Do you recommend Camelbak Hydration Backpacks?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by BasicGreatGuy, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #1
    I am in training for my first half-marathon and looking for opinions from those who use, or have used Camelbak hydration backpacks for 21K + running. I am thinking I may need a 100 oz backpack.

    Did it take a while to get used to the weight of the backpack when filled?

    How has it held up during training and race day?

    Have you, or did you experience any chaffing from the backpack moving around etc.?

    Have you been pleased with the accessibility of small item storage (for gels and the like) during the run, negating the need to stop and remove the back for access?

    Have you experienced any bad water after taste from the bladder? Has it been hard to keep clean?

    Currently, I have been using a Nathan hand-held, as well as a Govivo hydration belt (which holds (2) 9oz bottles). I don't think a 21 oz hand-held is going to be enough for longer runs.
     
  2. BernyMac macrumors regular

    BernyMac

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    #2
    Great for a hydration during hikes, cycling and other activities. Marathons...not so much. Is this a supported half-marathon?
     
  3. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #3
    I'm a super active multiple event amateur athlete. I've had nothing but excellent results with several hydration packs from their line. Especially during long grueling mountainous century rides and other events of long duration.
     
  4. BasicGreatGuy thread starter Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #4
    Thank you for the reply.

    The half-marathon will have 3 water stations along the trail.

    After the half, I plan on training for a full and then ultra trail races.

    What don't you like about the hydration backpack for marathon + use, compared to the other activities you mentioned? Is there a better alternative?
     
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #5
    Its been a long time now since I've used one. But when I was in the Marines, we had them and loved them. They were great on long missions in the wilderness and runs of a few miles or so.
     
  6. BasicGreatGuy thread starter Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #6
    Appreciate the reply.

    What models have you used for 2+ hour training / races?
    --- Post Merged, Jan 13, 2016 ---
    Thanks for the reply.

    Do you find that station support is enough for your needs, or do you stick with handheld now-a-days?
     
  7. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #7
    I'm not sure what station support is, as I haven't used a Camelback in 15 years. I just remember that I really liked the one I had back then.
     
  8. Zenithal macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Yes. They're fantastic. Hydro Flask is great as well. Nalgene too.
     
  9. BasicGreatGuy thread starter Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #9
    Station support is a small water / food station along the race route.
     
  10. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #10
    Ahh, okay. I've never run a marathon before. Just PT runs with the platoon/company every day. These days, my 'running' is on an elliptical at the gym.
     
  11. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

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    #11
    My new Ultra 4 two liter pack is exceptional. Comfortable, light, very well made and quite durable. I have used it in five events plus countless long training days, I'm completely satisfied.
     
  12. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816

    556fmjoe

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    #12
    I have their 3L Antidote and it's quite nice. I've only used it for hiking not running, but it works very well and can hold itself open for drying. I also have a 2.5L Osprey Hydraulics LT. I like the Osprey a bit better. It has a magnetic clip for holding the hose in place, which is a great idea. The plastics feel more durable. I like the Antidote's bite valve more than the Osprey's however.
     
  13. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #13
    I probably wouldn't because I wouldn't want it bouncing around on my back. What you probably ought to do is find out how much water you're going to need to complete the race then decide whether you need to carry extra water.

    Camelbaks are nice though and I think they still make the one that goes around your waist if you need just a little extra.
     
  14. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #14
    I use Camelbacks for mountain biking and I've never had any problems with them. I've got a Mule and a HAWG and the bags are tough and well made. I've never had any leaks from the bladders and the new Antidote bladders with the quick release tube and easy lock cap are a big improvement over the older models.
     
  15. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #15
    We use them for hiking, mountain biking, and street biking. Both me and the wife have them and love em. No complaints. Could not tell you which ones we have though. We picked them up some years ago. Have had zero issues with them.
     
  16. BernyMac macrumors regular

    BernyMac

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    #16
    I didn't like the hydration packs for marathons because of the continuous repetitive motions of the pack on my back. I tried cinching it closer to my body to keep it from moving too much but it became uncomfortable. The waist packs fared better in my experience. I've dealt with chafed nips, lost toe nails, etc, but the discomfort of the hydration packs was something else entirely. Nothing beats unencumbered running. I can tolerate it on trail running and mountain biking, probably because of the constant shifting. I cannot stand them on century rides on a road bike.

    Your experience may differ from mine.
     
  17. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #17
    I just can't imagine needing 100oz of water for a half-marathon. Maybe I'm the camel or something, but on my training runs, I didn't drink at all. (I did train during the late summer in the early morning, so the temps were close to ideal.) I couldn't see needing more than a belt even if the weather weren't that great.
     
  18. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #18
    Where do you live and what is the temperature when you generally run and train?

    You actually don't need much water in most climates for anything under a couple of hours of running. I have a pack I use for running, but I only use it for extremely long, unsupported trail runs. Many people do use them for the ultras I've been in, but for a supported race I really prefer not having anything on my back and just carry a small hand-held bottle I refill.

    With conditioning, you can greatly mitigate the need to drink over the course of runs lasting a couple of hours or less. I would integrate it into your regular training routine, progressively reducing your water intake. When I first took up running I felt like I needed a 20oz bottle for any run over about 5 miles. Now I don't carry anything at all unless it's extraordinarily hot and/or I'm running over 13 miles or so.

    If you do get a pack, make sure it is designed for running. Standard camelbacks built for hiking/biking/skiing may be uncomfortable and unable to be secured adequately for running. It should also have a couple of pockets on the front shoulder straps that can hold your food and phone. Anything stored in the back pocket will require you to take the pack off to access it.
     
  19. BasicGreatGuy thread starter Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #19
    Seeing how this is my first half-marathon, I am not quite sure what my intake need will be, especially in May in Georgia, where it is often humid early in the year. I was also considering the larger size for future races, as I would rather make one purchase (if really needed) versus making 2 or more.

    Thanks for the reply.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 14, 2016 ---
    What you have further elaborated on, is a concern of mine with the backpack. I like the handheld water bottle, although using it makes it a little harder to feed myself with gels or some other small food item while on the move. I like my current hydration belt but, the two bottles only hold 18 oz collectively which, I am not sure if that amount it going to be adequate for the upcoming race, not to mention future ones. With the hydration belt, my hands are free to use gels and what not. If a backpack will afford me the same opportunity while at the same time not being a bother to me on my back etc., it is definitely something I think I should consider.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 14, 2016 ---
    There is some merit in your reply. It will be harder to gage, as I doubt my needs at the moment are going to be the same come race day, with the temperature changes as well as the mileage increase.

    If I can get by with something less, I am all for that. I just don't want to be in need and not have it. Granted, the race isn't until May, which gives me time to seek first hand experience from seasoned users, as well as monitor my own running changes and usage along the way.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 14, 2016 ---
    This is one of the Camelbak models I have been looking at online.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EPH08U6...lid=3UM3UF8M9MFL3&coliid=I2SHKO5HSFRNHV&psc=1
     
  20. tobefirst macrumors 68040

    tobefirst

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    #20
    I hope I didn't come off too harshly. My apologies if I did. I could understand the need for more water in running distances longer than a half. I wish you the best of luck on your training. I very much enjoyed my half and I hope you do as well.

    I think I'd see how little I could get away with, if I were you. How far are your runs now? I'd wait until I felt like I could no longer carry enough water before moving to a backpack, though I do understand there would be some merit to getting used to it before needing it.

    The weather here in St. Louis can be pretty similar. Plenty of 95% humidity days. I planned my runs around them, dragging my wife to work early during the week (bless her heart), and starting my long weekend run around 7am. I was finished before it got too muggy. I imagine the race will be in the morning and you'll be finished before it gets too miserable.

    Again, best of luck!
     
  21. BasicGreatGuy thread starter Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #21
    No offense taken. I appreciate the honest feedback.

    At the moment, my longest run is 4 miles, as I was out for a month with a IT Band strain. Before the injury, my longest was 6 miles. I made the mistake of ramping up my long run a little too quick, as I was feeling good that day. Needless to say, an hour or so later, I got that pain in the side of my knee. My first time experiencing ITB trouble. Hopefully, it is also my last. I am making a point to slowly ramp my weekly mileage up. Don't want that pain again.
     
  22. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #22
    I bought a knockoff 3L from WalMart for $39 and some change. It works great, and is 3.5x cheaper than Camelbak. That's just my experience.
     
  23. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

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    #23
    It is also a good idea to get a cleaning kit for your water pack.
     
  24. fitshaced macrumors 68000

    fitshaced

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    #24
    I use a Nathan hydration backpack and think it's comfortable, holds enough water, has plenty of pockets and has a nifty magnetic clasp for the tube. That means you are not forever trying to clip the tube back into place. Many hydration packs don't fasten enough to keep them from bouncing. Look for one that has high and low clips so that the bouncing is minimal. You'll feel like a bit of a plank when you first start running with water on your back as it is a bit noisy. But, the weight really isn't a problem and you even forget it's there.

    Sipping water every kilometre makes a huge difference. Not something you can do when only using the drink stations. Carrying water bottles is too uncomfortable in my opinion.
     
  25. millerj123 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I think you should also try to race a few shorter runs. (5k, 10k etc). I routinely run with a belt with keys, eye drops, and two 10 oz bottles of water. That's just for training, and runs anywhere from 3-10 miles. Races wind up being far different than training runs. Most of the time I don't really need to touch the water, but I want to be used to carrying the weight, and practiced at drinking from the bottles - I've choked a few times from the bottle, but also had trouble drinking from cups on runs. For that matter, there's nothing worse than just needing to rinse some dust out of your mouth, only to discover that you grabbed the sugary drink that's now dripping down your face and body.

    My longest race to date was 15k, and I ran with only my phone in an arm band. I skipped all the water stations and two rest stops being completely focused on maintaining my goal pace, starting at 8 min/mi and finishing 9:07 average.

    Plus, lets face it, runners are a bizarre lot, but much better than cyclists :D. You'll never hear the end of how much a noob you are running with a camelpak.
     

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