CamelBak HydroBak Mesh Straps Hydration System

Last updated: October 20, 2021

CamelBak HydroBak Mesh Straps Hydration System

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We looked at the top Hydration Systems and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Hydration System you should buy.

Overall Take

Cyclists need a hydration pack that won't slide off during their ride. This model meets that need and goes a step above by using mesh straps that are completely breathable. Each pack is designed to provide enough water for a 2 hour ride.

In our analysis of 70 expert reviews, the CamelBak HydroBak Mesh Straps Hydration System placed 3rd when we looked at the top 15 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

When all you want is water, this minimalist bike pack has you covered—enough water for a 2-hour ride, and a safe zip pocket for keys and essentials. The Crux reservoir also offers 20% more water per sip for faster hydration in the saddle.

Expert Reviews


What experts liked

This minimalist backpack may offer compact dimensions, but it packs a powerful punch when it comes to staying hydrated on the go. This is the right size to hold CamelBak’s 1.5l Antidote™ reservoir with its low profile design. It has a 1/4 turn easy open and close cap, an easy-to-clean wide-mouth opening, patented Big Bite™ Valve, HydroGuard™ technology, and PureFlow™ tubing. Made from lightweight mesh material and weighing just 0.35 pounds, this is one of the lightest hydration backpacks you can buy. With an additional small front pocket and a reflective strip for increased visibility, this is perfect for cyclists, hikers, runners, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.
Weighs just five ounces without water, mesh back panel and harness aid in ventilation, new Crux reservoir allows 20% more water per drink, and its leak-proof valves are easy to flick on or off.

What experts didn't like

This backpack may only be big enough to carry your car keys, hex keys, wallet, and glasses.
Doesn't offer much in the way of storage.

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations.

Overview

Hydration is important when you’re engaged in strenuous activities, particularly while outdoors on a hot day. Whether you’re cycling to work, hiking or indulging in some other type of sporting activity, keeping fluids in your system is essential. Without it, you could start suffering from dehydration, which can include a drop in energy, headaches and dizziness. If left unchecked, dehydration can even cause fainting.

But dragging along enough water to last for hours can be tough, especially if you’re trying to keep your load light. Hydration systems are designed to make it easy to stay hydrated without having to deal with water bottles. A hydration backpack affixes to your body to keep your hands free, so you can focus on the day’s activities. You’ll drink through a tube that serves as a giant, flexible, leakproof straw.

Before you start shopping, consider whether you want an all-in-one hydration backpack or a separate water bladder that you can slide into whatever pack you’re carrying. You can save money and get more versatility from a hydration bladder, but you’ll need to consider how you’ll attach it to your body or bicycle to keep your hands free.

The type of activity you’re doing will also affect which hydration pack you choose. “Many manufacturers have tailored the design of their packs in terms of weight distribution, the location of straps and its profile to your body’s movement,” says our home goods expert Vicki Liston. “Cycling systems, for example, will fit differently on your body than a running or hiking system.”

Since most hydration packs feature similar water capacity, pay close attention to the weight and size of the model you choose so that you can keep your load as light as possible while you’re out and about.

As for the bladder itself, there are plenty of features to consider before you buy. You’ll want a hydration system that doesn’t leak, as well as one that insulates the liquids inside to keep them cool as long as possible. That means the tube that runs from the bag to your mouth should also be insulated to keep the liquid cool as it moves through.

The opening on some hydration systems is small, which will keep you from being able to insert ice cubes or get in to clean it. Look for one that allows for this if you plan to use ice, or you’re concerned about keeping it clean. You’ll be glad, in the end, that you chose one that makes clean-up easy.

Lastly, there’s safety as a consideration. Some consumers prefer to steer clear of materials made with BPA, so you’ll want to search for one that promises to be BPA free if this is important to you. Some hydration bladders are also antibacterial, which will help protect against mold forming, even if you accidentally leave liquid in the pack for days at a time.

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