CamelBak PowderBak

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The PowderBak, the latest addition to Camelbak’s…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Wearable hydration that also functions as a midweight baselayer
Size: Medium
Number of Pockets: No pockets
Max. Load Carried: NA - but carries a 72 oz bladder of water
Height of Owner: 5' 6"
Price Paid: Sample from CamelBak

The PowderBak, the latest addition to Camelbak’s line of hydration gear, is a wearable, full-zip mid-layer with an integrated reservoir. Now, you can use your core body temperature to prevent the water from freezing instead of a shot of vodka.

PowderBak is made with QuickFit, CamelBak’s proprietary compression fabric that offers optimal moisture-wicking and quick-drying capabilities in a lightweight, breathable material. It also acts as a comfortable, zip-up mid-weight base layer for added warmth. A 72-ounce hydration reservoir sits inside the HydroPouch, a compartment that comfortably supports and stabilizes the reservoir.

I’ve been testing the PowderBak this winter for both downhill skiing and cross-country skiing. I love it for downhill skiing because not only does it add an extra layer of warmth, but even when the reservoir is full, you can still lean back into chairlift. You can’t really do that comfortably with the traditional hydration pack. You also don't feel it when you wear it other then it feels like an additional baselayer. The hydration bladder itself is fully removable from the vest, for ease of laundering and the neoprene tube cover keeps water within the tube from freezing.

My neutrality for the PowderBak for cross-country skiing is completely vain. Does it keep me warm as another mid weight baselayer? Yes. Does it keep water from freezing? Yes. Does it make me look like a hunchback under the more form-fitting cross-country clothing? Yes. (The bulkier downhill ski jackets hide the hunch)

If you don’t care that complete strangers on the trail, people whom you’ve never met and presumably will never see again, could think that you spent your formative years with bad posture, you’ll like the PowderBak. I can also see it working well for winter hiking, snowshoeing and camping.

The PowderBak will be available in September 2010, in both men's and women's versions.

Manufacturer's Description

Visit CamelBak's Men's PowderBak page.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

The CamelBak PowderbakTM Hydration vest integrates wearable hydration into a full-zip mid layer.

- REI refers to the men's version

Rather than dragging a bulky backpack on the lift, zip up the CamelBak PowderBack Hydration Pack, and keep your H20 thawed and close at hand. This vest-style hydration pack has a padded pouch just below the top of your shoulders that holds an integrated hydration reservoir. This feeds an insulated drinking tube that snakes over your shoulder. Lightweight breathable mesh gives this low-profile, tight-fitting vest a stretchy construction so that you can easily fit it over a baselayer or mid-layer and enjoy the snow without feeling overheated or dragged down by your needs for water.

- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version

CamelBak(R) Got Your Bak(TM) Guarantee: If we built it, we'll Bak it(TM) with our lifetime guarantee. Reservoir Features: 1/4 turn - easy open/close cap, lightweight fillport, dryer arms, center baffling and low-profile design, patented Big Bite(TM) Valve, HydroGuard(TM) technology, insulated PureFlow(TM) tube, easy-to-clean wide-mouth opening Additional Features: HydroPouch(TM): Innovative, integrated reservoir compartment encapsulates the 70 oz (2 L) reservoir to support and stabilize water weight on your back. Air mesh back panel insert keeps your back cool while insulating the water in your reservoir. QuickFit(TM): Plush compression fabric self-adjusts to comfortably hold and stabilize 70 oz (2 L) of water while conforming to your body. QuickWick(TM): Lightweight and breathable fabric with integrated stretch delivers moisture management and a performance fit. Includes the new 70 oz (2 L) Antidote reservoir with 1/4 turn - easy open/close cap, lightweight fillport, dryer arms, center baffling and low-profile design, patented Big Bite(TM) Valve, HydroGuard(TM) technology, 4mm insulated PureFlow(TM) tube, easy-to-clean wide-mouth opening. Reservoir Cleaning: The best way to care for your reservoir is to clean and dry it after every use, especially if you fill the reservoir with anything other than water. However, theoretically, if someone didn't clean it after every single use, and mold or discoloration happens to develop... Use hot water and a CamelBak Cleaning Tablet. (Or Use 2 tablespoons of baking soda or bleach instead of CamelBak Cleaning Tab.) Mix the solution inside your reservoir and hold it up above your head while you pinch the bite valve, allowing the bleached water to run through the tube. Let the reservoir and cleaning solution sit for about 30 minutes. Wash the reservoir with hot water and mild soap. Be sure to completely rinse away any bleach or cleaning solution before using again. You can also use CamelBak brushes from our Cleaning Kit to scrub your reservoir and tube. Brushes are the best way to ensure you are scrubbing all of the areas of the reservoir clean. Once the reservoir is clean, be sure to air dry the reservoir so no moisture is trapped inside, which can cause mold to grow. Allow to air dry overnight if possible. These steps will make your reservoir safe for use. If you have spots left from the mold, they will never come all the way out because the reservoir is permanently stained, but still safe and usable.

- Rocky Mountain Trail refers to the men's version

Capacity: 72 oz (2.1 L) 72 oz of hydration integrated into a full-zip mid-layer vest. Camelbak PowderBak 72oz Vest Sizing: Small: Chest Size 35-38 in / 89-97 cm Medium: Chest Size 38-41 in / 97-104 cm #82

- Teton Village Sports refers to the men's version