Camelbak The Don Review

Hydration Pro Reviews

Antidote Reservoir
The new Antidote reservoir (70 and 100oz) is pretty amazing, and Camelbak has done a full redesign of the unit, adding many features and functionality, and has caught up to the competition’s innovations. The 90 degree bite valve worked quite nicely, and was easy to draw, and didn’t leak (at least not yet). The shutoff lever was sometimes tough to turn on and off when wearing gloves.

camel_res_pict

First, the screw cap for the fill port takes only a quarter turn to open or close, and it does not get stuck and require brute force to open. I can’t recall how many times I cussed at their original design, when I had to grunt to open! Just line up the arrow on the cap with the circle icon ‘O’ (with arrows pointing in tightening direction), and turn it a quarter turn clockwise until it lines up with the circle icon by the top hanging hook. It only takes a light touch to close the cap, and its water tight and snug. Sweet!

camel_res

The fill port has a wider diameter hole for easier filling and cleaning, along with a shorter stack height and lighter weight. They added a baffle (like a sleeping bag) down the bottom center of the reservoir, which helped reduce the stack height, so the unit is shallower and wider. This means it sits in the pack’s pocket in a more slender fashion, and is more conformable, so when it’s full of water it doesn’t bow the pack out and give rise to a pressure spot, and discomfort.

They added an auto shutoff quick disconnect, named the Quick Link, which allow you to disconnect the reservoir from the drink hose, which facilitates cleaning, filling and drying. The fill port has a handle which hooks into the drop slot of the packs zippered rearward pouch, helping to keep it stable and secure.

camel_flat_connect

Hidden on the fill port’s sides are two plastic drying arms, which pop out and hold the reservoir open for drying, which is done with it hung upside down. The arms are made of the same material as sunglasses arms, so they are tough and durable. This drying method actually works quite well, and helps to keep away the funks, and you no longer need the optional inserted drying rack.

camel_dry

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • jack says:

    What is the asking price?

  • Matt says:

    I like the bag itself, but I’d probably put in a Hydrapak reservoir. As long as Camelbak uses that horrible screw-off lid I’m sticking with the simple Hydrapak bags. I had an earlier hydrapak (sorry for saying the name so much… I feel like I’m in a commercial now) and couldn’t stand their valve or the horrible taste that the tube added. After it started leaking, I switched to a camelback– while I liked the bite valve, I hated the small opening on the reservoir and the screw on/off lid. After I had to use a wrench to open it after using it last time, I went back to hydrapak and was happily surprised at their advancements (bite valve, detachable tube) and how they kept their basic bag opening.

    I really do like camelback’s bag, though! This thing looks tough!

  • Brian Mullin says:

    The new Antidote reservoir is a vast improvement over the old one, the opening is 20-25% bigger, has a quick release tube (easier than the hydrapak), and the 1/4 turn cap doesn’t lock up and is easy to turn, plus the drying arms are pretty sweet. I also have plenty of hydrapak reservoirs, and the new Antidote certainly levels the field, and I wouldn’t swap out bags, the Antidote is just fine.

  • Disco says:

    Seems they have finally noticed what the competition (Dakine and even Jan-Sport) have been up to all along but the core of their business has been military and not recreational sales for years. The bladder is a properly evolutionary step, mimicking Nalgene’s original thoughts and apparently smoothing out the flaws.

    Ride on.

  • Harrys says:

    this site is great,you found anything

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