Anyone bike and use a Camelback?

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Original poster
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
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I am thinking of buying a Camelback. If you don't know what that is, it's a backpack basically that holds water and a hose hangs over your shoulder so you can drink anywhere from 30 oz to 3L of water while riding. It really takes the place of water bottles, or lets you reserve one water bottle for Gatorade or something along those lines.

Anyway, I'm thinking of getting one and they have a couple where they say they're "womens fit" which I think is a nice way of saying "comes in pink". Does anyone own one, men or women and do you find it hard to keep clean and such? I am more concerned about the hose system with sitting water.

I've seen people swear by them and others just use the bottles.

Silly off topic stuff, but I wanted to ask.
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
I ran a lot of marathons with those - they are awesome, especially if you are training and don't have water stations to rely on. :)
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Original poster
Feb 19, 2005
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iGary said:
I ran a lot of marathons with those - they are awesome, especially if you are training and don't have water stations to rely on. :)
Do they stay put, even the 3l ones while running? I don't exactly have a soft step. :)
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
jessica. said:
Do they stay put, even the 3l ones while running? I don't exactly have a soft step. :)
Yup. just cinch them down and they work great. Not even a single complaint that I can think of (and I don't have a light step, either - I ran most of my races at 200lbs+).
 

gauchogolfer

macrumors 603
Jan 28, 2005
5,555
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American Riviera
jessica. said:
Do they stay put, even the 3l ones while running? I don't exactly have a soft step. :)
Adjusted properly (straps and such) they stay in place just fine during both mountain and road riding. Indispensable on hot California climbs.
 

timnosenzo

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2004
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ct, us
Yup, I have a couple of them. They RULE, can't imagine what I ever did without one.

FWIW, I use them mountain biking, road biking and hiking...
 

OllyW

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 11, 2005
17,051
6,370
The Black Country, England
jessica. said:
Does anyone own one, men or women and do you find it hard to keep clean and such? I am more concerned about the hose system with sitting water.
I use mine for mountain biking, I prefer the 1.5 litre bladder for most rides as the 3 litre gets too heavy, especially on long steep climbs.

I mostly fill it with water and give it a quick flush when I get home. I keep mine drained in the freezer to stop the mould. I've used them with energy drinks in the past and cleaned it with sterilising fluid (babies bottles).
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,681
661
Colly-fornia
jessica. said:
I am thinking of buying a Camelback. If you don't know what that is, it's a backpack basically that holds water and a hose hangs over your shoulder so you can drink anywhere from 30 oz to 3L of water while riding. It really takes the place of water bottles, or lets you reserve one water bottle for Gatorade or something along those lines.

Anyway, I'm thinking of getting one and they have a couple where they say they're "womens fit" which I think is a nice way of saying "comes in pink". Does anyone own one, men or women and do you find it hard to keep clean and such? I am more concerned about the hose system with sitting water.

I've seen people swear by them and others just use the bottles.

Silly off topic stuff, but I wanted to ask.
The ones for women have straps that don't get in the way of your boobs. On the men's models the sternum strap can be a problem for women. I know 'cuz my wife and I have three Camelbaks between the two of us, and she has had trouble using the sternum strap on the mens models.

I love the things myself. I use it mostly for day-trip hiking and also when camping and when I'm going on long road trips just to have in the car.

Cleaning: I rinse and dry mine between uses. There is a handy two-brush kit that will allow you to get down in the corners and scrub, as well as clean the tube. If you have time to let it dry between uses there is no problem with mildew. If not, Camelbak makes a cleaning powder (I haven't tried this yet myself) that is supposed to help.

There is also an option for bikers to have a snake-like tube support that will keep the mouthpiece close enough to your mouth that you don't have to take your hands off the handlebars to put the thing in your mouth. Don't know how well it works, I've only seen pictures of it.
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
If the integrated backpack version isn't comfortable then perhaps just buy the bladder and use it in your own backpack. I used one of those when I used to street skate - they're great and pretty tough too; I used to carry shoes, keys and all sorts in the same bag. :cool:
 

SpookTheHamster

macrumors 65816
Nov 7, 2004
1,489
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London
quigleybc said:
I personally don't like them.

I hate having to suck like crazy to get a tiny sip of water, plus some of them leak all down your chest or back.

I guess in a race it's better than nothing.
I've had other brands leak (and even burst!) on me, but I've never had a problem with Camelbaks. When I used to ride my bike to work I would swear by mine, but then I forgot to clean it for about a month, so I had to throw it away.
 

relimw

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2004
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SC
The ones I've used for work (off-brand) work great, occasionally the mouth piece end of the hose leaks. After and before I use it, I wash it out with baking soda and water, leave the hose off while stored.

Great to keep you cool while out digging trenches in the swamp in the Florida heat :D
 

crdean1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2005
675
1
Texas
I use one at the beginning of the season, then try to shed it as soon as possible (as soon as I get in shape). I don't like the weight. If you like to ride fast and hard with as little weight as possible, then when you get in good shape (and stay very hydrated), two water bottles should do just fine.

When you are properly hydrated, you won't drink much during the ride (usually only a sip every 15 minutes for energy, muscle recovery, and electrolyte replacement), so you won't need a camelback.

Short Version: It's much more freeing without that strapped to your back.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Original poster
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
142
I ended up getting the Candace I think it's called. 2L and it's great. It is not a women's one, but seems the sternum strap is not all that bad. So far I love it and I'm glad I got one. My water intake is much better now than it was with water bottles.