Michael Eidson is the man who started the CamelBak Company and it’s inception is an interesting tale. Michael, an avid cyclist was participating in the 100-mile race through Texas. This was a summer race and as you can imagine, it was hot and dusty. Michael had a problem. You may be thinking, his problem was that he signed on for a 100-mile race! But for him, the issue wasn’t that, but one of hydration. How was he going to stay hydrated enough to keep going until the end? There were few water stations on the route and loading up a backpack with water bottles was not ideal. The solution he came up with was an IV bag in his backpack with a hose-like attachment feeding through to his mouth. This was optimal as now his hands were free! And thus, the CamelBak hydration pack was born. These days, the technology and sophistication of the materials used to manufacture the CamelBak product line is much different than an IV Bag in a backpack, but the premise is the same.
The key benefits of having a CamelBak hydration pack are that you have enough water for the duration of your sport or activity in a hands-free, easy to use container. You don’t have to hold on to a water bottle or look for places to refill it.
Navigating the CamelBak lineup can be a bit intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with the products. Knowing what to look for and what your needs are can help you come to a decision on which pack is the right pack for you.
Many of the packs are similar in some ways, for example, the way you carry the pack. Most are a backpack style with two straps over your shoulders and often one supporting straps around your chest and/or waist. There is one unique pack that is carried differently and is the one we will review here. This is the CamelBak FlashFlo and it is carried like a hipsack around the waist or hips.
If this unique style is appealing to you, let’s explore when would be ideal to use a hydration pack like this. First of all, the water capacity on this model is 1.5 litres (50oz.) this is enough water for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours of physical exertion. Typically this pack is used for day hikes or runs. It’s quite small in comparison to other CamelBak models and therefore limits the amount of other items you can bring on your adventure. This can be a great feature, as it limits the weight. Remember, you’ll be carrying this for the duration of your activity.
While wearing the pack, there is a special attachment known as a ‘CamelClip’ which you clip on your shirt for easy access to the drinking tube. All CamelBak products utilize their patented bite valve technology to eliminate spills and leaks. If you’ve ever used a hip carrier before you can imagine that carrying water on your lower back may be stressful after some time. CamelBak has thought of this and the water pack actually wraps around and is more evenly distributed for better comfort and safety. It also has some handy straps that you can tighten to prevent that sloshing sound as your water levels deplete as you drink.
This pack has a wide mouth opening and is easy to fill. It’s also easy to throw in some ice if you’d like your water to stay very cold. The pack is leak-proof so there is no fear of getting wet or ruining your iPod! This pack is also outfitted with reflective tape on the front and back which make it a great companion on night runs. It comes in a variety of colors and like all CamelBak products, has a lifetime guarantee. The total size of this pack is 200 cubic inches or 3.28 litres. The weight without water is 8.5oz or 240 grams.