This is my first CamelBak pack. I did my research on several different hydration packs, including trying them on in store before settling on this one. Went with a 3L pack because I can add less water if needed. The pack is a bit heavy, but well worth it for the amount of stuff you could potentially carry!
I bought this to take it hiking (3+ hours). No issues. The 3L water pack provides plenty of water for those who hike in the Arizona Desert.
Review is geared towards people who may be new to hydration packs and the Antidote reservoir system.
Hydration System Review
- fits well against my back, good support especially when using the hip belt.
- the reservoir attaches to a handle (baffle) inside the pack, keeping it from sliding down.
- tubing runs through the top and through one of the straps on the pack. I wasn't aware of the clips on the strap but it keeps the tube in place.
- Hidden dryer arms are fantastic. It's confusing to see where they are unless you watch the video. I recommend having something you can hang it on like a towel rack.
- filling the Antidote reservoir was hard, a bit difficult to close especially if you fill it up all the way. Definitely recommend doing it in the sink. (I use RO or purified water, keeps it clean).
- I had trouble the very first time attaching the tube to the reservoir, wouldn't connect all the way and leaked. Second time, I practiced before filling it, no issues.
The NV back panel system with articulated pods - I didn't notice much of a difference between having this on my back or nothing, so it does a good job of ventilating, but back still gets sweaty.
The cargo pockets on the hip belt do not hold an iPhone 5...it's easy to take the pack off and swing it around to access it if you need it and put it back on.
Quick note - if you get it with white on it, dirt gets on it quickly. Colors are also true to picture.
Overall, this is well worth it and I am very happy for a first-time hydration pack user!