My Ultimate Direction hydration pack that’s 8 years old is wearing out, and I am looking for a pack that doesn’t hold the sweat as much. I have started looking at the Camelbak MULE NVIS as a replacement.
Having read the reviews, I find a lot of negative reviews for the new Antidote bladder. Anyone having leak issues at the quick connection or the lid?
I have a Lobo and my mate has a Mule but both with the older bladder, I had to get a replacement bladder but hunted for an old style one as I also heard bad things about the new ones detachable hose leaking due tp any pressure from being inside the bag (and on the Lobo it is very tight at that point with a full bladder and packed with tools etc).
The Mule has a lot more room though so that might not be as much as a problem.
Camel backs are awesome though and their bladder warranty is second to none!
I have a Lobo (i think) with the 3L new style bladder and haven’t had any problems at all. I’ve been pretty rough with it too and had it loaded with tools and various items. No leaks yet. I haven’t done any landing flat on my back but I know I’ve rolled over on it a time or two. I say go for it. I bought it about 9-10 months ago.
I don’t know about the Antidote bladder, but I’ll vouch for the Mule. Mine is many years old, but still basically comes out looking like new after a ride in the washer. I’ve replaced the 3-liter bladder once. It’s only the second Camelbak I’ve owned; I think I got the first on in 1997!
I have a Lobo with the new bladder, I’ve had it for about 8 months and been pretty rough on it. I just got a tiny leak in it, but it seems like something actually punctured the bladder though, the leak is not around any of the seals.
This is all very interesting. The responses regarding the newer Antidote bladder are indicating something different from what I ran into elsewhere on the web. Maybe there are/were some bad production runs.
I encourage any new readers to this thread with direct experience with the new bladder, to chime in.
Well, I bought a Camelbak Lobo on Friday and took it out on a 13 1/2 mile ride yesterday and a 17 mile one today.
Needless to say, or happily, I have no comment yet on the durability issues, but I’m very happy with it. It is advertised as lasting for about 3 hours and today’s ride was almost precisely that. And I drained the thing just as I arrived back home. Yesterday I was out for about 2 1/2 hours and had consumed about 4/5 of the contents.
I have no issues with the taste of the water. I just put tap water into it.
It could have a tad more storage but I am able to fit a small wrench, pliers, a tire thingy, a spare and my keys in the bottom pouch. I put a comb and some fruit strips in the middle area (which doesn’t zip). And I put my wallet, a hanky, and glucose tabs in the top pouch. I have a small hand pump in the slot on the side (it’s for a hand pump I think).
The damn thing is heavy when full, but you get used to it. It throws off my mounting at first, but at least that’s when I’m least tired, so it’s easy to compensate. Otherwise it’s fine.
My biggest hold up in buying a Camelbak (or similar thing) is the maintenance. I’m air drying it, but I know at some point it will require cleaning beyond just making sure it’s dry and I’m not confident about that. Just how do you keep them from getting gross?
But so far so good. I’m happy not to have to worry about running out of precious bodily fluids.
I might add that after having passed out after a ride last Wednesday, I was motivated to seeks measures I wouldn’t normally have, i.e plopping down the bucks for this thing, to avoid a recurrence.
Being able to hydrate when needed has helped immensely in my mountain b_ke riding and now with my Uni. You’ll go further with water on demand.
About cleaning it. Honestly I have NEVER cleaned it and have had it for about… 9 months now? Something like that.
When I get done, I empty the bladder, blow out the straw and just stuff it into the pack (never taken it off), and set the bladder upside down leaning on something with those plastic flaps down to keep the bag open. (hanging is the best but I lean /“hang” the fitting on a knife handle in the knife block and tilt the opening toward the counter).
No taste, no smell, but I ONLY put tap water/ice in it. If I were to add anything to the water then I’d probably rinse it out afterwards. Congrats, enjoy and don’t pass out anymore!
I keep mine in the freezer. Air dry it utilising the fancy arms and that after use, then fold it up and shove it in the freezer compartment of my drinks 'fridge.
Not my original idea; saw it on the internet, possibly even this forum. The theory is this retards the growth of bacteria and goo and trees. So far so good, but then I’ve only been running mine for a couple of months, so it’s no better than Dartmech’s success and more bothersome. Thought I’d mention it, though. Like Dartmech, I never use it for anything other than unadulterated water or water ice - that’s probably the key factor in avoiding goo…
Thanks. I haven’t and don’t plan on using it for anything other than tap water. One question though - and I hope this falls under the category that the only stupid question is the one not asked - putting it in the freezer doesn’t involve any risk of it cracking from it itself freezing and becoming rigid? Is this correct?
And as for hanging it, I do use the arms and I remove the tube and have folded a large plastic paperclip to create a hook. I then put part of the paperclip without any pointy ends in the nozzle and hang the other side on a clothes drying rack.
I’ve had my camelbak for a while too and pretty much do the same as Dartmech. I know you’re supposed to “clean it” but so far it’s been fine. As Dartmech said, no taste, smell and yes I have only put water into it. I use a water cooler to fill it but besides that pretty much the same. Enjoy it, I really appreciate mine when I’m riding.
Doesn’t seem to be a problem, it doesn’t go rigid. One thing to note: the first time I did this I thought it had broken the ‘quicklink’ connection because I just couldn’t get it to click. This turned out to be simply because it was frozen, happens every time. I just leave it for a few minutes or run it under the tap.
I have no proof that this is a better way to store it, but I find the freezer is quite a handy place for it anyway and the theory seems vaguely logical, so I’ll stick with it in the absence of any contrary advice!
Also to add to the reviews: I have had a Lobo for a few months and it’s worked great as well. Pockets are nice too. The lower chest strap always seems to come loose right away, but the top one is the important one i guess.
I took the lower strap off as soon as I got it home. I wear it up high for better balance and the lower strap is just unnecessary for me.
FYI I’ve heard of people filling the bladder halfway with water then freezing it overnight. When you fill it up the rest of the way it thaws enough to drink from and leaves a huge block of ice. However, this was the old style, and with the giant opening the new ones have I pack that sucka to the lid with ice. Stays cold for a couple of hours even in the Texas heat.
Also I wouldn’t be worried about the freezing of the bladder, but the rubber O-ring in the quick disconnect. Once that starts to go it will leak.
I have a Camelback Mule N.V and it great. I have had it for about ~2 years now, I managed to get a small hole in the bladder some how, but I just but some ductape on it and its fine.
Also I have been putting it in the freezer for years and it works great- haven’t washed it yet haha But recently it was left out of the freezer for a while and mold has grown in it… so I will give it a good clean out.
Interesting flip side to the Camelbak. After two long rides with it and the weight of all the tools, stuff, and 100 oz of water, I went for a short ride at lunch today with just a couple of items, wallet, keys and a small bottle of water. I felt like an iron man without the extra weight. Mounting felt like going up a single step and idling at lights was almost like standing still on my feet. Very cool.
And Rod, I’m sorry for all the threadjacking. I still can’t say whether or not the Camelbak will suffer any leaks. I hope not, but I will report on it if anything does happen. In the meantime I’m very happy with the overall experience.
I also worried about the connection coming undone, but that has never happened. I will say that I had the old style hose pop off a couple time in the past, since it’s just a press on dealio; pretty sure that’s why they changed it, and to make it easier to clean.
What I’d do if I were you: Go to REI and try on packs, find one that fits your torso, then run the water bag you prefer. Personally, I don’t like Camelback packs, they run short in the torso, and they don’t have any back panel stiffeners (don’t carry weight well), but they make a great water bladder.
I chose the Osprey Raptor 18 because it carries weight well and I can load it down like a back pack without busting my shoulders or having the pack fold in half.
But yeah, the water bag is awesome, 3L, easy to fill, easy to clean, and lightweight.