Best CamelBak Backpacks
The name CamelBak is synonymous with hydration backpacks. A hydration backpack essentially has an in-built pouch called a bladder, and this bladder is a storage or reservoir of water and enables easy and simple access to drinking water when you are on the move. CamelBak backpacks are a great accessory to add to your gear and are commonly used amongst experienced runners, hikers, and cyclists, but anyone looking to have hands free access to water should look into investing into a CamelBak.
CamelBak is a company that prides themselves on the quality and ease of their products, and if you are in the market for a hydration backpack, CamelBak is definitely a company to check out. Now you may have decided to invest in a CamelBak backpack but are finding it overwhelming trying to decide which one is best suited for you. Well, we are here to lend a hand as we have done the research for you, and listed the top ten CamelBak backpacks on the market, and also explained why these CamelBak backpacks that made our list are the best over the rest. This article will not only guide you through the ten best CamelBak backpacks, but it will also acquaint you with the standard criteria that you would do well to use whenever you considering buying a hydration pack.
- CamelBak Rogue
- Affordable price
- CamelBak M.U.L.E
- Highly breathable
- MINI M.U.L.E. KIDS
- For kids
- Can store other gear
10 Best CamelBak Backpacks
It is very affordable and for its quality, it is great value for money.
It is available in 4 colors namely, black, lemon green, pure blue and racing red. You’ll never be short of options to choose from.
3.3 liters. Not the highest storage capacity you will find, but given the price range it is quite decent.
It is completely made of nylon.
At 0.9 pounds this is extremely convenient to carry around.
70 fluid ounces
This backpack is for all sexes.
There are three pockets in all including two exterior pockets and one internal pocket.
- Great value for money
- Variety of colors
- Good visibility
- Tube is not CamelBak’s best in terms of quick release
It is a decent price to way for a backpack as good as this with a CamelBak tag. Moreover, there are cheaper ones that are available in other colors. The price mentioned is for theimpressiveCharcoal/Atomic/Barbados color.
Wide range of colors:
The 2016 M.U.L.E is available in myriad colors namely, Barbados Cherry, Charcoal, Charcoal/Andean Toucan, Charcoal/Atomic/Barbados, Charcoal White, Electric Blue, Imperial Blue/Charcoal and Parisian Night/exuberance. Each color is impressive in its own way and you will have a pleasant headache trying to choose between them!
At 11 liters, the storage capacity is excellent.
It weighs only 1.1 pounds; this is one of its best features.
This hydration pack is for all sexes.
101.4 fluid ounces
The various air channels in the back panel offer tremendous breathability. This ensures that your back is kept well ventilated and cool at all times.
Likewise, every path you take will not have great lighting. It is imperative that visibility is ensured in bad light. Reflective accents do just that and ensure that you never have issues with visibility.
There are as many as 5 exterior pockets.
This comes with a typical Camelbak lifetime guarantee. You can rest easy knowing that any manufacturing or functional defects will be looked at.
- Reasonable price
- Variety of colors
- Excellent breathability
- Great storage capacity
- Lifetime guarantee
- Not the easiest to wash and clean
- Not very water resistant
CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. Kids
It is more or less what you would expect to pay for a backpack such as this of this quality. It is good value for money.
Its availability in 4 different colors is certain to get the youngsters excited. They can choose between atomic blue/navy blazer, azalea/aruba blue, baton rouge/flames and black/flames.
1.5 liters is close to the ideal storage capacity considering the target consumers.
It weighs less than 0.5 pounds. This has clearly been done to ensure that the younger ones are not inconvenienced by an overly heavy hydration pack.
50 fluid ounces
20% more water per sip:
The all new Crux ensures an additional 20% of water per sip.
The on/off lever helps in preventing leaks. Moreover, the nature of the handle makes refilling quick and efficient.
The air mesh is extremely breathable and ensures a high level of ventilation at all times.
Overflow storage compartment:
This helps in ensuring that you have the option to dump what you will not need.
This is the most important feature of the Mini M.U.L.E considering that it is for kids. The whistle is built into the sternum strap and ensures that the child can use it in case of emergencies.
Good value for money
Fair storage capacity
It may not be suitable for adolescents
It is as good as it gets for a CamelBak classic. Admittedly it is not the biggest hydration pack in terms of capacity, but it is still worth the money. As with the earlier models discussed, the price varies slightly depending on the color chosen. This price is for the racing red color.
It is available in four colours namely, black, lemon green, pure blue and racing red. Choose the one which most catches your fancy. Aesthetically speaking, the lemon green one looks the best (and it also happens to be the most expensive of the bunch).
At 2 liters it is slightly on the lower side, but given the price and given the fact that its compactness is one of its plus points, it is ideal for people intending to use it for short distances.
70 fluid ounces
It is lightweight, it weighs only 0.8 pounds.
The Classic is suitable for both men and women.
It comes equipped with a quick release flap for optimal efficiency.
There is a small pocket at the front in order for you to keep all your essentials safe.
The air mesh is extremely well ventilated. This gives the hydration pack great breathability which is so essential for backpacks.
- Low price
- Variety of colors
- Quick release flap
- Good breathability
- The tube is slightly small
CamelBak Cloud Walker 18
This is a backpack that is slightly on the higher side considering its capacity. It does have in its favor its magnificent quality, aesthetic appeal, compactness, and ease of use.
The Cloud Walker 18 is available in 3 colors namely, charcoal/grecian blue, grecian blue/pumpkin and lichen green/dark citron.
It is quite light at 1.3 pounds. This makes it easy and convenient to carry.
The air mesh is extremely breathable which allows for great ventilation.
External attachment points:
If you wish to attach poles or other equipment to the outside of your backpack, then these external attachment points will come in handy.
For men only:
This Cloud Walker 18 is for men.
This comes with a lifetime guarantee which means you need not worry about your money being wasted on a faulty product.
- Variety of colors
- Good ventilation
- External attachment points for other equipment
- Lifetime guarantee
- Price slightly on the higher side
The 2016 Lobo will set you back by a very affordable price. All things considered, that is a decent deal.
The 2016 Lobo is available in 6 different colors. They are black, charcoal/white, charcoal/atomic blue, exuberance/charcoal, charcoal/ember and imperial blue/charcoal.
At 3 liters the capacity is alright. You could argue that the capacity could be slightly better given the price, but overall it is still quite reasonable.
This has been designed for both men and women.
The back panel has incredible ventilation which allows for a high level of breathability.
It is lightweight and easy to carry at 1.1 pounds
The 2016 Lobo has been equipped with external hooks to enable you to carry your helmet whilst you access the hydration backpack.
The trademark Magnetic Tube Trap ensures that the tube is secure and easily accessible at all times.
Overflow storage compartment:
There is an additional storage compartment for anything you may want to dump.
The reflective accents account for good visibility and ensure your safety even in bad light.
Storage could be slightly higher for the price
CamelBak Women's Daystar 16
The back panel is lined with breathable mesh, so that you stay well ventilated and hot air can escape to keep you cooler.
There is a main compartment where you can store bigger items, like sweaters and raincoats. But there is also a smaller front compartment that allows you store smaller ticket items, like snacks, cell phones, and keys.
Because this backpack has been designed with women in mind, it has been engineered with a shorter back panel and an S-curve harness for closure.
- Good value for money
- Variety in colors
- 2.5 Liter water reservoir
- Women specific
- Lifetime guarantee
- The straps may come into awkward contact with your neck
CamelBak Arete 18
This backpack is made with a light nylon ripstop that ensures durability and is relatively light compared to other packs on our list. The Arete folds up nicely and compresses when you wish to pack it into a suitcase or backpack for your next new adventure hot spot.
It holds only 1.5 liters of water, so it is best suited for sightseeing trips around a city or a day hiking trip.
- Doesn't carry as much water as many others
Camelbak BFM Desert Camo
It is naturally priced on the higher side given its capacity.
5.85 pounds is slightly heavy, but it is understandable given its incredible storage capacity.
48 liters, you can virtually pack anything and everything you want!
The reservoir capacity is 3 liters or about 101 fluid ounces. In addition to this, the BFM has been designed in a way which enables you to pack 6 liters more if necessary (that is a total of 9 liters or about 304 liquid ounces). That is very impressive indeed.
Organizer and radio attachment:
The BFM comes with an organizer and radio attachment to make your life more convenient.
The back is nicely cushioned which allows for very good ventilation thereby making the BFM breathable at all times.
Multiple storage places:
There are multiple places where you can store things. The main compartment is separate.
There is dual compression which ensures that the load is stable.
This facilitates easy refilling and cleaning.
It comes with a lifetime warranty to protect you from manufacturing defects.
Great value for money
Incredible storage capacity
Good reservoir capacity
CamelBak 2018 Fourteener 24
Not to mention, the new design is ultra clean and sleek looking, and the backpack comes in various colors for purchase.
Because there is an added crux system, the flow rate of liquid is faster, and this backpack has a reservoir of 3 liters for extended trips.
There is also a winged belt system that offers your back some help in carrying the load, and the belt includes to side stash compartments for smaller items.
If you are a hiker who likes to use a pole, they can be easily attached or removed.
- Good for longer adventures
- Slightly heavier than other models
Criteria for Evaluation
There are certain criteria that will put you in good stead with regards to getting the best possible hydration pack from CamelBak. Of course, CamelBak is known for its hydration packs, therefore you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad quality product from them. However, it is important to remember that everyone has unique needs and the various hydration packs are catered to suit these unique needs albeit while retaining some basic common features. You will find that the criteria about to be listed apply to not just CamelBak backpacks but to other backpacks as well. In fact, some of the more general criteria could even used for non-hydrating/general backpacks.
The criteria to keep in mind while buying a CamelBak backpack are listed as follows:
The crux of a hydration backpack is its reservoir capacity. The amount of fluid/water that your hydration pack is capable of storing should be among the top 2 or 3 criteria at the very least. It is important to remember that a higher reservoir capacity is not always desirable. This is because this generally adds to the weight of the backpack and the heavier the backpack the more inconvenient it becomes to carry. As a rule of the thumb, 50 to 100 fluid ounces is adequate if you do intend to use it for very long distances. Most hikers, short distance runners, and cyclists will find this adequate. Sizes between 50 to 100 fluid ounces tend to be the most sought after and generally sell better than the other sizes. If you need your hydration pack for extremely long distances, or if you absolutely do not want to stop for a refill too often, then you should opt for a hydration pack with a reservoir capacity in excess of 100 fluid ounces.
Your hydration backpack will not contain just fluids and water; it will also serve as a regular backpack wherein you have your keys, wallet, charger, phone, clothes, and other essentials. Keeping this in mind, it is important to have adequate storage capacity. However, as in the above case you will have to find your ideal balance between storage capacity and bulkiness. If you opt for the lightest possible hydration pack then you may not be able to fit all your essentials in; conversely, if you opt for the heaviest possible one hydration pack then you may find it extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient to carry it around. Moreover, you might not even need all that space. 5 liters of storage capacity should suffice if your needs are limited to short distance running or cycling. However, you will need at 6-8 liters and ideally about 10-12 liters if you intend to use your hydration pack for mountain biking or low-intensity hikes.
A surprisingly large number of people struggle with this concept and to be fair it could be rather confusing at first glance. You could be forgiven for thinking why your gender should matter, it is only a hydration backpack after all, right? Well, not quite. It so happens that your gender does matter in the case of hydration packs made for one specific sex. If the product is designed for use by men and women as a number ofCamelBak backpacks are then it is not an issue. However, backpacks that are made specifically for men should be used by men and likewise backpacks that are made specifically for women should be used by women. The reason for this is that the straps and belts that accompany a CamelBak hydration pack are designed keeping the anatomy in mind. Therefore, the ones intended for women will suit the female anatomy and the ones intended for use by men will suit the male anatomy. Of course, in exceptional cases, you will find that a men’s backpack fits a woman well or vice-versa but these are just that – exceptions. You cannot make a purchase based on exceptions. Kids backpacks have their own unique set of features and obviously, they cannot be used by an adult. However, the kids may use some of the women-specific backpacks as they may be fit properly in some cases. To sum up, stick to what the label says and do not assume that one size fits all.
This is not as important as the criteria mentioned before this, but it is still worth mentioning. Every CamelBak backpack is designed keeping a specific activity in mind. It could be running, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, etc. While the crux of the hydration pack is by and large the same, there are subtle changes in design and features depending on the type of activity that it is produced for. Therefore, make sure to check what the CamelBak that you intend to buy has primarily been designed for and make sure that you are buying it for the same purpose.
It is imperative that your backpack is well ventilated. Inadequate air circulation during your activities is not desirable and could have serious consequences in a few cases. Therefore, it is always best to go for a backpack which has great breathability. Virtually all CamelBak backpacks are more than adequate when it comes to breathability and ventilation, therefore you are unlikely to have any issues. It would still be in your best interests to actually check before purchasing. The climate in which you intend to use your backpack could also be an important factor. If it is cold all the time then you may be better off staying away from a backpack which has a lot of mesh.
Without getting into technical details that would go well beyond the scope of this article, BPA is short for bisphenol A. In a nutshell, this was identified as a dangerous chemical in products capable of causing grave diseases and banned in several countries. To counter this, producers started using bisphenol S which was made from other plastics. This was found to be detrimental to human health as well.
Ensure that the hydration packs are both BPA and BPS free when you purchase them. Again, CamelBak products usually tend to be BPA and BPS free, but it is still prudent to check and make sure.
Fit and comfort
Given that you will likely be carrying the CamelBak backpack for long periods, it is imperative that they fit you well and are comfortable. Make sure that you check the sizes in detail – the waist size range, the torso size range, etc. You will need to be as comfortable as possible, otherwise, the backpack will only bog you down and do more harm than good in terms of enjoyment you derive from your activity. Whenever possible, it is always a great idea to actually try the backpack on and see how comfortable it is.
A number of CamelBak backpacks will set you back by at least $80 or more. Choose wisely and remember that the most expensive backpack does not necessarily have to be the best one. Even if it has more features it will be of no use to you if you do not actually need those features. As with most purchases, the price is an important criterion when it comes to hydration packs especially considering that they are not exactly cheap.
Q: Do I really need a hydration pack? What benefits does it offer me?
A: Believe it or not, this question comes up all the time. Some people just do not see why we need to buy a hydration pack specifically. They wonder if the $100 or so that they would have to shell out for a hydration pack is really worth it. The short answer is, yes. You will have easy access to quality water in addition to all your essentials. It helps keep your belongings safe and secure when you are riding. If you are looking for options for very short walks or something of that kind, then sure you may be able to do without a hydration pack. However, in most cases you are far better off with one than without. Moreover, CamelBaks are good quality backpacks and tend to be durable. Given their lifetime guarantee, your investment is likely to be a one-time only.
Q: What does the lifetime guarantee cover?
A: It covers any manufacturing/production defects that the backpack may have. It will not cover damage as a result of usage and normal wear and tear, or damage as a result of bad handling and lack of care/prudence.
Q: How do I clean my CamelBak backpack? Can I put it in the washing machine?
A: In most cases gently cleaning it with a moist cloth would do the trick. You do not need anything fancy or extravagant for cleaning – in fact, it is advisable to not use anything too fancy for you may damage the backpack. You could use mild detergent or soap if you there are some stubborn stains but that is about it. As for whether you can wash it in the machine, the answer is you cannot. The risk of damage far outweighs any potential benefits.
Q: Are the CamelBak backpacks waterproof? Will a little bit of rain damage the backpacks?
A: The CamelBak backpacks are not waterproof per se, but given their high standards and quality, the backpacks are not vulnerable to a little bit of rain. However, in case of heavy rain, there is every chance that the water will seep in and cause damage. Luckily there is an easy solution for this. You can buy the CamelBak rain cover which will insulate your backpack and the items inside it from the rain.
The product is available at https://www.amazon.com/Camelbak-Rain-Cover-Small-Medium/dp/B0019DCH9O/ it will only cost you a few bucks depending on the type of size that you want. It is only 0.11 pounds and will not add much weight to your overall backpack.It is compatible with a number ofCamelBak hydration packs.
Q: Why is hydration important? How much water is required for a well-functioning system?
A: The human body is made up of roughly as much as 60 percent of water, therefore it is imperative that we keep replenishing it. This gains even greater importance in cases where there is a lot of fluid loss due to sweating. You will typically stress a lot when you take up outdoor activities such as cycling, running, mountain biking, etc. This is where hydration packs come in really handy.
Mayo Clinic pings the daily requirements at around 3 liters of water for men and just over 2 liters for women. Of course, that is only a rough estimate and it could vary from person to person depending on a whole host of factors. The pertinent takeaway is that hydration is absolutely essential.
Now that you have had an informative breakdown about what exactly the benefits would be to owning a CamelBak backpack, you now can find one that fits your needs and keep you hydrated while on your next adventure or playing your favourite sport. We have brought you not only what the top ten CamelBak backpacks on the marketplace are today but also the criteria to keep in mind when finding your perfect CamelBak. So next time you are on the go and are able to take a drink and stay hydrated you will know that getting a CamelBak was the right choice!