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Touring with a camelbak?

howsmyriding27howsmyriding27 Posts: 266
edited November 2008 in Tour & expedition
Is touring with a camelbak good or bad? has anyone tried, or would it be too hot and uncomfortable wearing one?

thanks
Hardtails aren't called hardcore for no reason

Giant STP: http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/1996804/
Spesh Hardrock: http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/1996822/

Posts

  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    You'll be fine - though you might want to look at one of the bags that has a mesh against the back - eg Deuter Aircomfort.
  • mandiemandie Posts: 218
    From a personal point of view I hate carrying anything on my back, so I wouldn't do it, but if you dont mind carrying the Camelback, then I don't see why it shouldn't work.
    However I think that it is probably easier to get a cafe to fill your water bottles than it is to get them to fill your Camelback.
    We\'ll kick against the darkness \'till it bleeds daylight
  • vernonlevyvernonlevy Posts: 969
    mandie wrote:
    From a personal point of view I hate carrying anything on my back, so I wouldn't do it, but if you dont mind carrying the Camelback, then I don't see why it shouldn't work.
    However I think that it is probably easier to get a cafe to fill your water bottles than it is to get them to fill your Camelback.

    I use a Camelback Mule with a three litre bladder. It normally does me for 100km or more though I have got through two full bladders one really hot day. When I'm touring, I keep all my precious items in it e.g. phone,camera. wallet, passport.

    I've not had any problems getting the bladder refilled on the rare occasions that I've needed a refill.

    I've never been uncomfortable or uncomfortably sweaty while using the mule. It's one of the best cycling related purchases that i've made.
  • AidanwAidanw Posts: 449
    You can get bum bag things with a water bladder in, or a long hose and tie the bag to your rear rack(have not tried that one!)
  • On the road why bother with a camelbak? water bottle's are so much more convenient and better to have the weight on your bike. That said I sometimes use an empty hydration pack to carry bits and pieces on a long ride when I've got the handlebar bag fitted.
    Off road a small rucsacks fine, I've done short off road tours with a small pack.
  • I also have a 3 litre camel back & rucsack - it now lives under some bungee cords on my rear rack pack - I generally use it as an emergency water supply (if forced to camp etc) - I use bottles for actually drinking from and as said previously they are easier to fill up. The rucsack is home to those things you need to hand ... cash, passport, suncream, sweets, kitchen sink ..... :lol:

    I've found on long days the rucsack just isn't comfortable.
  • batch78batch78 Posts: 1,320
    76.5 miles, little over 6hrs, used camelbak for water and two bottles for energy drinks (easier to clean), no problem at all.

    Although saying that, it could be amusing seeing you attach panniers to your Giant! :lol:
  • lol - i will be using the specialized!

    the giant is now a singlespeed jump bike - wouldn't be much fun to tour on though ;-)
    Hardtails aren't called hardcore for no reason

    Giant STP: http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/1996804/
    Spesh Hardrock: http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/1996822/
  • as Vernon, I have a Mule with the 3 litre bladder, and I find that it lends itself well to "little and often" drinking. It was invaluable in Australia. With regard to the weight, it does feel heavy when first on (and full!) but you get used to it quickly and I am now fully converted. I even use my bottles to refill the pack...
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
  • I use a camelback.
    As yet I have had no problems what so ever.
    It carries 3 litres, I back this up with another two water bottles onthe bike.
    I used to just refill the wter bottles from streams or lochs but I've been put off this since having a chat with a friend who's a doctor "never heard of liver fluke?" "no" I responded and she went on to tell me in great detail of some of the nasties carried by deer and sheep and the subsequent liver and kidney damage......Hence the 3litre hydration pack ! This probably isn't a problem for most folk I admit, but clean safe water whilst touring is essential.
    However, there are still loads of houses around here that still take their water directly off the hill.......cant be that bad can it ?????!!!!!!

    You should manage no problem so long as you dont overload it with clobber.
  • jibijibi Posts: 857
    On expedition rides a camelback is invaluable, like touristtony said in australia, there is not too many places sometimes to fill bottles, on the Nullabor I carried a 5 litre container, 5 750mm bottles and my Mule with 3 litres. The MULE was great for clearing the throat , little and often, sipping rather than taking gulps of the precious water.

    You don't have to take your hands off the handlebars, if you have the lock off, so much better for handling.

    and i use it for my passport, camera, wallet etc too like vernon.

    The weight is not problem once you are used to it,

    george
  • Exactly what Jibi said! I carry my mobile in the mp3 pocket, and know when I'm getting near a bigger town because it suddenly delivers a load of texts!
    Beep beep beep, must be Albany.
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=3 ... =3244&v=5K
  • At Bonkersfrog Activity Holidays our guides wear 3 litre camelbaks all day and every day, and have found them very comfortable - one word of caution tho' if you are not used to wearing one, suggest that you start off when training or going on short rides with less weight in the pack and gradually build up over time.

    Many years ago we did Utah desert riding and carried 7 litres each on the bikes including camelbaks, the water stayed much cooler in the camelbak than the bottles of course. We still carry water bottles on the bikes too - very useful for washing out the gravel rash :lol:

    Andy
    bonkersfrog.co.uk
  • Hi
    When I am out on my mtb I use a hydration system off road this makes sense as you have to carry all your other kit as well. On the road bike I find a camel back too uncomfortable for long rides as the positioning is much more forward. I use no more than a 500ml bottle which I get topped up at any fountain, or local bar and it is carried on the bike. That way you never have to carry too much weight. If you are travelling through a zone where you know there is going to be little fresh water then you would need to take more.
    Here in the Alps there is always plenty of fountains (virtually one in every village) and the water is perfectly drinkable. That is why companies bottle it and sell it to you! Also asking the locals to top up your water is a great way to get to meet people and have a chat.
    My playground is the Alps, come and join me!
    http://www.ifhannibalhad.com
  • i have a hydration pack from decathlon in france, basically a camel bak just not called a camel bak

    best thing ever, i tend to drink alot and it so convinent to have a hose there ready to be suckled on, i have a 500ml bottle with energy drink in as well just to give me an extra boost

    as others have said as well, i put keys and phone and pump e.t.c in it, very very handy thing
  • I sometimes use one.
    A downside not mentioned is the fatc that the fluid in the tube gets warm if its a hot day you get a mouth full of rather warm whatever you have in the bladder. Not usually pleasant.
    Peter
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    I sometimes use one.
    A downside not mentioned is the fatc that the fluid in the tube gets warm if its a hot day you get a mouth full of rather warm whatever you have in the bladder. Not usually pleasant.
    Peter

    If it's a problem you can get insulated tubes - though I generally find that with a hydration pack I drink little and often which means the drink doesn't have time to get heated up.
  • Tim FarrTim Farr Posts: 665
    I can appreciate that if you're crossing a desert - like Jibi did in Australia - then you're going to carry loads of water and a camelback would have a role. But for your average ride in Europe I cannot see the point. A decent touring bike has three bottle cage fixing points and you can always carry even more in your panniers if you feel the need. With shops, and garages for bottled or tap water plentiful I just cannot see the need for reservoir quantities on your back.

    And anyway, call me traditional, I was taught 'put your load on the bike not on your back' - that goes for rucksacks and camelbacks. IMO to a great extent extent the modern fad for back packs is a commercial wheeze, and has little to do with real need, practicality and comfort.
    T Farr
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Tim Farr wrote:
    I can appreciate that if you're crossing a desert - like Jibi did in Australia - then you're going to carry loads of water and a camelback would have a role. But for your average ride in Europe I cannot see the point. A decent touring bike has three bottle cage fixing points and you can always carry even more in your panniers if you feel the need. With shops, and garages for bottled or tap water plentiful I just cannot see the need for reservoir quantities on your back.

    And anyway, call me traditional, I was taught 'put your load on the bike not on your back' - that goes for rucksacks and camelbacks. IMO to a great extent extent the modern fad for back packs is a commercial wheeze, and has little to do with real need, practicality and comfort.

    There aren't any right or wrongs. It takes all sorts to make a world etc etc.

    Many people like hydration packs because of the convenience of having the mouthpiece to hand. They also double as a 'daypack' for use off the bike - I keep all my valuables in my backpack and it's reassuring to know that if I got somewhere remote I could always hike out if I get into trouble. I tour on a bike with only one set of bottle mounts and I go places where you can ride for miles without seeing a garage or a shop. For me, and lots of others, they are definitely a practical solution to a real need.
  • Tim FarrTim Farr Posts: 665
    Yes Andy, whatever suits is fine by me. Cycling is a broad church from whatever angle you look at it and backpacks have a place. It's just that IMO backpacks have been oversold.
    T Farr
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