ. I know there are cheaper systems out there, but there is something to be said for quality.
The one big thing that you have to do with these things, is keep the bladder clean. Buying a cleaning kit is a worthwhile investment. Unless I know for certain that I will be riding again in a day or two, I rinse the bladder out thoroughly, pull the bite valve off and hang it upside down to dry. The hanger I use is one that is designed to hold the bladder open and it seems to work as advertised.
IMHO, unless you race, water bottles offer no advantages over hydration packs on long rides. Like someone posted above, once you get used to it, you will wonder how you ever did without.

Old original camel pack.SSgt Jeremy in Germany
Jun 7, 2001 11:30 AM
You must be stationed at Tinker. I was there for 5 1/2 years, 94-99. Any way, I have the original camel pack from riding MTBs at Draper, no pockets or anything, and thinking of getting the Rocket soon after I get a bike, thanks for the post.
a reflection of what society has becomeoldster
Jun 7, 2001 1:07 PM
too used to the modern conveniences... and you wonder why there are so many squirrely riders that can't even THINK about taking their hands off the bars? STI/Ergo haven't helped things either. heck, why bother riding, you get all sweaty and stuff- just ride downhill and with the wind and call wife w/cell phone to come pick up in the big ol'SUV (unless it's raining, in which there is no reason to ride at all)
Funny....grz mnky
Jun 7, 2001 1:50 PM
We just call Army guys targets.