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Camelbak, or off brand?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My question is simple, would you shell out the cash for an authentic Camelbak, or do the cheapo ones works just as well? Thoughts?

post #2 of 11
Fwiw, I have had my Camelbak blowfish for 12 years now and it hasn't ripped anywhere and the zippers are in great conditiin still.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErnYerTerns View Post

Fwiw, I have had my Camelbak blowfish for 12 years now and it hasn't ripped anywhere and the zippers are in great conditiin still.

Ok, so there's a tally for Camelbak. Durability is a huge factor in this. Thanks Ern

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearspoke View Post
 

My question is simple, would you shell out the cash for an authentic Camelbak, or do the cheapo ones works just as well? Thoughts?

 

This poll is flawed. There are plenty of high quality hydration systems that aren't Camelbak-branded. And I've mixed and match plenty of backpacks with bladders. My favorite mountain biking pack is by Dakine, not Camelbak, but I didn't like their bladder, so I put a Camelbak bladder in it. Best of both worlds.

 

If you're asking "Do cheapo things work just as well as high quality things," I think you know the answer already.

 

I own probably 10+ packs. About half are Camelbak. None are cheapo. They're all great in different ways.

 

A more interesting question might be, what features do you like in your hydration pack?  I like lots of pockets. I like straps to carry things (straps across the back for snow; straps below for mountain biking). I like the newer style of Camelbak bladder mouth where it snaps shut really obviously. I like packs where there's a magnet or velcro attachment for the mouthpiece (but I don't have one of those).

 

I hate hydration pack mouthpieces in the cold - I always end up with water frozen in the bite valve, followed shortly thereafter by a torn and leaking bite valve when I try to get at the water anyway. The caps and sleeves and whatnot just don't work for me. I don't drink lots of water at the resort, anyway; in the backcountry, I prefer an insulated water bottle in an external mesh pouch.

post #5 of 11

For bladders, my favorite by far has been a Deuter. FAR easier to open, clean, and close than any Camelbak, of which I've owned at least a half dozen. Fold-and-slide-bar-over type. Also the closure has held up much better over time. The Camelback screw caps all seem to A) stop working easily after a few months of use and B) eventually start to leak. And yes, I've tried keeping the gasket lubed with olive oil and other stuff like that. Shouldn't have to. They're also heavier and more complicated than necessary.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

For bladders, my favorite by far has been a Deuter. FAR easier to open, clean, and close than any Camelbak, of which I've owned at least a half dozen. Fold-and-slide-bar-over type. Also the closure has held up much better over time. The Camelback screw caps all seem to A) stop working easily after a few months of use and B) eventually start to leak. And yes, I've tried keeping the gasket lubed with olive oil and other stuff like that. Shouldn't have to. They're also heavier and more complicated than necessary.

I agree, you shouldn't shuck out $80 for a glorified backpack water bottle, then have the gasket leak after a few months. I'll have to give that brand a look.

 

@bounceswoosh , Not so much a poll, and yes there are times when the cheaper is often better and more practical. If I can save on my budget by buying a non-big brand name item then in my eyes it is better :) The extra questions you brought up are great tho. Like yourself, I too like a lot of storage in my packs, so that is something to consider in any further answers :)

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearspoke View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post
 

For bladders, my favorite by far has been a Deuter. FAR easier to open, clean, and close than any Camelbak, of which I've owned at least a half dozen. Fold-and-slide-bar-over type. Also the closure has held up much better over time. The Camelback screw caps all seem to A) stop working easily after a few months of use and B) eventually start to leak. And yes, I've tried keeping the gasket lubed with olive oil and other stuff like that. Shouldn't have to. They're also heavier and more complicated than necessary.

I agree, you shouldn't shuck out $80 for a glorified backpack water bottle, then have the gasket leak after a few months. I'll have to give that brand a look.

 

@bounceswoosh , Not so much a poll, and yes there are times when the cheaper is often better and more practical. If I can save on my budget by buying a non-big brand name item then in my eyes it is better :) The extra questions you brought up are great tho. Like yourself, I too like a lot of storage in my packs, so that is something to consider in any further answers :)

 

The poll thing was more of a joke =)

 

I actually disagree on the bladders. The old Camelbak bladders had a screw top that leaked all the time, but the new ones have a twist-lock thing that I haven't had any problems yet. On the other hand, I have a heck of a time filling the fold-over style bladder without spilling water everywhere.

 

It sounds like you're asking more about the bladder than about the pack itself. I would imagine you could cheap out on the pack more readily than you could cheap out on the bladder. And fortunately, there are millions (ish) of packs that have some form of compatibility with a bladder. Which really just amounts to a hole in the top you can poke a straw through.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

The poll thing was more of a joke =)

 

I actually disagree on the bladders. The old Camelbak bladders had a screw top that leaked all the time, but the new ones have a twist-lock thing that I haven't had any problems yet. On the other hand, I have a heck of a time filling the fold-over style bladder without spilling water everywhere.

 

It sounds like you're asking more about the bladder than about the pack itself. I would imagine you could cheap out on the pack more readily than you could cheap out on the bladder. And fortunately, there are millions (ish) of packs that have some form of compatibility with a bladder. Which really just amounts to a hole in the top you can poke a straw through.

Very good point, I guess I'm just trying to avoid ending up with a pack like the one I have now, which is the worst I've ever owned. So basically I know not to buy that one again and nothing else hee hee. I appreciate all the input tho, I guess I should ask, which of your ten packs do you like the best?

post #9 of 11
Figure out what volume you need first, I always look for an expandable model so that I can shrink it up, say after beers and lunch isn't in it. It's hard to say a pack is a favorite if it doesn't hold what you need it to!
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearspoke View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounceswoosh View Post
 

 

The poll thing was more of a joke =)

 

I actually disagree on the bladders. The old Camelbak bladders had a screw top that leaked all the time, but the new ones have a twist-lock thing that I haven't had any problems yet. On the other hand, I have a heck of a time filling the fold-over style bladder without spilling water everywhere.

 

It sounds like you're asking more about the bladder than about the pack itself. I would imagine you could cheap out on the pack more readily than you could cheap out on the bladder. And fortunately, there are millions (ish) of packs that have some form of compatibility with a bladder. Which really just amounts to a hole in the top you can poke a straw through.

Very good point, I guess I'm just trying to avoid ending up with a pack like the one I have now, which is the worst I've ever owned. So basically I know not to buy that one again and nothing else hee hee. I appreciate all the input tho, I guess I should ask, which of your ten packs do you like the best?

 

Umm. Well, they all have different purposes. For backcountry skiing so far, I love my Deuter Freerider Pro 28 SL - because it's the only such pack I found that is comfortable for me. I'll be honest - I'm not sure if it came with a bladder. For day skiing, just to have a place to put some snacks and to be able to strap my skis on my back, I have a women's specific slim Camelbak. I've seen a lot of women wearing the same model. For backpacking, I have a few sizes of Kelty packs that I really like. My mountain biking pack is pretty heavy because it's made of sort of a denim material, but on the flip side it's super durable - that's Dakine.

 

I still have my very first ever hydration pack - a Camelbak Blowfish that I bought along with my very first mountain bike. That would be, jeez, 12 or 13 years ago. The pack is still in excellent shape - stained, but no rips, and the mesh is fully intact. The bladder has long since moved on to the landfill. I have noticed that modern packs seem to be slightly heavier for the same purpose, unless you specifically seek out ultralight gear.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

@bounceswoosh Thank you for all of that! Its a learning process and I appreciate you helping me out! It sounds like you are an all season type of an adventurer! Well whatever it takes to keep in shape for the snow season!

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