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Camelbak Flashflo prelim. review (Read 1325 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    Well, my new Camelbak unit just arrived (damn, Campmor is FAST--it just shipped on Mon.). The Flashflo replace a Catalyst which had a leaky cap/mouth. The Catalyst had no gasket/o-ring, which I believe was the cause of the leakage. The Flashflow DOES have such a ring in the cap (translucent silicone, by the look of it). And the cap/mouth is MUCH bigger (for things like ice cubes) and easier to fill and clean. The Flashflo is bigger (45oz, Catalyst holds 28 ) and will be heavier when full, but the waist-pack is also bigger and has a LOT more room to store things (energy bars, keys, cell phone, Mp3 player, etc.). I should also have no problem going on a very long run (keep in mind that "very long" for me is in the range of 2+ hours) during warmer weather. This pack also appears more insulated, so I would imagine that will help keep any liquid inside--after all, who really likes warm beer?! *snort* And the side areas are breatheable mesh on this pack--I think the Catalyst had kind of a quilted poly/foam area on each side, more like what a backpack would have. I'm impressed. I can't wait to use it tonite. Big grin k Edited to make 28 not appear as a smilie 8)

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


    Needs more cowbell!

      Cool, I just returned from my "test run" with it. So far, so good. I only put 16oz. in it, since I just did my longest run and I didn't want to be overloaded. That was just the right amount to sip on from time to time. Were it a hotter day I probably would have wanted as much as a quart along, but that still would leave 13 empty ounces. I'm really glad I have this larger model, now. I'm not as impressed with the amount of excess straps or the way it attaches to the body, compared with the smaller Catalyst, but other than that it works very well. It didn't bounce around or shift at all and my cell phone doesn't flop around on the belt of this like it does on the waist of my shorts, which is nice. k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        Cool, glad to hear you like it, since I was considering ordering that one soon. And the bouncing/sliding thing was my concern. On my 10+mile runs, things that don't usually bother me start to rub, bounce, irritate, etc. And here is a strange question for you..is there a valve or something to open to get the water to come out, or do you have to suck it out? The reason I ask is that Anya has started running with me (my border collie, Aussie shepard, blue healer mix, for those that don't know the sweet baby) & when I have a regular squeeze-type bottle, I drink from it, then hold it well out of her tongue reach & just squirt it in her mouth when she needs a drink. Of course, I hate the thing I use now, so if she has to sacrifice clean, cold water for drinking out of the ditch to suit me... Actually, I'm a sucker for her & I'd probably end up carrying something along for her too. Of course, now that people are watering lawns & flowers regularly, there are plenty of sprinklers & garden hoses to borrow for her drinks.
        So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3
          You know, I had a hard time figuring out how to get the water out of my tube too! LOL! That's why I was looking for instructions! It helped that I found out the black rubbery thing on the end was called a "bite-valve." Mine workes by biting (incisors) on the little groove at the end and then sucking the water out at the same time. I felt really silly trying to get the water out before I figured that out... Blush Good thing I tried it at home... That way nobody will know... (shhhh!)

          Roads were made for journeys...

          Mile Collector


          Abs of Flabs

            Kirsten and Janell What are your opinions on the maintennance of the Camelbak? I would imagine that keeping it sanitary is a pain. I like the Fuel Belt but only use it during races because I can't stand cleaning all those little bottles. I use a regular water bottle for all my other runs. How do you clean the tube and the bite valve?


            Needs more cowbell!

              You know, I had a hard time figuring out how to get the water out of my tube too! LOL! That's why I was looking for instructions! It helped that I found out the black rubbery thing on the end was called a "bite-valve." Mine workes by biting (incisors) on the little groove at the end and then sucking the water out at the same time. I felt really silly trying to get the water out before I figured that out... Blush Good thing I tried it at home... That way nobody will know... (shhhh!)
              Hey, and you can detatch the bite valve assembly from the tube, which really helps it to drain. Big grin k

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


              Needs more cowbell!

                Cool, glad to hear you like it, since I was considering ordering that one soon. And the bouncing/sliding thing was my concern. On my 10+mile runs, things that don't usually bother me start to rub, bounce, irritate, etc. And here is a strange question for you..is there a valve or something to open to get the water to come out, or do you have to suck it out?
                Eryn, as it "deflates" you actually can tighten it around your waist more, so I can't imagine that it will ever rub or shift. I found while cleaning it that as long as the tube opening is lower than the bladder that you can squeeze the bite valve and water will come out, so that should work for giving Anya a drink pretty well, I think. k

                I shoot pretty things! ~

                '14 Goals:

                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                Needs more cowbell!

                  Kirsten and Janell What are your opinions on the maintennance of the Camelbak? I would imagine that keeping it sanitary is a pain. How do you clean the tube and the bite valve?
                  I did see in one of the little things that came either with the first Camelbak I had or the cleaning kit that you can use bleach water to clean it. I also bought some of the cleaning tablets to see how I like those from time to time. The bladder is supposed to have some antibacterial qualities, but I think I will still be rinsing it well after each using and maybe giving it a more thorough cleaning each week. The cleaning kit I bought comes with a "bottle brush" for cleaning the inside of the bladders, a thing to hang it on to dry (though I think that's designed more for the backpack models), and a long, thin brush to scrub the inside of the tube. It's easy to run liquid through the tube, too, just hold the bladder above your head and squeeze the bite valve. The bite valve itself can be removed and soaked. So it seems really pretty easy to clean, IMO. I can even throw the pack itself into the washing machine when it gets really gross from sweat (which will probably be a weekly thing in the Summer). k

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    I'd add that you probably don't want to leave water in the pack for your next run... unless you like swampwater... Dead

                    Roads were made for journeys...


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      Oh, and I should mention that somewhere I had seen where a person puts a couple of clean golf balls in their bladder (I think it might have been an off brand) to help hold it open to dry. Since the waist packs don't really fit on the drying contraption, I think that might be a good solution. k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)