CamelBak Flow Meter

Think of it like a fuel gauge for human-powered sports. The CamelBak Flow Meter, available in October, could be a savior for athletes who can’t tell if their hydration bladder is running on empty. The USB flash-drive-sized digital computer integrates with any CamelBak bladder to tell you how much water you’ve sucked down, how much is left and, miraculously, gives you an idea of how much time is left until you need a refill.

CamelBak Flow Meter in place on the line

While the company calls it “intelligent hydration,” I’m left wondering whether people are too consumed with technology to figure out how much water they have left in the reservoir. That being said, I could see it useful on backpacking trips when your reservoir is jammed into your bag and water is harder to find.

CamelBak Flow Meter device off the hose

In addition to fuel-gauge-like properties, you can enter your stats and the Flow Meter will help determine your optimum drinking rate as well as estimate when you’ll be empty. The accessory, which should fit other hydration bladders that have the same tube diameter, retails for $30. CamelBak is also selling fully integrated reservoirs for more than $50.

—Ryan Dionne

Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.