CamelBak is about to release a new version of their famous, and now ubiquitous hydration reservoir. The new CamelBak Antidote is expected to hit the market Fall 2010, and offers several upgrades to the CamelBak Omega reservoirs that I have been happily using for years.
How does the Antidote stack up? I just got a test version and took it out on a long hike over the weekend.
What “Problems” CamelBak Solved with the Antidote
- Thinner and lighter. When full, my CamelBak Omega reservoir is like an overstuffed sausage that I have to wriggle in to my backpack. The Antidote has a baffle down the center of the reservoir, so it is a little bit flatter in my pack. Definitely good!
- Fillport easier to open, and close. The CamelBak Omega reservoirs require threading the round fillport closure into the exact right spot. That has never been an issue when I’m at home calmly filling up the water, but when I’m cold and tired on the trail, I do tend to fumble around a bit trying to get it closed. So this will save me some time!
- Increased diameter of the fillport. My hands and wrists are small, so I never have issues cleaning my Omega Reservoir, but many of my friends will like this feature!
- Drying arms. I never spent the extra money on the CamelBak branded drying kit. I just bent up an old wire hanger and stuck that in the Omega Reservoir to keep it open while it dried. The new built in drying arms are a nice feature! They seem flimsy, but are apparently made of the same material as the arms of sunglasses.
- Quick attachment for thermal kit and other add-ons. A nice feature if you use CamelBak accessories.
Bottom line? Is the Antidote truly an “antidote” for the issues of the Omega Reservoir? Yes. The additional features of the Antidote sure are nice. Assuming that the pricing is similar to the Omega, I recommend it if you are in the market for a new reservoir.
Hiking Lady Tip: To ensure great tasting water, I always wash out new reservoirs with soap and water. Make sure to rinse it thoroughly. And then I never have that “plasticy” taste.