Top 15 Best CamelBaks in 2021

Sam Fletcher
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CamelBaks are such a handy product when you are traveling, walking, or just out on the town. These handy water packs attach to your back, giving you easy access to water when you need it.

If you are looking for one of these fun water packs, read this guide to find your new one!

NameCategoryProduct
CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Hydration PackBest OverallCamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Hydration Pack
CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 ozBudget PickCamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 oz
CamelBak Transformer 102oz BlackUpgrade PickCamelBak Transformer 102oz Black

1. CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Hydration Pack

Our rating: 9 / 10

CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • Ultra lightweight
  • Plenty of storage for essentials
  • Breathable straps
  • Holds a lot of fluid
  • Easy to clean

If you are looking for the best hydration backpack, you’ll love the Cloud Walker from CamelBak. It’s lightweight, breathable, durable and it just looks good.

The straps have some sort of wicking fabric along with a breathable mesh, which makes them surprisingly cool and comfortable to wear during intense hikes or long multi-day treks. Velcro adjusted, so you can adjust them to fit any body shape and size.

The pack itself is made from a durable 500D ripstop nylon with reflective patches which adds a bit of safety. As far as storage goes, it’s pretty straightforward, you have two interior pockets (one pocket is completely sewn to the inside) and an exterior pocket, which is quite spacious, so it’s easy to find things in a hurry.

2. Camelbak Ambush Mil Spec Antidote Hydration Backpack

Our rating: 9 / 10

Camelbak Ambush Mil Spec Antidote Hydration Backpack

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Pros:

  • Mil-spec quality
  • Comfortable shoulder and waist straps
  • Hydrogen reservoir

With a lot of features and an incredibly light-weight and durable construction, this is one of the best hydration packs you can find in a military-tested, mil-spec model. The adjustable Antidote Reservoir with Quick Link Exit Port allows for easy filling and cleaning. The dual exit ports allow for maximum flow rates and filling speeds while nozzle exit port allows for a secure seal between the reservoir and the hose. The reservoir is also interchangeable with other manufacturer reservoirs.

The CamelBak Ambush is an ergonomically designed hydration pack that features a padded, angled harness for comfort. It also has a sternum strap for added stability to keep the pack in place when running or doing other high intensity exercise. The straps are also made of closed cell foam, lightweight and high breathable for comfort.

The CamelBak Ambush also has a variety of pockets and nooks to store all of your important stuff such as keys, maps, food, and so on. It also has a lumbar support pocket for the storage of a pistol or other small items.

3. CamelBak Lobo Hydration Pack

Our rating: 9 / 10

CamelBak Lobo Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • Plenty of space for endless amount of liquid
  • Hydration tube stays secure and hidden
  • Hanging hook can be used to hold keys

Cons:

  • On the heavier side
  • Can be on the pricier side

This is the backpack every outdoor fanatic needs to have with them when they do any type of activity. It offers a hydration tube that’s easy to use, and stays hidden when you’re not using it.

The CamelBak Lobo hydration pack is geared to hold 3 liters of water, and also has plenty of room for snacks and other essentials. It’s comfortable on the back, has an easy-to-access zipper pocket where you can stash some cash and your keys, and it’s made of sturdy materials that are very weather resistant.

And if you’re someone who’s used to hanging their keys and phone off their hydration pack, then this backpack has a convenient “key” loop on the front of it so you can do that.

4. CamelBak Transformer 102oz Black

Our rating: 8 / 10

CamelBak Transformer 102oz Black

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Pros:

  • Large bladder
  • Hydration pack for women
  • CradleFit shoulder harness for women
  • Quick-release back makes it easy to take off
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Large reflective strips
  • Bite valve is easy to use
  • Enough space inside to fit an iPad mini
  • Lots of padding and venting for hot weather

Cons:

  • Tip of hose can easily be pulled out because it’s not secured
  • Not for trail running

The CamelBak Transformer is one of the best hydration packs on the market because of its seamless transition from hiking to biking to running and then back again.

Its reservoir holds 102 ounces, which is considerably larger than most of the food bladders on the market. What’s amazing is that despite its large size, it’s not too much for your back.

It comes with a cradleFit design that provides low-profile comfort. There isn’t a single element on this backpack that isn’t specifically designed to eliminate any kind of bounce from your pack while you’re active.

5. CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 oz

Our rating: 8 / 10

CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 oz

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This backpack from CamelBak is amazing for all your hiking adventures and even for smaller longer hikes through the woods or the mountains. The HydroBak Hydration Pack features a 3L reservoir that hooks up to the pack with ease and is removable, which means you can fill it up at your kitchen sink, when running the faucet, or anywhere else that it’s available.

The bladder is compatible with the straw system from CamelBak so you can keep your lips covered from germs with ease. The pack also comes with a 1.2L reservoir that can be refilled anywhere with ease.

The HydroBak packs all of this water without making your back hurt throughout the day. The shoulder straps and the chest strap are both adjustable and weight-dampening, and the back of the pack is padded for extra comfort as well.

6. CamelBak Classic Hydration Pack

Our rating: 8 / 10

CamelBak Classic Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • 100% leak proof
  • Wide mouth opening
  • Can hold up to 3L of water
  • Side pockets for extra gear
  • Comfortable fit
  • Lots of colors to pick from

The CamelBak is one of my old personal favorites. I’ve had mine for about a decade, and it’s lasted the test of time! The CamelBak Classic stays put. You won’t be sloshing around with the weight of a lot of water on your back. The harness is comfy, and it’s a great choice for hiking.

Did I mention pockets? There are LOTS of pockets, which is great when you’re packing for an overnight or multi-day trek. You’ll have plenty of room for a few extra snacks, an extra layer of clothing, a small first aid kit and any other odds and ends you want to stuff into your pack.

7. CamelBak Octane 10 Hydration Pack

Our rating: 8 / 10

CamelBak Octane 10 Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • The reservoir is super easy to access
  • The weight is distributed well
  • Hydration pack includes a leakproof reservoir and 100 oz. carrying capacity
  • 2 Liter Hydration Reservoir in the bladder
  • Top loop that allows for easy rigging to other gear
  • Hydration system can be flushed clean
  • Lightweight mesh shoulder strap
  • The pouch expands to hold sunglasses, keys, and other small objects
  • The outer nylon shell is super lightweight
  • Adjustable sternum strap

Cons:

  • It can take time to adjust the straps
  • They can be difficult to clean

The CamelBak Octane 10 pack is my overall choice in the world of hydration packs. This pack keeps your load stable on your back with excellent weight distribution. The straps on the pack are very comfortable and easy to adjust.

8. CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Pack

Our rating: 8 / 10

CamelBak Octane Dart Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • BPA-free plastic
  • Plant-based linings
  • Reflective elements
  • Tons of storage options
  • Two-way zip
  • Magnetic bite valve
  • Leak proof

Cons:

  • Not compatible with all hydration systems
  • Confusing drinking tube hooks

The Camelbak Octane get its name from the eight zippered pockets in the bag. The plethora of pockets make it a convenient product for a wide range of activities, like biking, running, or hiking. For a hydration pack, the Octane has more than enough storage areas, offering quick access to the essentials that you'll need to bring with you.

This Camelbak features an easy-sip drinking system with a low profile magnetic bite valve. A two-way zip opens the bag from the bottom up, giving you access to the inside of the Camelbak, which is another advantage over other products.The two-way zip also serves to allow the bag to stand upright to dry out if it becomes wet.

Camelbak's tough BPA-free plastic and lining are another benefit that shows in the Octane, as well as the reflective elements, which can help in low light areas.

9. CamelBak Women's L.U.X.E. Hydration Pack

Our rating: 7 / 10

CamelBak Women's L.U.X.E. Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • Separate compartment for a laptop
  • Built-in safety whistle
  • Fully-zip panels to allow for easy access
  • Handy magnetic clasp to keep water bottles secure
  • Sturdy, rugged material
  • Comfortable, soft straps
  • Rear pocket that can fit flat items
  • Quick-access pockets on the waistbelt
  • Lots of room for maps, accessories, and extra layers
  • Made to last

Cons:

  • Closed-cell foam that is not very breathable
  • Heavy when filled with water and gear
  • Needs better back support

This pack is designed with a separate compartment to keep your laptop and valuables safe and secure. The shoulder straps are quite thick, and have a quick release magnetic clasp. This allows you to carry your hydration bladder and your laptop on the same side. The padded back is also really comfortable. I've worn this pack for hours at a time, and had no issues.

10. CamelBak Skyline 10 LR Hydration Pack

Our rating: 7 / 10

CamelBak Skyline 10 LR Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • Sleek and sporty design
  • Highly comfortable
  • Easy-access back compartment
  • Plenty of storage space

This CamelBak Skyline 10 LR hydration pack has been considered by many the best day trip bag made.

It is designed with a sleek and sporty look that is perfect for people who want to both look and feel good while on a long hike or trail run. This product comes at a pretty decent price for the high-quality materials it is made out of.

11. CamelBak M.U.L.E. LR 15 Hydration Pack

Our rating: 6 / 10

CamelBak M.U.L.E. LR 15 Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • Easy to fill
  • Lots of storage pockets spacious enough for your gear
  • Thermal insulation on back panel keeps food and drink cool
  • Two side pockets for easy access to water bottles
  • Drinking tube is easy to use
  • Drain holes for easy rinsing

The CamelBak MULE LR 15 is a top of the line hydration pack that the company itself has named a game-changer. It’s been around since 2012, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from its sleek design. This is a super comfortable pack that you can easily wear all day if you need to.

If you’re looking for a reliable hydration pack that’s going to work perfectly when you’re off on your bikepacking adventure, this is it. It offers a lot of versatility in the compartment space. There’s a button in the front to make the bag wider when you need to put something big in there, and its unique thermal insulation system on the back panel keeps food and drinks cool.

12. CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack

Our rating: 6 / 10

CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • Can be worn as a backpack or over one shoulder
  • Lightweight hip belt
  • Quick reach pocket for energy gels

If you need to stay hydrated in the middle of a ride or hike, reach for the CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack. This lightweight pack holds a massive 85 ounces of fluid and has plenty of pockets to hold everything you need. And it’s a great option whether you wear it as a backpack or over a single shoulder.

I love that I can reach back and grab my hydration bladder on the fly. The CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack comes with an insulated hose that keeps your water cold for up to 8 hours, which is great on longer outdoor adventures.

The CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack also offers plenty of straps and pockets to hold the rest of your gear. There’s a quick-reach pocket on the front, plus a zippered pocket on one side and two mesh pockets on the other side. I particularly like that the main zippered pocket has a key clip built right in.

13. CamelBak Thermobak 3 Liter Hydration Pack Black 60304

Our rating: 6 / 10

CamelBak Thermobak 3 Liter Hydration Pack Black 60304

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Pros:

  • Hydration pack
  • 3L capacity
  • Multiple carry options

This fully-featured hydration pack jogs and bikes equally well. It comes with storage for a layer, an extra drink, and an easy-access rain shell. There’s also a concealed smartphone pocket and a hide-away pocket for snacks and other small items.

The CamelBak Thermobak is designed to carry a lot of weight over long distances and is used by many trail runners, bikepacking adventurers, and ultra-endurance athletes alike.

The back system has a removable spacer and the back panel is adjustable in multiple ways to get a perfect fit for your body. Hydration hose routing is external to keep them away from your body movements and routed neatly in front of the hip belt.

14. CamelBak Women's Daystar 16 Hydration Pack

Our rating: 6 / 10

CamelBak Women's Daystar 16 Hydration Pack

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Pros:

  • Dual full-zip access
  • Internal organization pockets
  • Spacious back panel
  • Made from a lightweight material
  • Removable padded hip belt
  • Hydration features that are leak-proof

Cons:

  • Straps can come loose
  • The strap can become easily compressed
  • The back support isn’t very stable

In summary, the CamelBak women’s backpack is certainly a top contender when it comes to the best women’s CamelBaks. It’s super comfortable, and the large size gives you plenty of room to store everything you could possibly need on your hike.

The bladder is simple to use and the cap is easy to remove and clean. It also includes a carbon fiber bite valve, which adds to the overall durability of this product.

It doesn’t have any insulation inside, but the compartment you place your water bottle in does have space for the ice from your freezer to keep your cold water cool without the need for a cooler to transport it.

15. CamelBak Circuit Hydration Vest

Our rating: 5 / 10

CamelBak Circuit Hydration Vest

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Pros:

  • Serious water capacity
  • Great price in comparison to other options
  • Great for cyclists
  • Hydrating pockets
  • Can be worn on the back or front
  • Comfortable to wear

CamelBak never fails to impress me with their hydration packs. The Camelbak Circuit hydration vest is a great choice for anyone looking for a more traditional hydration pack. I use this one myself for trail running and have had zero complaints about it.

This pack is equipped with Bladder Link technology which allows the 3L bladder to fit inside of a pocket so you don’t have to load it up with bulk. It is great for both hydration and storage. In addition, it comes with a cell phone pocket to keep you connected to the outside world and two additional pockets for food.

With several different choices of different colors, there is something for everyone. Try one out for an upcoming running event.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best CamelBak?

First of all, you need to decide how long you want to be out hiking and how much gear you need to carry with you. Our top suggestion would be the CamelBak Podium Chill, L, which is a 25-ounce pack that includes an insulated, holster-style Motherlode reservoir, which helps to keep your water cool.

Another great option is the Podium Big Chill L, which includes all the same features as the Podium Chill, L, but has a 40-ounce capacity. If you’re looking for something with more versatility, you might want to consider the CamelBak Podium Big Chill Vest, which includes the insulated reservoir and a separate bladder compartment to easily alternate between hydration packs and running vests.

Are Camelbaks worth the money?

Camelbaks are worth the money if you think you'll be using them for a long time. They’re also a great option for camping trips.

What is the best CamelBak for hiking?

The M.U.L.E. has the ability to store up to four liters of fluid which will provide you with great hydration on your trail.

How about the best CamelBak snack pack?

The original snack pack. It is a great way to store your food in a secure and weather resistant way. You can also leave your food in it at camp when you go hiking.

How about the best CamelBak hydration pack for your kids?

The scout is a great option for the younger crowd. It is available in smaller sizes for younger children and has a great design.

How about the best CamelBak reservoir?

The 100oz reservoir can be detached from its hose to enable much longer distances without the need for a refill. It's a great option for hikers that venture into the back country for multiple days.

What's the best hydration packs?

Water bladder based hydration systems are a convenient and effective way to stay hydrated and mobile. For urban residents, hikers, hunters, outdoorsmen or anyone whose lifestyle is active, these units are ideal. Here is a quick overview of the best-selling, highest rated, water bladders on the market today.

First, let's go over the two brands that dominate the market. CamelBak dominates the field in the United States, while in Europe and Asia, brands like Platypus and Source dominate.

CamelBak is venerable among the products offered. It continues to innovate as more and more consumers require these kinds of products. They are the name that most people recognize. It is a premier brand that most consumers trust. So, if you're someone who likes Camelbaks or if you've never owned one before, starting with the most popular product may be a sensible option.

Conclusion

When we started writing this article, the first question was, does anyone even still use CamelBaks? It was surprising to see that over a million people are using them too. So, we was relieved that a) CamelBaks are still on the market and b) people still use them. It would be sad if they were going the way of the dodo with their popularity and so many alternatives (and better ones at that).

CamelBaks are unbelievably useful. They keep water cool in hot summers or warm in cold winters. They are also easy to use and carry. They circumvent the need for water bottles.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
CamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Hydration PackBest OverallCamelBak Cloud Walker 18 Hydration Pack
CamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 ozBudget PickCamelBak HydroBak Hydration Pack 50 oz
CamelBak Transformer 102oz BlackUpgrade PickCamelBak Transformer 102oz Black