Author Topic: Camelbak or other hydration unit?  (Read 12752 times)

Offline Heavy G

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Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« on: July 02, 2011, 10:39:13 AM »
I need to decide whether to get a Camelbak or a military counterpart for my hydration unit and wanted you guys to help me out.

I will be running a tactical vest (probably a Tactical Tailer Modular Vest) for when I do run and gun.  (For the record: I am a UCG ("untrained civilian goofball" not some "operator." I actually would use this vest a lot when I shoot with my guys.)

The vest is mesh and not very rigid:



http://www.tacticaltailor.com/modulartac-vest.aspx

It has an inside pocket for a hydration unit (it's the dark green square in the middle of the vest).  It's mesh but should hold a hydration unit full of water.  That's what it's designed for.

I am lucky enough to live in the area where the Tactical Tailor retail store is so I can test these things out.  So I'm pretty sure a hydration unit of any kind would go in the inside pouch nicely.

What unit to put in there?  I am leaning toward a civilian Camelbak unit.  The reason is that I can readily find parts for it.  Like a replacement hose, mouth piece, etc. 

Tactical Tailor sells military hydration units.  They're not general issue (I guess; I'm no expert) but rather are Israeli (I think):



http://www.tacticaltailor.com/hydrationbladder.aspx

I would obviously need a cover for the hydration unit.  I don't want it to get cut by something and then I lose my water.

Here's the thing.  A Camelbak seems to come with a backpack piece to it.  You can get just the Camelbak bladder, but to get a cover for it you need to get one with shoulder straps, etc.  At least I think so.

Tactical Tailor has a hydration unit cover that fits the military and Camelbak units:



http://www.tacticaltailor.com/hydrationcarriermodular.aspx

I would like the capability of putting the hydration unit on the outside of the vest via MOLLE clips.  That wouldn't be how I'd run it, just an option.

But the Tactical Tailor hydration unit cover is kind of expensive and would add weight.  I could run the TT cover and either the Camelbak or military unit on the inside.

So, my question is what you guys think would work best.  I don't want to put a Camelbak backpack on the inside of my vest.  But I want to be able to get the Camelbak parts if I need them.

What would be ideal is a cheap and light Camelbak cover so I could put a Camelbak on the inside of the vest.

Thoughts?

G

OldManSchmidt

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2011, 10:45:07 AM »
Here are  my thoughts.  Get a needle, thread, cloth of your choice and sew your own cover.  It's a bag.  Sewing a bag isn't tough.  In simplest design terms, it is one long seam across the bottom and up one side.  Put some velcro at the top for a closure and you are done.

Offline The Wilderness

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2011, 11:02:06 AM »
I would buy the Camelbak with the packpack, and the TT vest and hydration cover. This will be a bit more exspensive but then again it gives you more options. You can use the vest for run and gun and then put the bladder in the backpack for hiking.

TW

Offline longrifle

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2011, 12:32:37 PM »
G,
Camelback makes an insert that is covered but doesn't have the straps. If you use the built in pouch or the TT pouch, you do not want to just put the bladder inside. As you drink the water the bladder collapses and it closes off the tube opening at the bottom of the bladder.  I agree with TW that the best option is one with straps for the versitility, you will just want to ensure that it will fit in the pouch of your choosing. The nice thing about a built in pouch over the other two options (the TT and just wearing it over or under yoyr Tac Vest) is that it wont slosh around on your back as much. All that movement fatigues you faster.
http://www.camelbak.com/Military-Tactical/Packs/2011-HotShot.aspx

This one is similar to the one i have carried on 3 deployments. You can drop it in a pouch and it wont collapse on you.

longrifle

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2011, 01:29:06 PM »
Longrifle:

I think that Camelbak Hot Shot (the one in the link you sent) would be perfect.  Tough Cordura exterior but no bulky straps. 

But everyone else: Keep those suggestions coming.  Others will want to know your thoughts too.  This thread will live on here on the internet for years. 

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2011, 03:23:18 PM »
But everyone else: Keep those suggestions coming.  Others will want to know your thoughts too.  This thread will live on here on the internet for years.

G, I concur with you and Longrifle about the Hotshot being the answer for you.  But since you asked to keep'em coming, I'll chime in.  I do some of the local run and guns (yet another UCG) with a camelbak, and I just use a civilian Lobo model – 2 liters plus about 50 cu inches pack for a multitool and a granola bar and not much else.  It goes on last, after the gun belt and single-point sling.  Because I'm not using a vest, it fits just right with everything else.

I've also got a woodland camo Camelbak Mule (3 liters, maybe 100 cu in of pack).  It's got waist belts and all that, which have been really nice on longer hikes, but it just hit me – if I put it on with the gun belt, will these two play nicely?  Going to go check that out in a minute.  In the next two months I may need that extra liter capacity at the matches.

Don't forget to burp your bladder after filling it.  Flip it over so any air rises to the hose inlet, then give the nipple and bladder a squeeze to let the air out.  Only takes a few seconds and it really quiets things down.

So far as I know, at least within the Camelbak line, the civilian and military mouthpiece, hose, valve, etc. hardware are interchangeable.  There may be some exceptions for gas mask fittings and such (just not on the civilian line at all), but for the common stuff mine all seems about the same except for color, and they mix and work together just fine.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2011, 08:58:38 PM »
Thanks, Alan Georges.

Offline Sequanti

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 09:34:58 PM »
I would buy the Camelbak with the packpack, and the TT vest and hydration cover. This will be a bit more exspensive but then again it gives you more options. You can use the vest for run and gun and then put the bladder in the backpack for hiking.

+1

But if you just want a Camelbak that attaches:
http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Packs/2011-Unbottle-100.aspx

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2011, 07:49:38 PM »
Well, I listened to TW as usual (except that thing about the Oakland Raiders; I still hate them).

I forgot I had a Camelbak MULE pack without a reservoir.  I got if for $20 at a surplus store.  I used it as a little day pack for hunting.  It looks like this:



This weekend my guys found the place we'll be shooting at a lot.  I saw how the other guys brought in water: Camelbak MULEs.  This new place doesn't have a lot of parking so I can't put Costco water bottles in my car like I used to.  I need to haul it. 

I got a Camelbak Antidote reservoir.  It fits in the MULE just great.  I'll use this to haul in the water.

I'll see if this does the trick.  It probably will. 

If I find that I really need the water unit on my TT vest, I'll get the Camelbak Hot shot reservoir that is padded to handle bumps and bruises. 

Plus, with the separate MULE backpack with the reservoir, I can use the backpack only; no need for a vest.

So other than that Raider thing ... TW had a good point.  Thank you, sir.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2011, 12:09:56 AM »
I forgot I had a Camelbak MULE pack without a reservoir.  I got if for $20 at a surplus store. 
This is known in technical circles as "a freekin' STEAL!"  Good find!  Keep us posted on how it works out.

Offline The Wilderness

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 12:12:02 AM »
Well, I listened to TW as usual (except that thing about the Oakland Raiders; I still hate them).

I forgot I had a Camelbak MULE pack without a reservoir.  I got if for $20 at a surplus store.  I used it as a little day pack for hunting.  It looks like this:



This weekend my guys found the place we'll be shooting at a lot.  I saw how the other guys brought in water: Camelbak MULEs.  This new place doesn't have a lot of parking so I can't put Costco water bottles in my car like I used to.  I need to haul it. 

I got a Camelbak Antidote reservoir.  It fits in the MULE just great.  I'll use this to haul in the water.

I'll see if this does the trick.  It probably will. 

If I find that I really need the water unit on my TT vest, I'll get the Camelbak Hot shot reservoir that is padded to handle bumps and bruises. 

Plus, with the separate MULE backpack with the reservoir, I can use the backpack only; no need for a vest.

So other than that Raider thing ... TW had a good point.  Thank you, sir.

Glad I could help, buddy.

Do not bag on my Raiders, tho. >:(

TW

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2011, 07:54:51 PM »
Tested out the regular Camelbak (Antidote bladder, to be precise) in the tac vest. 

Worked great.  I wasn't rolling around in the dirt so I didn't test it for ruptures.  But for what I use it for, I doubt I'll be doing much more than standing with it on my back. 

The light blue tube coming out of the tac vest doesn't look "tactical" ... but I don't care.  I'm not "tactical."  I'm a guy who's thirsty and doesn't want to spend a ton of money on a black tube. 

So far, so good. 

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2011, 08:18:43 AM »
This forum is so large, you can easily miss some threads that you'd like to read or in which you would like reply.

In the too little too late category...

I have a Camelbak Thermobak 3L. It works great on my tactical vest. The straps fold into a pocket allowing me to use the side clips to run straps that attach to my vest or my backpack's MOLLE attachment points. The Thermobak has insulation sewn into the Cordura that keeps the water pretty cool for extended periods and helps protect the reservoir inside. The tube also comes with a neoprene cover. The whole thing is black and fairly low profile.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 08:00:25 PM »
Well, I got both.  I had a blue camelbak in the backpack.  Works great.  But there wasn't enough outer support for the bladder in the inside of my tac vest.

So I got a second camelbak and a Tactical Tailor hydration pouch for it.  The pouch fits on the back of my tac vest nicely.  The black camelbak goes with it great.

I'm glad I have two camelbaks now.  The first one, the blue one with the backpack, is great for uses that won't arouse funny looks.  You just can't have too many cambelaks.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2011, 08:45:49 AM »
You just can't have too many cambelaks.
Too true!

On the subject of blue vs. black...
A while back, I’d just finished a mountain bike ride and was packing up gear before driving home.  It was a nice day, so a lot of people were out at the trails.  It was getting close to lunch, so most (a dozen, maybe more) were packing out too.  But there was lots of standing around chatting.  I’m in the conversation, so off the cuff I point around the crowd individually and say “civilian, civilian, civilian, military, military, civilian” etc.  People look around at each other and murmur “Yeah, that’s right...”, then someone asks “But how did you know?”  I shrug and reply “Color of your nipples.”
A few people grin, some the ladies present nervously cross their arms, conversation continues, packing up resumes.  A minute later I hear from across the trailhead “OMG!  He was talking about our CAMELBAKS!”

Offline bobbleheadjesus

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2011, 08:48:57 PM »
I think this may be my first post, but i love listening to the show and these forums are great! Well, I didn't really read the entire post or the reply's, but I wanted to share this new hydration system I came across today. It is called, "The Giegerrig." Its basically just like a camelbak or platypus hydration system except that it is air-charged so you don't have to "suck on the nipple" to get water, it sprays!  I just ordered one for $24.99 from www.theclymb.com so I guess I will see exactly how great it is. Anyway, its worth checking out.

Here's a quick pic:



Here's a link to their website: http://www.geigerrig.com/
« Last Edit: September 28, 2011, 08:56:28 PM by bobbleheadjesus »

Offline Joe

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2011, 06:44:53 AM »
If you are going to sew your own bag, something I have done is to make use of old Carhartt work pants.  They are tough, and kind of faded which works and looks great, and most of the colors I usually wear work well with cammo, or whatever you're doing. 

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2011, 11:42:45 AM »
it is air-charged so you don't have to "suck on the nipple" to get water, it sprays!
That could come in handy for other things.

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Re: Camelbak or other hydration unit?
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2011, 06:17:07 PM »
I think this may be my first post, but i love listening to the show and these forums are great! Well, I didn't really read the entire post or the reply's, but I wanted to share this new hydration system I came across today. It is called, "The Giegerrig." Its basically just like a camelbak or platypus hydration system except that it is air-charged so you don't have to "suck on the nipple" to get water, it sprays!  I just ordered one for $24.99 from www.theclymb.com so I guess I will see exactly how great it is. Anyway, its worth checking out.

Here's a quick pic:



Here's a link to their website: http://www.geigerrig.com/

Funny. I've sent requests to a few hydration pack companies to do just that and it went without comment. Glad to see somebody finally did it. I know I'm not the first to want something like that.

Other thing I did do, is I added a separate fill line so that the bag stays in the holder during the refill. I have an adapter attached to my RO filter spout at home.