The CamelBak Octane 25 is a great daysack for active outdoor activities and comes with the fantastic 2-Litre CamelBak Crux Hydration Reservoir.
Hydration packs are very useful for many outdoor activities, and numerous backpacks now come with a place for the bladder and the drinking tube.
They take less space than water bottles, and since they lay flat against your back, they place less weight on your spine.
I’ve had a few ‘cheap’ hydration bladders. But unfortunately, they end up leaking.
CamelBak is arguably known as the market leader in hydration packs, so when they reached out asking if we’d like to test one of their products, it was a great opportunity to see how their packs differ.
The CamelBak Crux Reservoir
CamelBak sent us their Octane 25 backpack, which comes with their 2 litre Crux reservoir.
Now since many of us may have backpacks already that support hydration reservoirs, you’ll be pleased to know you can just buy the Crux reservoir on its own. So, let’s take a closer look.
Easy to Fill
The first thing I noticed is the unmistakable large opening with handle. This is not something I’ve seen on other water bladders, and it made it extremely easy to fill (and clean).
Tube and Bite Valve
The drinking tube clips into the reservoir. The tubes are interchangeable, so if you need to replace the drinking tube, it’s simply a matter of unclipping the old one and clipping in the new one (this mechanism is called CamelBak QuickLink).
Removing the tube also makes it easier to clean and dry.
The Crux reservoir came with a large bite valve. I found this works a lot better than other ones I had. Sometimes, bite valves are a bit hit and miss, and unless you bite in the right place, you get nothing out. Not so with the CamelBak Crux. I found it was easy to get water out with very little biting 🙂
The bite valve also has an on/off tap, which is another very useful feature, and helps prevent unexpected leaks.
The whole system is coated in HyrdroGuard, which hinders bacteria growth in the tube and reservoir.
The full specification can be found on the CamelBak website.
The CamelBak Octane 25
As you might have guessed from the name, the CamelBak Octane 25 is a 25-litre bag, putting into the ‘day sack’ category.
However, if you are used to normal backpacks, then you’ll find this slightly different as it’s designed to be worn during many different activities, not just walking.
It’s very similar to trail running bags we use, and the CamelBak Octane 25 can be used for that too. We also tested it when cycling, and of course, hiking.
Being an active backpack, there are lots of stretch storage pockets, which are ideal for storing various bits and pieces, including snacks. The 25L size makes it a good pack for storing bits and pieces when taking the kids out on a walk.
In addition to the dedicated zipped pocket for the 2-litre Crux Reservoir, there are two stretchy side pockets, which are a perfect size for stowing water bottles for the kids.
The main compartment of the bag is a good size too, and also has an internal zipped pocket and lots of storage pouches.
At the back of the bag is another large stretchy pocket. We find this ideal for stowing wet rainwear.
The front of the Octane 25 has shoulder straps with more pockets and also a hip belt – with more pockets there too!
So, plenty of storage 🙂
I found the bag very comfortable to wear, and it distributed the weight of the 2L reservoir so you didn’t really notice it there.
One thing to note is that you need to spend time adjusting the fit a bit more than you might with a regular daysack. This is because being a pack designed for different activities, it fits to keep your arms clear so the pack doesn’t restrict your movement. That means you need to adjust the side straps, chest straps, and waist strap so it fits comfortably while leaving your arms clear.
We’ve been very impressed with this backpack and reservoir. It’s worked well for family walks, running, and cycling.
Being an active backpack, the complete system is more expensive compared to regular daysacks. However, if you can’t afford the full CamelBak Octane 25 system, definately consider upgrading your current backpack to the CamelBak Crux reservoir, which comes in different sizes.
It gets the Thumbs Up Award from us.
- Comfortable air flow with vent mesh.
- Lots of adjustment for great fit without restricting movement.
- Lots of storage options, including for small items, secure phone storage, stretch side and back pockets, additional internal storage, and separate compartment for hydration reseroir.
- Trekking pole attachment.
- Rain cover.
- Hydration tube clip and storage.
- Easy fill Crux 2L reservoir.
- Easy to use and good flow bite valve, complete with on/off tap.
- It is more expensive than basic daysacks, but you're getting an active sports backpack complete with CamelBak 2-Litre Crux reservoir.
Price Guide: CamelBak Octane 25 with CRUX 2L Hydration
Specification: CamelBak Octane 25 with CRUX 2L Hydration