Gear Review: CamelBak Antidote Reservoir – 100 fl. oz. 3/10

Walking 15-20 miles a day is physically demanding in any circumstances, but it’s even more of a challenge under the summer sun. I knew this going in, and made hydration an important part of my planning. I had used CamelBak reservoirs for marathon training in the past, and figured I’d take a larger (100 oz.) reservoir on my camino. It did the job, but quite poorly. For short hikes and non demanding territory, this thing would have been fine. It’s like getting running shoes at Target or Sunglasses at Wal-Mart…they do the job they’re intended for, but shouldn’t be trusted by anyone spending a lot of time outdoors. The problems started in Logrono. I filled my pack up the night before, and I woke up to find that the pack had emptied all over the floor, soaking my clothes. Day after day, water would seep from the mouthpiece. I tried every to keep this from happening, removing the big bite valve and re-attaching multiple times. When I got home, I did quite a bit of online research and found that this is commonplace. I’ve since switched over to a Salomon hydration pack, and haven’t had any of the leakage trouble.

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I rate this gear 3/10, and would strongly advise against using it on the camino. Usually there are water stops ever 3-6 miles, but this is not the case on the old Roman Road. I filled up all 100 oz, but lost a great deal of that to leakage that day. I ran out of water in 100 degree heat a good 5 miles from the next water stop. This could have ended badly, instead I was just very dehydrated. If not for all of my altitude training and running under the brutal CA summer sun to train, my body might not have been so resilient. A major plus is the quick link, this allowed me to fill the bladder quickly without having to re-lace the hose.

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