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  1. #1
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    Anything besides a Camelbak

    Hey everyone,

    I am in the market for a Hydration pack. I have been looking and like the camelbak, but am a noob and just cant justify the cost... yet.

    Are there any reputable alternatives to the camelbak brand? I don't want to spend $50 just to have a leaking blatter in a few months.

  2. #2
    Natural Born Killer
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    I've got a Lezyne Svelte pack that I've been using for over a year. It's more cycling specific than most packs and I'm really loving it. It has lots of pockets and compartments. Some of the reviews I've seen complain about slow flow from the bite valve, but I've had no problems. Just a suggestion, you could try retrofitting a camelbak bladder into another generic(cheap) pack.
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  3. #3
    Cumbria, England.
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    What about one of these: Jenson link. Unbelievably cheap!
    - The seasons blow away, but the love is just the same -

  4. #4
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    Great find, right in my price range and the reputation/quality of Camelbak. Gonna order tonight. Thanks for your help.

  5. #5
    Huckin' trails
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    If it's not too late, I'd like to suggest you take a look at Dakine's packs. You might find one that fit you good, but the best part is they offer a life-time no-leak warranty on their bladder. If for some reason you get your bladder to leak, bring it in to their customer service and they'll get you a new one no question asked (beside filling a report form if you have to mail it if you can't make it to their office).

    I crashed and went OTB and rolled on my back a few months ago. The tools in my pack and my body blew and punctured the bladder. They got me a new one and I even had the guy handed to me first hand since I was to leave town in a few days and needed a new bladder.

    They treated me right and I'll buy from them again without doubt.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  6. #6
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    I have looked at Dakine.

    Right now I am between the Dakine Session, Osprey Viper 10, and Camelbak Consiarge.

  7. #7
    Save Jesus
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    Also Deuter and Vaude. I consider both to be superior to my Camelbak. Search these forums.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    Also Deuter and Vaude. I consider both to be superior to my Camelbak. Search these forums.
    I love my Deuter. Well made and the pack is held away from my back, making it cooler to wear. The only problem was that I had to replace the bite valve as it was too slow for me.

  9. #9
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    Hydrapak

    Hydrapak

    Good quality, lots of sizes, and the folks that work for them are super nice and actually ride!

  10. #10
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    I bought a hydrapak a few months ago. It's absolutely wonderful. Seemed a bit pricey in the beginning, but loved it since the beginning. It's only a few months old, but its still holding up & looking knew.

  11. #11
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    anybody know anything about Vaude's bladder warranty? I love the pack and got it on sale for a great price but the bladder started leaking after a year of rather infrequent use.

  12. #12
    Save Jesus
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    my vaude bladder sux anyway and I don't use it. I replaced it with a platypus which has no plastic taste.

    Oh, I mean, my vaude bladder is awesome and barely used. Please buy mine off of me!

  13. #13
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    I've got a hydrapack. I've only used it once so far, so I can't give much of a review. I do know it leaked like crazy where the hose plugs into the bladder. Probably going to have to use some plumber's tape there to keep from getting soaked.

  14. #14
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    Geigerrig packs are fantastic and have a lifetime warranty!

    Sent from my Android!
    Last edited by rogerfromco; 09-20-2012 at 04:46 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    my vaude bladder sux anyway and I don't use it. I replaced it with a platypus which has no plastic taste.

    Oh, I mean, my vaude bladder is awesome and barely used. Please buy mine off of me!
    yeah I could never get the plastic taste out of mine either, and I tried everything hence I wasn't really that bummed that it started leaking. But I'm having trouble finding a replacement bladder that doesn't cost nearly as much as a whole new pack on sale

  16. #16
    Huckin' trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmctav23 View Post
    yeah I could never get the plastic taste out of mine either, and I tried everything hence I wasn't really that bummed that it started leaking. But I'm having trouble finding a replacement bladder that doesn't cost nearly as much as a whole new pack on sale
    Dakine's bladder have a lifetime warranty against leaks... And they are pretty nice too. Check them out.
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  17. #17
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    I had good luck with a high-sierra. I think it was $20. The bite valve leaked and I just called the company and got a replacement, no questions asked.

  18. #18
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    Check out "Outdoor Products" - they have rather decent stuff for HALF the price of Osprey or Camelbak.

    To put it short, I've been using my OP hydration pack (which also carries my tubes, hiking equip, etc) for a solid 5 years and it's still going strong. Cost me $30.

    I can't post links yet, but search for OUTDOOR PRODUCT RIPCORD HYDRATION PACK

    It kicks ass.

  19. #19
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    I have used the Camelbak Mule for 10-15 years but also have several of the 'High Sierra' models from Costco that I use when dirt biking. They are a whopping $20 each and have never been an issue. Even if they were, Costco takes anything back on returns.

  20. #20
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    I actually ended up buying a Osprey Viper 10. I am very happy with my purchase. I actually tore the bladder a few weeks after purchasing it, snagged it taking out of the fridge. Emailed the company with some pics and a week later I had a new bladder. Definately recommend Osprey.

  21. #21
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    I really like my Osprey Manta. There is a wire frame and mesh stand off to keep it about an inch from your body. It uses a Nalgene bladder, I think. The bladder is great, I left it in my truck and it froze, no leaks. Go to a shop and try them out, that's what I did and it was so much better than my Camelback was. There was a review on here a couple years ago that made me check them out.
    http://reviews.mtbr.com/osprey-manta...in-liquid-blue

  22. #22
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    another vote for geigerrig! I bout their "rig" model and it rocks. the tubes have quick disconnects from the bladder and they don't leak. the bite valve doesn't leak at all and the bladder can be pressurized via a little hand pump (looks like the little black bulb the doc squeezes to pump up arm band when taking your blood pressure) so that when you bite the valve the water sprays.

  23. #23
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    I just ordered a Dakine Session for $39 and free shipping. It uses a 70 oz. Hydrapak badder, I really like the idea of turning the badder inside out and running it through the dishwasher.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmctav23 View Post
    yeah I could never get the plastic taste out of mine either, and I tried everything hence I wasn't really that bummed that it started leaking. But I'm having trouble finding a replacement bladder that doesn't cost nearly as much as a whole new pack on sale
    I'd do like beanbag and go Platypus. I've run them for years as hydro bladders. Never refill in the field, just swap out a bottle. No taste, forever guarantee. If used hard they will eventually spring a tiny leak, so having duct tape in your kit's prudent. Of the dozen or so I bought 17 years ago (for a dif sport), I've had all of them replaced at least once under warranty. I just took three of them on the CO Tr. and would again.

    Cheers,

    Mike

  25. #25
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    Has anyone used the Fox XC Race Hydration pack? Pretty cheap at $39.95 and has a low profile. Also, anyone have a link to the Costco High Sierra packs? If they're really $20, I'd definitely pick one up.

  26. #26
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    I think REI has their brand of a water pack that is cheaper and good. I am in the process of trying to find a hydration system that mounts to my bike. I don't like backpacks and my bike doesn't have a water bottle mount that is in a good place. I saw the handle bar clip ons which are doable but not my fav. Anyone have any suggestions? Or know any brands that offer a small pack mount for your bike? Thanks for the help!

  27. #27
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannondalegirl120 View Post
    I think REI has their brand of a water pack that is cheaper and good. I am in the process of trying to find a hydration system that mounts to my bike. I don't like backpacks and my bike doesn't have a water bottle mount that is in a good place. I saw the handle bar clip ons which are doable but not my fav. Anyone have any suggestions? Or know any brands that offer a small pack mount for your bike? Thanks for the help!
    Showers Pass VelEau 42 Hydration System - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

    This was just brought up in another thread but the poster didn't have any first hand experience with it, nor do I. Interesting concept. It weighs about a pound and holds 42 oz and has some room for a few tools in the bag.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cannondalegirl120 View Post
    I think REI has their brand of a water pack that is cheaper and good. I am in the process of trying to find a hydration system that mounts to my bike. I don't like backpacks and my bike doesn't have a water bottle mount that is in a good place. I saw the handle bar clip ons which are doable but not my fav. Anyone have any suggestions? Or know any brands that offer a small pack mount for your bike? Thanks for the help!
    I mentioned a whole line of frame mounted hydration units in anther thread but have only used your traditional camel packs. The ideas are interesting but not sure how well they work.

    Here is a system that utilizes your existing bottle cage.

    Speedfil F2 Aero Bottle System in Tree Fort Bikes Multi Sport Hydration (cat864)

    Seat mounted bottle cage:

    XLAB Delta Wing 200 Water Bottle Cage System

    1-2 liter frame mount:

    Hydrathon: A Multi-Purpose Water Pack For Your Bicycle

  29. #29
    I like turtles
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    Osprey packs are great. I use the Viper 7 - perfect size for most rides. I think folks tend to overbuy their hydration packs...I see guys with huge packs that are riding for an hour.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  30. #30
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    Thank you for all the great suggestions! I am checking out all the options you all posted for the best fit. I'm going to miss having a water bottle holder on my bike ill make I work! Thanks again for the help!

  31. #31
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    Osprey is awesome. They have two really cool features that I LOVE: the magnet that keeps your mouthpiece in place so it doesn't end up banging on your knee, and a cradle so that filling your hydration pack is a breeze. You can find them on sale at Backcountry.com at 50% off bringing them within your price range, and sometimes on SierraTradingPost.com I've also seen them in the REI clearance area.

    The best part is their guarantee. Anything goes wrong? They replace it.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerfromco View Post
    Showers Pass VelEau 42 Hydration System - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

    This was just brought up in another thread but the poster didn't have any first hand experience with it, nor do I. Interesting concept. It weighs about a pound and holds 42 oz and has some room for a few tools in the bag.
    I saw one of these on someone's bike and it looked very nice. I just ordered one for my wifes bike for Christmas. We shall see how it does, the reviews I've read are encouraging.

  33. #33
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    I'm getting a Dakine Drifter for Xmas... Will let you know how it is once I take it out for a spin. Pretty easy on the wallet and holds 100oz with some gear and tool storage.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Osprey packs are great. I use the Viper 7 - perfect size for most rides. I think folks tend to overbuy their hydration packs...I see guys with huge packs that are riding for an hour.
    The reason this usually happens is because we buy one pack for all our needs - everything from a 1-hour after work loop to an overnight trek. Better to err on the larger side. These things are expensive.

  35. #35
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by stencil View Post
    The reason this usually happens is because we buy one pack for all our needs - everything from a 1-hour after work loop to an overnight trek. Better to err on the larger side. These things are expensive.
    Plus, my Dakine Builder Pack holds 4 growlers. Be prepared.

  36. #36
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    I've had DaKine, Camelback and Osprey. I went to Outerbike this year and looked at some other brands too. For me, Osprey is head and shoulders above the fray in terms of user friendly design, cargo capacity, all day fit/comfort, hydration ease... everything from the magnetically held bite valve to cleaning and refilling ease... these packs are amazingly well though out. And tough. The company behind them is staffed with passionate mountain bikers and, full disclosure, I know this because I created many videos with them over the years with my production company. Great people, great men and women specific designs.

  37. #37
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    I had a couple dakine bladders sitting around from when I use to ski, so I went to Target and got the Coleman Revel 8. (sorry, can't post links yet)



    Has plenty of room for stuff and fits nicely. Price was right too. It would make a good starter pack, and you can switch out the bladder since the one I got seemed clogged when trying to get water.

  38. #38
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    All I know is stay away from Hydrapak. Their warranty sucks. I had a leak on my bite valve on the FIRST ride out with my brand new bladder from them. It's been 6 months and multiple emails and I have yet to see a replacement. I had a leaky bite valve once on my Camelbak, had a replacement in less than a week.

  39. #39
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    this could be the right place

  40. #40
    Heavylegs
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    Try a Gerber hydration Pack. I have been using one for about three yrs. Little less expensive but works well. It has proven very durable after a few wipeouts one landing flat on my back on roots and to my surpise no leaks so I am sold on the product. I bought mine at the lbs but I found this link it has lots of options

    Gerber hydration pack - TheFind

  41. #41
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    HAWG vs MULE

    Any thoughts on the HAWG vs MULE>
    Is the a downside to the larger pack?

  42. #42
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    I just got a Rogue from amazon for about 40 bucks. Used it twice and really like is so far. Good luck.

  43. #43
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    The mule is on sale from $100 down to $73 at REI. Not a ton off, but makes it a skosh easier in the wallet.

  44. #44
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    100oz Fox Oasis for ~55.
    BlueSkyCycling.com - Fox Oasis Hydration Pack

    Ive used it for about 60 miles and love it. Quick disconnect on the pack, and the bladder works by folding it over to seal it, which makes for quick and easy filling.

  45. #45
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    I have used Camelbaks for years and they hold up well for what I put them through. I have also used the High Sierra brand from Costco. It worked great, I just changed the bladder to a Camelbak bladder since I prefer them. My daughter now uses the High Sierra.

    I currently use a mule and it is big enough for local riding and for long day trips I bust out the old Transalp. It is huge but it can carry everything but the kitchen sink.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by GelatiCruiser View Post
    I'm getting a Dakine Drifter for Xmas... Will let you know how it is once I take it out for a spin. Pretty easy on the wallet and holds 100oz with some gear and tool storage.
    EDIT - I THOUGHT I was getting a Drafter for xmas. I ended up getting the Mule, which is an awesome pack. It's super comfortable, holds 100oz, and fits a TON of gear. I keep walking around my house and picking things up going "I don't really NEED this in my pack, but it couldn't hurt to have and it fits." Rain jacket, tools, spares, candy, wipes, towel, snacks, etc...

  47. #47
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    This is a much discussed subject and just like the Ford, Chevy, Dodge question it comes down to what you like.. There are a lot of good packs out there. I have been happy with my Dakine Drafter and Nomad.

  48. #48
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    ch-ch-ch-changes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Lad View Post
    This is a much discussed subject and just like the Ford, Chevy, Dodge question it comes down to what you like.. There are a lot of good packs out there. I have been happy with my Dakine Drafter and Nomad.
    I agree that this is much discussed, but with good reason: things change, but people get stuck with what they like sometimes. And by stuck I mean happy rather than complacent. If we've got a hydration unit that we like, that's great. And we like to feel good about our decision in the face of market changes and the mods that make some newer pack designs desirable. So, I'd just like to chime in once again to say that I appreciate all the comments posted here. Things change, and when I'm in the market for something I'm glad I can come here for advice.
    Cheers!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    Osprey packs are great. I use the Viper 7 - perfect size for most rides. I think folks tend to overbuy their hydration packs...I see guys with huge packs that are riding for an hour.
    I too use and love the Viper 7. Its a big improvement over other hydration packs I've had in the past. It has 70 oz capacity with a little pouch big enough to carry a spare tube and a couple of small tools. (I rarely fill it all the up.)

  50. #50
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    It's a long term investment for the future so consider your purchase choice wisely. CamelBak is the leader in hydration packs and for good reason...just my .02

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