Best Camelbak For Mountain Biking

Proper hydration is essential for mountain biking! It is a very intense physical activity that causes your body to lose a lot of fluids — particular in hot climates. This is why so many mountain bikers wear hydration packs that carry liters of water.

Camelbak is the company that first developed the idea for a rubberized hydration pack that sits inside of a backpack. They have marketed the product to sports people, mountain bikers and the military with great success. The company produces products that are well designed, well made and last for years.

This article will give you some background information on Camelbak and why using a hydration pack is such a good idea. Then we’ll review a few of the best Camelbak hydration packs for mountain biking.

CamelBak Hydrobak Hydration PackCamelbak Products M.U.L.E. Hydration BackpackCamelBak Rogue Hydration PackCamelBak ThermoBak 3.0 Liter Hydration SystemCamelbak Products Women’s L.U.X.E. Hydration Backpack
Rating: 4.5/5Rating: 4.8/5Rating: 4.6/5Rating: 4.8/5Rating: 4.8/5
Capacity: 1.5LCapacity: 9.5L Capacity: 3LCapacity: 3L Capacity: 3L
Weight: 0.56 lbsWeight: 1.44 lbsWeight: 0.6 lbsWeight: 1.45 lbsWeight: 1.7 lbs
Pockets: YesPockets: YesPockets: YesPockets: YesPockets: Yes
Price: $Price: $$$Price: $$Price: $$Price: $$$
  • CamelBak Hydrobak Hydration Pack
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Capacity: 1.5L
  • Weight: 0.56 lbs
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $
  • Camelbak Products M.U.L.E. Hydration Backpack
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Capacity: 9.5L
  • Weight: 1.44 lbs
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $$$
  • CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Capacity: 3L
  • Weight: 0.6 lbs
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $$
  • CamelBak ThermoBak 3.0 Liter Hydration System
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Capacity: 3L
  • Weight: 1.45 lbs
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $$
  • Camelbak Products Women’s L.U.X.E. Hydration Backpack
  • Rating: 4.8/5
  • Capacity: 3L
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $$$

About Camelbak Hydration Packs

Camelbak is an outdoor equipment company based in California, USA. The founder of Camelbak, Michael Eidson, came up with the idea for the Camelbak hydration pack while competing in an endurance bike race in Texas, in 1988.

Eidson was an EMT, so he understood the importance of proper hydration during endurance events. With this in mind, he filled an IV bag with water, stuck it in a sock and taped it to his jersey. He then fed a tube from the IV bag so he could drink while racing.

After realizing how effective his invention was, he founded the company and started selling hydration packs! Camelbak has maintained a very loyal customer base by making very durable backpacks that are designed to last for many years.

Why Proper Hydration is Important on The Trail

There are many reasons to maintain hydration levels while mountain biking including:

Water is crucial for the correct operation of your body

Water performs many tasks in the human body including regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, transporting the nutrients necessary for energy and much more.

Dehydration is dangerous!

Dehydration has some very nasty side effects including muscle fatigue, confusion, fainting, and weakness. Severe dehydration can cause vomiting, fever, organ failure, and even death!

Mild dehydration affects your performance on the trail

If you aren’t drinking enough water, you will perform poorly on the trail. Your body won’t be able to transport nutrients effectively and you will quickly suffer from fatigue. If you want to ride well, take plenty of water!

Why a Camelbak Is Better Than Water Bottles

There are many reasons to maintain hydration levels while mountain biking including:

They lets riders easily carry a LOT of water

Mountain bike hydration packs typically carry anywhere between 1 and 4 liters of water. This is enough water for riders to go on long rides without becoming dehydrated.

Using a Camelbak helps to keep weight off your bike

Water is quite heavy! If you use water bottles that are attached to your frame, you will significantly increase the weight of your bike. That can interfere with the handling of your bike and throw off its center of balance. By keeping the weight of the water on your back, you can ride more effectively.

You can drink hands-free!

This is a significant advantage for mountain bikers. Unlike road bikers, mountain bikers have to constantly deal with tricky and unstable terrain, rocks, roots, trees, wild animals and other obstacles. Mountain bikers need to avoid taking their hands off the handlebars as much as possible. Using a Camelbak allows them to stay hydrated while keeping two hands on the handlebars!

You can carry other gear in the hydration pack

Some of the larger Camelbak packs have room for all kinds of gear including phones, cameras, food, and bike tools. This is very useful if you are going on long rides where you need a “Plan B”.

You have quick access to your water

Depending on the water bottles you use, you may have to deal with a twist top or a turning mechanism before you can drink. In many cases, it can be slightly annoying to use, so you delay drinking. A Camelbak has a simple nozzle that you bite on to release the water. Accessing water is simple and it can be done at any speed, over any terrain.

Top 5 Best Camelbaks For Mountain Biking

Camelbak have a great range of products to suit different types of activities — from short rides where speed is important through to day trips where you want to pack some extra gear in your backpack. Here are the 5 best Camelbaks for mountain biking!

CamelBak Hydrobak Hydration Pack

CamelBak-HydroBakThe Hydrobak is a greater starter hydration pack for mountain bike riders who go for rides lasting less than 3-hours.  It is a small hydration pack that holds a 1.5-liter BPA-free bladder and has a single front pouch with a zipper — ideal for your keys and/or a mobile phone.

The pack is primarily made from 210D nylon with a durable water repellant (DWR) and polyurethane coating.  It is available in a range of stylish colors including lemon green, spring grass and pure blue.


  • Super lightweight and perfect for shorter rides
  • Incredible build quality with weather resistant materials


  • You may require more storage and water for longer rides.

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Hydration Pack

CamelBak-M.U.L.E.-Hydration-PackIn our opinion, this is the best Camelbak for mountain biking long distances.  It combines a very large 3-liter bladder with a generous 549 cubic inches (9-liters) of backpack space — perfect for long day rides.  It can carry plenty of gear including a helmet, multi-tool, pump, spare tube, extra layer, lunch, phone, and keys.

It has a very narrow profile which helps a rider retain full movement of their arms, which is crucial for mountain biking.  Despite being one of the larger Camelbak hydration packs, it is still quite light.  The back of the pack has a four-point compression system which allows air to move across your back while riding.

This pack also has a removable belt which can be used to help stabilize the backpack.  The M.U.L.E. features ultra light 3D mesh straps with independent suspension.  This backpack is perfect for longer rides, up to 6-hours in hot conditions or 8-hours in colder climates.


  • A very large pack designed for long rides
  • Huge bladder which comes in handy if you decide to lengthen your ride
  • Enough room for a change of clothes or an SLR camera


  • None!  This is a great backpack.

CamelBak Rogue Hydration Pack

CamelBak-Rogue-Hydration-PackThe Camelback Rogue is a hydration backpack designed for riders who enjoy traveling at high speed.  It is a super-lightweight pack with a very slim profile and a large 2-liter bladder capable of rides up to 5-hours in sunny conditions.  There is a quick-release flap on the front of the backpack that makes it easy to refill while traveling.

This backpack has two external pockets, suitable for smaller items like keys, a spare tube your mobile phone, a wallet and a raincoat.  There is elastic on the sides of the backpack, which allow it to quickly expand and accommodate larger objects.  The Camelbak Rogue also has a reflective strip on the back for additional safety.

It uses the Camelbak’s Antidote reservoir, which has a quarter-turn easy open/close cap, convenient fillport, dryer arms, center baffling and low-profile design.  It uses the same Big Bite™ Valve, HydroGuard™ technology, with a PureFlow™ tube as the other bladders.


  • A super-lightweight design for fast or competitive riding
  • Enough room to carry the essentials


  • You may require some additional storage for longer rides where you want to take lunch and a change of clothes

CamelBak ThermoBak 3.0 Liter Hydration System

CamelBak-ThermoBak-3.0-Liter-Hydration-SystemThis is a great Camelbak for riding in hot conditions or for longer rides.  It holds a massive 3-liter water bladder which will sustain you for long trips or during fast trail rides where you are sweating a lot.

This Camelbak is the same design as the one used by thousands of military service personnel around the world.  It is a battle-tested pack that is tough and durable.  If it can survive patrols in Afghanistan — it will survive on the trail!  It uses the same Antidote reservoir as the Camelbak Rogue but buffed up to 3-liters for endurance rides.  It is a great choice for riders who enjoy cross country or enduro riding.

It is a light-weight and low profile pack designed for day patrols.  This pack is built for hot environments like the Middle East and has a fully insulated reservoir compartment with 7 mm of closed foam.  If you really like keeping your beverage cold, you will love this Camelbak.


  • A super-lightweight design with a huge 3-liter bladder
  • Really well insulated!
  • Some attachments for your helmet and other essentials


  • Does not contain much compartment space

Camelbak Products Women’s L.U.X.E. Hydration Backpack

91qgPuwuwPL._SL1500_The Camelbak L.U.X.E. has been designed for use by women, with a narrower S-shaped shoulder harness with independent suspension.  It is more comfortable for most women, especially if they are on their bike for longer periods.

It has the same 4 point compression system and the M.U.L.E. which helps provide ventilation to the back.  The design is narrower compared to some other Camelbak hydration packs, which helps it align with a woman’s back.

It has a large main compartment which can carry your lunch, a change of clothes and other essential items.  There is also a smaller pocket ideal for your mobile phone or keys and a mesh pocket perfect for items that you frequently use.  It has a massive 3-liter reservoir and is perfect for a full day of riding.


  • A smart design which is ideal or women.
  • A huge 3-liter bladder!
  • Plenty of storage space


  • None, this is an outstanding product.