CAMELBAK ANTIDOTE 3L HYDRATION RESERVOIR. (review)


CAMELBAK 3L / 100oz Mil-Spec Antidote Reservoir (Short) 90854

Summers coming and with it all those hot, dry, arid days with the sun beating down on your neck it's times like that we fully appreciate how important it is to stay hydrated right? Whether we’re training, running, hiking or even just sat at a desk, good hydration keeps our bio-machanics lubricated and working at peak performance. This is true for the mind as well as the body.

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CAMELBAK ANTIDOTE RESERVOIR DECOMPLIED


Are Bladders better than bottles? there’s no need to decide, obviously both have their jobs to do. A huge part of me likes bottles, they rarely leak and are much tougher. But a hydration bladder / reservoir in good working order is so much easy to grab that hose and take a drink even if we’re swimming or hanging from a cliff that hand-free convenience during activity is going to keep us siping more and staying hydrated.

CAMELBAK MODEL 60184 - THE CLASSIC

The first reservoir I ever bought was from my local Army Surplus Store, a “CAMELBAK 3L Hydration pack, Thermobak Model 60184". Honestly, based on my experience of that first bladder I decided I didn’t like them, mostly because I found them too hard to clean! But as time past and the design was improved, (For me, making the filler cap big enough to get my hand in to clean was the most important) I found myself coming back to liking the concept.

GORUCK GR1 26L inc ANTIDOTE 3L with room for GR1 FIELD POCKET

Why the CAMELBAK ANTIDOTE? - It's short "N" stocky and works great with a GORUCK GR1 26L

The ANTIDOTE series of CAMELBAK bladders are designed for tactical operations, they come in all the popular sizes including compact, short and stocky configurations, designed specifically for use on a plate carrier. The CAMELBAK ANTIDOTE 3L Short has a lot of innovations which were not featured on my older CAMELBAK models but the innovation I like most is the internal, central baffle which stops the bladder bulging too much and keeps it at a slim 3” deep even when completely full with 3 litres of water. It’s shorter but wider design (14"H x 9"W x 3"D) works perfectly with the plate pocket inside my GR1 and that's why I chose it, as it allows me to MOLLY a FIELD POCKET or other admin organiser of a similar size to the GORUCK internal MOLLY field and still maintain decent access to the pocket and CAMELBAK bladder.

GR1 FIELD POCKET sites over the RESERVOIR SLIGHTLY

MOLLY the first row so the FIELD POCKET to access the reservoir 

OTHER FEATURES OF NOTE

THE BUSINESS END - HANDS FREE ACCESS

THE HOSE
The hose is 44” long and has a neoprene sleeve that insulates the it and makes it less likely to freeze. The other is to protect the inside of the tube and any droplets of water from UV, this helps prevent bacteria build up.

The hose is super easy to unclip and detach from the base of the bladder. The bladder has a clever valve system they stops it leaking when this is done.

BITE VALVE REMOVED

At the other end, the end that sucks there is another latch and clip system so the mouth piece can be removed.

THE BUSINESS END - DETACHABLE BITE VALVE, MUD "N" CRUD GUARD, 'ON' TO SIP, TAB

In my case there is not a valve here but there is a tiny but easy to use, (even while wearing gloves), tap that keeps water in the hose until it’s time for a sip. In the field these features seem like finicky gimmicks to me but back at base, proper use of them stops your bladder pissing on your kitchin floor.

BIG GULP VALVE - SIMPLE BUT WORKS GREAT

The mouth piece is a big gulp variant with a mud-n-crud cap, a simple design but work really well.

HALF TWIST, SOLDIER PROOF CAP

HALF TWIST FILLER PORT

FILLER CAP
The cap and filler port are big enough for me to get my stupid ex-blacksmiths hands inside the reservoir to clean. As I said earlier, I find bladders harder to clean than a bottle but as long as you restrict use to water, now it’s pretty easy.

The filler cap has an “soldier proof”, half-twist-to-close mechanism that can’t be over tighten, so under pressure the bladder can leak a bit. However this design is more robust, easy to use so in theory we’re less likely to destroy it. The civilian variant has a more conventional screw cap that can be tightened right up, it doesn’t leak but it’s finicky to use and easy to cross the cap threads if we’re not carefull.

So if the mil-spec ANTIDOTE has enough room in the rucksack and it’s not over filled, it works out fine.

THE RESERVOIR
Featured here is a 3L / 100oz capacity reservoir. I use it full in the summer, about half full in the winter but the capacity to change my mind and carry more if I think it’s needed, is there. These more advanced bladder seem to be a lot tougher than the older models, being harder to puncher and explode. I have to say, I’ve long since given up worrying about that, especially when it’s cocooned inside the 1000D of my GORUCK GR1 : )

THE 3L ANTIDOTE SHORT FITS THE GR1 26L PLATE POCKET LEAVING PLENTY OF MOLLE TO BE USFUL

This wasn’t meant to be an either, or kind of post, in reality I use both. Using the bladder for convenience and a bottle or 2 for water storage, remember what I said earlier about breaks and punchers, this config covers all the bases for me. But I have come to realise that time does improve on the original design and the CAMELBAK ANTIDOTE MIL-Spec is tougher, better designed and easier to use then my original model, sometimes... a concept does deserve a revisit.

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