5 Best CamelBak for hiking

CamelBak is a big brand with products that cater to different aspects of hiking. This includes bottles, packs, coolers, reservoirs, filtration, and accessories.

All of these are hydration products that actively serve the hiking community in America. But most importantly their hydration packs are one of the best out there.

My team and I decide to review the best CamelBak hydration packs, bottles, coolers, reservoirs, and filters, therefore, making this post an Ultimate guide although we think know that it’s the hydration packs you came here for.

Please feel free to navigate these different subtopics using the jump links.

Top 5 CamelBak Hydration Packs For Hiking

Just like everything else, getting a hydration pack, there has to be some criterion for choosing the best, and CamelBak’s is no exception.

To get a quality hydration pack you have to look at these qualities; hydration capacities, weight, features, comfort, sizing

CamelBak Ambush Pack (Highly recommended)


Hydration reservoir capacity: 3L

Cargo capacity: 8L

Weight: minimalist design

Hydration pack features: Frames, Pockets, Ventilation, Padding

Comfort: Shoulder Strap, Padded, No hipbelt, Chest strap

Size: Unisex

This hydration pack has a military-grade design which makes it extremely exception from the others. It has extra functional pockets, it holds more water, it is BPA-free and that makes it free from plastic taste.

There is an adjustable length for each strap, and the chest strap has a Bungie side that relieves pressure. A nice feature is that the 3L bladder is easily removable through the top hole.

This hydration pack is excellent for short hikes. It comes in different colors and that means you have the option to choose if you don’t like the military-like color. It features a quick-release bite valve.

I highly recommend it.



CamelBak Arete 18


Hydration reservoir capacity: 1.5L

Cargo capacity: 16.5L

Weight: 11 oz. minimalist design

Hydration pack features: Frames, Pockets, Ventilation

Comfort: Shoulder Strap, No hipbelt

Size: Unisex

This hydration pack is best for short day hikes. It allows ventilation because the bag is made of mesh hence it’s also quick drying.

Although this pack has been rumored to have some minor leaks, it is negligible when the lid is tightly screwed and when it isn’t filled to the lid.


Water pouch minor leaks may happen

Cleaning the reservoir isn’t easy

CamelBak Mule Pack


Hydration reservoir capacity: 3L

Cargo capacity: 8L

Weight: 30 oz

Hydration pack features: Frames, Pockets, Ventilation

Comfort: Shoulder Strap, Padded, Hipbelt present

Size: Unisex

This bag is not big instead it is a slim hydration pack hence it is suitable for short day hikes. There are a number of advantages to this setup over a standard MULE pack, and it does exactly what is supposed to do.

Besides the tube leaving through the top of the bag, there are also slits on either side of the bag so that the tube can be routed up from the waist rather than over the shoulder.


It’s heavier a little bit

CamelBak Women’s Pack

Hydration reservoir capacity: 2L

Cargo capacity: 5L

Weight: 12 oz

Hydration pack features: Frames, Pockets, Ventilation

Comfort: Shoulder Strap, Padded, Hipbelt present

Size: Women

For a snug and comfortable fit, it has multiple adjustment straps. In my experience, this pack doesn’t shift or move as I hike 8+ miles and climb up and down a variety of terrains.

Also, the bladder is a classic Camelback design, it’s the perfect size for a day hike because it holds a lot of water and other items.

This is one of the great CamelBak hydration packs out there. 

What to Look For In a CamelBak Hydration Pack

Hydration Reservoirs

Noteworthy is their capacities, openings, and handle valves… Most times their capacities can be anywhere between 1L to 3L. The bite valve is responsible for proper suction

Cargo capacities

This is usually dependent on your needs such as personal hygiene, the weather condition such as summer or winter, and how long you plan to stay on the trail. The hydration pack capacity could be 18l, 22l, 25l, or 30l. 

Here’s a guideline you can use for capacity choice

Short day hikes: 5-18 liters

Average day hikes: 18-30 liters

Long or gear-heavy day hikes: 30-40 liters

CamelBak Cooler Backpack For Hiking


A hydration pack can feature a minimalist or a fully featured design. Minimalist designs are simply hydration packs with less structure and capacity.

While a full-featured design is structurally made for long or gear-heavy day hikes. The feature paddings and straps help to manage the weight of the gears you are carrying.

Hydration pack features

These include back panel and ventilation, straps, frame, and pockets.


 For comfort when carrying hydration packs, a back panel, hip belt, and shoulder straps are very important and a great indicator of the comfortability of a hydration pack.

All of these provide cushioning to the sternum, back, and entire body.


This is very important for comfort too. A hydration pack specifically designed for men will definitely not feel comfortable for women and vice versa.

Therefore put torso length and the hipbelt into consideration.

CamelBak Water Bottles For Hiking

CamelBak Reservoir

Camelbak water filters

What Next?

Make choice your choice now and be a happy hiker. I highly recommend CamelBak Women’s Pack and CamelBak Ambush Pack