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Camelbak opinions

Old 08-02-02, 06:21 AM
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Camelbak opinions

Anybody using a camelbak for riding on the road? I'm looking at getting one, because I never seem to drink enough, especially on our faster rides.

Any experience using packs with mesh straps versus padded? It looks like the padded might be more comfortable, but I wonder if it wouldn't be hotter, or is this a non-issue? Are the mesh straps uncomfortable? Any other thoughts on Camelbaks or hyrdation packs in general?

Also, is there a way to know from the tag if it is a 2002 model?

Thanks..........

Mark
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Old 08-02-02, 08:42 AM
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I have a Blackburn hydrapak that I use very seldom. Most of my riding is in an urban area or on the outskirts. If I drink both bottles dry I can almost always stop for a refill somewhere even if it means buying a bottle at a convenience store. If I go on a country ride where I am uncertain of water availability, I take the hydrapak for insurance. Given the choice, I would rather stick an extra water bottle in a jersey pocket than wear the hydrapak. As far as padded vs unpadded straps, to me 70-100 oz of water doesn't weigh enough to really make a difference.
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Old 08-02-02, 08:48 AM
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I don't know why more road cyclist use them. It must be some type of stigma attached to them. The usual response I get is, "Oh, you're using a Camelback on the road, you must be a mountainbiker". I usually reply, "Yep, I'm not such a conceited jerk that passes up a good idea for the sake of fitting in with a bunch of tight-as$es".

Buy a "Classic", I use a "Razor" and carry tools and tubes.

I take my bladder out, fill about 80% full and freeze it. Then, the ice cube on my back keeps me cool in this Florida heat. (95 F w/ "feel like" temps up to 105 F).

L8R
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Old 08-02-02, 09:27 AM
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I have an older Camelbak with mesh straps.
the only complaint is that the strap sometimes
twists, other than that I don't see a whole
lot of difference. As stated previously 70oz
of water don't weigh that much.
I fill bladder with Ice, then add water
as opposed to freezing the whole thing.
Gives a bit more H2O before the ice melts.
Bit of advice, the first mouthful of water
can be nasty warm, I blow it back into the
bladder, then drink. Of course the newer
models have insulated tubing so this may not
be an issue. In Texas, for most rides over 20mi
I take 2 bottles (sports drink) and 70oz water.
one can never hydrate enough down here.

Marty
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Old 08-02-02, 09:47 AM
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Either the Mesh or the Padded straps should be fine. It really is the width of the strap that makes the difference. I still have an old 90's Camelback Classic that had 1/4 inch Wide straps. I never noticed it until after I got my 01 Mule what a difference in comfort the new straps are. Those old starps were so small they would cut into your chest and be uncomfortable.

I would say get padded if you get a larger camelback and will be carrying a lot of stuff in it like tools and Powerbars and pumps.
If you get a smaller pack for just water and essentials then I would say go with the mesh.

And I agree with A2 about the Ice thing, It's nice being able to still have ice in my back after 2+ hours of riding.
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Old 08-02-02, 09:56 AM
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Purists poo poo any type of back pack but I think for anyone but competitive racers, it's ridiculous to go without just to be a little more aerodynamic or whatever. Truthfully, I don't even know it's there. It's like part of my body. I use the camelbak Lobo with padded straps. On a hot Florida day, I wouldn't dream of leaving home without it. Reaching for a bottle and dealing with it seems to get in the way.
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Old 08-02-02, 10:10 AM
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a2psyklnut, do you do anything special to the bag other than freeze it? Blow out the tube or anything? I have always been afraid that I would ruin the bladder, but always wanted to freeze the whole thing. Fantastic idea for superhot weather.

We used to ride with a couple who rode a tandem. He had one of those monster camelbaks. She had a makeup mirror, makeup, food, drugs, and TWO bladders (one for him AND ONE FOR HER).
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Old 08-02-02, 10:19 AM
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Nothing much, just fill it up 4/5 of the way, you've got to leave a little room for the expansion of water as it freezes. I blow the tube dry, and then try to lay it as flat as possible.

Once, it fell over and ended up freezing in an "L-shape" kinda hard to fit into the pack that way.

Enjoy
L8R
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Old 08-02-02, 10:23 AM
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My daughter got me one as a present shortly after I began to ride. I love it.

It has the padded straps and carries 70 Oz. resivoir has wide mouth. Wide mouth is real handy for getting ice cubes from the auto ice maker without them flying out on to the floor and filling it without having to pull it from the pack.

Mine has padded straps. Haven't tried mesh.

I like all the pouches and pockets. Even has a convenient ring on shoulder straps where I hang cell phone.

If I am forced to come up with a negative, there is more sweat under the pack and straps than anywhere else after a ride.

Carl
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Old 08-02-02, 10:32 AM
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I got a Hydrapak Delta this April, and I am very satisfied with it. I usually fill it with water just before I go out, and it keeps the water cold much longer than bottles. On hot days (30C is a very hot day in Sweden) it is reasonably cold for about three hours.

I was afraid that it might be bad for my back and shoulders (I am long with a relatively weak upper body, and my dad has had his share of back problems), but I have not had any problems with that at all. The biggest problem is the heat that is trapped between the back and the pack, but I am willing to take that.

In the past, I have been reluctant to drink water on roads without shoulders and with heavy traffic, but with the pack it is much easier to take a sip without having to reach for a bottle.

I take only the Hydrapak on rides shorter than 40k, anything longer than that and I take both the Hydrapak and my two 9dl bottles.

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Old 08-02-02, 11:10 AM
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<---Camelbak Classic, love it. pocket for ID, keys, powerbar as well.
 
Old 08-02-02, 12:28 PM
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Classic on the road, Hawg on the dirt
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Old 08-02-02, 12:32 PM
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No "bottle taste" with my Camelback either. Can also use Camelback for H2O and bottle for sports drink to keep carbs in check without corrupting the resivoir.

Carl
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Old 08-02-02, 05:59 PM
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I race Criteriums with my Camelbak.
It doesn't slow me down one bit!
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Old 08-06-02, 08:31 AM
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Thanks for all the responses!

I bought a Camelback Rocket and used it over the weekend. It was pretty comfortable and I definitely drank more fluids! Only thing I don't like is that the reservoir has a piece of plastice that divides it. It makes it a little difficult to get your hand into the bottom for cleaning, but no big deal overall.

All in all, it seems like a good purchase. It doesn't move around on your back, and I didn't find that it made my back hotter (it was already in the mid 90s so hot is relevative!). I also like the storage it provides. Plenty of room for keys, money, id, cell phone and food.

Thanks again,
Mark
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Old 08-06-02, 01:13 PM
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Freezing can be tricky, so I mainly use ice cubes. If you freeze the whole bottle you need to wait for it to thaw before you can get any water. I always found it a pain.

I used to freeze a half filled C-bak. Make sure its on its back so the water doesn't close off the opening or freeze the nozzle/tube. Then you can top off with water on your way out the door and have an immediate cold drink. Sometimes the tube would get a little plugged, so now I just hit the button on the fridge and fill up with cubes.

You can also buy one of those widgets that makes an ice log.
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Old 08-06-02, 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by snowman3
.......... so now I just hit the button on the fridge and fill up with cubes.

You can also buy one of those widgets that makes an ice log.
I had to disconnect the door ice thing....the dog figured out how to use it!
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Old 08-07-02, 07:43 AM
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I have had a camelbak lobo for about a month. I have used it on a few rides. I love the idea of it, but it bugs the s**t out of me on long rides. Plus, I notice it throws off my balance on long curvy down hills. This may all be in my head, but isn't that where it's at anyway...right?

I loved it at first, but the little bit of weight gets on my nerves. I love it for hiking and off road riding. I hate saying anything bad about it because in some ways I appreciate it, but I hate it laying on my back and I hate the strapes on my shoulders...but love the easy access to water and ice in it is great!!!.

Why can't things be perfect?
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Old 08-07-02, 09:41 AM
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I live in Central Florida and it is hot and humid during the summer. Maybe that is why no one has organized centuries here in june, july or august.

I use a 70 ounce camal back and sometimes I can suck that thing dry in one hour. I sweat profusely. Usually though, even in hot weather, I can do 50 miles on just one fill up. In less than sauna weather, I can do 50 miles on one camalback.

An advantage with the camalback is you can just shove the valve in your mouth and suck down water. This is nice in fast groups or when you are coasting into a stop sign and you want to have your hands on the brakes.
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Old 08-07-02, 10:40 PM
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I rode a 55 mile road ride today and passed one store... at mile 42. I can't carry enough water in the bottle cages and my jersey to make it between places where I can buy more fluids. I use a Performance brand pack with a 100 oz bladder. It's the only way to go for me.
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Old 08-07-02, 10:50 PM
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I have 2 of them one a back pack size for my commute big enough for a change of clothes, rain gear (here you neve leave home without it) and lunch. Then a smaller one (Lobo) for fun rides. I find myself drinking more fluids and it is a heck of a lot easier than trying to grab a water bottle in traffic. Both mine are insulated well enough that water from the fridge works fine though the first sip usually ends up on the street after that cool cool water. Never have been able to do that with a water bottle.
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Old 08-07-02, 11:57 PM
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I LOVE my CamelBak Blowfish for long rides it kicks butt. As far as keeping it cool I fill mine about 3/4 full of ice and I'm good to go untill I hit a 7-11 or something (they are usually cool about free ice just use the free cup they give you) The expandable design is cool for when I need a bit more space. Finally I don't clean my resevoir I simply dry it out as much as possible and toss it in the freezer (germs hate cold).
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Old 08-08-02, 01:26 AM
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I'm also looking at the Camelbaks as well. They have a good product range but I'd be a little concerned about getting something too big as loose things can rattle and generally irritate. So what's the best option? Ideally, I want a good water supply, but not so much as it's virtually impossible in the UK south-east to die for lack of water! I also want to carry the usual spares, pump etc you'd probably want to take anyway, plus a bit of spare capacity for waterproofs etc.

What one do you think might suit me better?
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Old 08-09-02, 01:40 AM
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I'd say the Blowfish would work for you it zips down to a smaller size for when you're not bringing your rain gear and has a 100 oz. bladder so you won't drown but you won't go thirsty either.
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Old 08-09-02, 02:15 AM
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I am seriously considering a 100oz Unbottle. I would probably mount it on a rack over the rear wheel, but am thinking about rigging it using the two bottle cages (or at least their bosses) so that it is suspended between the top and down tubes. Or slinging it under the top tube with a couple of straps.

Any idea what weight the bosses on a steel frame would take?

Cheers...Gary
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