First Look: CamelBak 2017 Bottles, Hydration Lineup

Need a better way to drink water in the wilds? CamelBak refined its reservoir for 2017 and launched a ‘flask’ bottle line along the way.

CamelBak QuickStow bottles

It’s 80 degrees at 7,000 feet, and I am parched. What better a place to discuss hydration? Last month, in Deer Valley, Utah, I got a first look at CamelBak’s 2017 lineup, putting the company’s new reservoir and bottles to a realtime review. Here are my initial opinions and a breakdown of the water-toting product line.

Review: CamelBak Crux Reservoir

We have long relied on CamelBak reservoirs and see the blue water bladders as something of an industry standard. For next year, the company is committed to improving on a good thing, and with that it will release the Crux reservoir system “to make drinking easier,” as the brand simply puts it.

How’s it different?  A new hose sports a larger diameter, and the bite-valve is now angled. These touches, CamelBak claims, equate to less energy spent sucking water and an easier time taking the fluid in.

CamelBak drink valve

The wider hose simultaneously slows the water from heating as fast, CamelBak notes. When you’re done drinking, a new easy-to-use lock flips the valve shut to prevent leaks.

The main access (fill-up area) on the Crux has a new cap that screws on in a breeze. Instead of fumbling to find the threads, the updated cap fits a bit more like the lid on a mason jar.

Another upgrade: The cap hinge has been flipped to the other side. Instead of falling off toward your hand (or back over the mouth of the reservoir) the cap now falls off the other side, away from the handle while filling.

new camelbak reservoir

Finally, CamelBak increased the size of the grip area to give you better leverage while refilling the bladder. A quick-link system ensures this is all a fast and easy task, allowing you to quickly disconnect the hose from the reservoir to refill the unit.

The Crux will be offered as a vertical bag in 1.5 liters ($30); a 2-liter reservoir ($33); a 3-liter reservoir ($35); and in a 3-liter horizontal “lumbar” model ($38). All will be available in October as part of a 2017 line.

Review: CamelBak Quick Stow Flask

CamelBak is entering the “flask”-bottle market with its Quick Stow system, competing with Hydrapak and other brands that carry collapsible bottles made to be carried in a pocket or in hand.

The 500ml (17oz) flasks are topped with a wide-mouth cap and bite valve that sports a lockout dial to ensures the cap is sealed tight. An aftermarket straw adapter can convert the flask to a hosed mini reservoir that you carry on your running pack’s front pockets, letting you sip on the go.

flexible CamelBak QuickStow bottles

The flasks are made from the same polyurethane found in CamelBak’s reservoirs. They are offered in both a non-insulated ($20) and an insulated version ($28).

The insulated version, which uses the same material found in the company’s Podium Chill bottle line, keeps water temps more constant. They also have an embossed texture for a better grip.

running water bottle on hand

For the runner, CamelBak is bringing to market a hand holster (see above) for the Quick Stow line. The Ultra Handheld Chill is a mesh holder that wraps the flask bottles and attaches them to your palms.

Two pockets sit on the back side and can hold an iPhone 6, keys, credit card, and gels.

In Utah, I put the whole CamelBak spread to the test, running and biking in high altitude and under a summer sun.

My initial review is positive. CamelBak offers a great round of updates and innovations with the 2017 line, one that will surely keep me more hydrated and with easier access to water in any state of activity out there.

–All 2017 CamelBak products will ship in October (2016). Monitor for details on the release.

Steve Graepel

Steve Graepel is a Contributing Editor and Gear Tester at GearJunkie. He has been writing about trail running, camping, skiing, and general dirtbagging for 10+ years. When not testing gear with GearJunkie, he is a Senior Medical Illustrator on the Neurosurgery Team at Mayo Clinic. Based in Boise, Idaho, Graepel is an avid trail runner, camper, angler, cyclist, skier, and loves to introduce his children to the Idaho outdoors.