The Product

Portable Hydration System

If you ski, run, hike, cycle, jog, etc. and find carrying a water bottle inconvenient, then you will really enjoy a portable hydration system. Think of them as water bottle backpacks.

Recommended
CamelBak Hydrobak & CamelBak SnoBowl
CamelBak Hydrobak & CamelBak SnoBowl
Pros
  • Great alternative for a water bottle for sports such as skiing, biking & running
  • Comes in a warmer weather and colder weather version
Cons
  • Filling and emptying can often take time and be difficult

CamelBak invented this category only a few years ago, although similar products are now made by a variety of companies. It’s really a great alternative to a water bottle, especially for sports such as skiing or running where you need water constantly, but it’s difficult to carry. I take mine skiing and cycling with me all the time.

Camelbak SnobowlCamelBak has a variety of different models, but the core of the product is a rubber “oasis” which you fill with water, attach on your back and then drink through a convenient oversized straw that comes through the shoulder. The models I am recommending are two of the lighter ones which are primarily intended to hold water. If you want a version that has more carrying capacity for your “stuff” or a larger water capacity, follow the banner on the left to see the full CamelBak product line. The Hydrobak is for summer sports and the SnoBowl has special insulation to use in the winter so that the drinking tube won’t freeze, although it can also be used in the summer. One of the benefits of buying a CamelBak is that the replacement parts are widely available; this may not be the case for many of the generics.

Devil's Advocate:

I still find filling my CamelBak to be a difficult chore, there is no good way to get a sense for when it’s about to overflow. It can also be difficult to get the CamelBak to drain fully when you are done, which is important because if you don’t use it for a while, you really don’t want to leave it full of standing water. Hopefully, both of these are improvements they can address with future versions.

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