Blackburn Hydrapack Water Carrier

3.92/5 (93 Reviews)
MSRP : $45.00


Product Description

Blackburn Hydrapack


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Reviews 1 - 15 (93 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 5, 2005

Strengths:    Just as good as a Camelback but at 2/3 the price.

Weaknesses:    Tubing dis-coloured (yellow) in 1 year. Bite valve leaks after 3 years. The whole turn-push-suck routine to get to the water. Waist strap rubs on jerseys causing them to snag and pill the fabric.

Bottom Line:   
I got this hydra pack in 2001 and I still use it. After 3 years of use and a few late fall/early winter rides at night in -5c temps. (without cold weather cover) the bite valve froze up and so did the exposed tubing 1x. The next spring the valve started to leak and it got progressively worse. I've replaced the tubing and bite valve with a "source" one from MEC. I like how the tubing is a transparent blue colour and is 4" shorter. The bite valve is of the more modern 90 degree bent type, to get to the water it's just bite and suck. Also you get 2x the flow as compared to the stock valve. I've fallen with it on me 3 or 4 times and no ruptures or leaks with the bladder.
The waist strap tends to rub a little too much on cycling jerseys causing it to snag and pill. So I took an old pair of Rip N Hammer shorts, cut an 8" strip out of one of the thighs. I got my girlfriend to sew along the length and turn it inside out. I then slid it over the left waist strap and pull it over the qucik release after buckling it.
It reduces the snagging by a large % but not totally.
Bottom Line: For $40/CAN before taxes, almost 4yrs of use,
1 replacement tube, 1 replacement valve and my own creation of a strap cover - if I ever lost it, I'd definately buy another one!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Some bike shop in Scarborough (On Kennedy Rd. & South of Huntingwood Dr.)

Similar Products Used:   Non yet.

Bike Setup:   2001 Trek Fuel 90 Disk, 1996 GT Ricochet.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Alan F a Cross Country Rider from State College, PA

Date Reviewed: May 24, 2005

Bottom Line:   

I really like the spring-loaded valve that you push in with your tongue to open. It's easy. The bladder was fine until one day I went running wearing it. It leaked like a sieve after that. Finally, I bought a new bladder, which cost $21, and the new bladder should hold up better because it doesn't have that mylar-like fabric on the outside. I hope!

Jee Doy - Great idea on using PVC pipe to dry out the bladder! - Thanks.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   ?

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   gift


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Mike a Weekend Warrior from Calgary, Canada

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2004

Strengths:    The pack itself is well made and is comfortable to wear.
I like how the tube comes out the bottom of the pack instead of the top.
Don't really need accesories to clean it properly.
The roll down and velcroed seal at mouth of the bladder works great, I fell flat on my back in crash and it did'nt pop! It's never leaked either.
The price was good too.


Weaknesses:    Gross plastic taste! The warmer it gets the worse the taste gets too!
The clear plastic tubing yellowed with age.
Tried using the bladder for hiking, it's tough but it did'nt adapt well to my backpack.


Bottom Line:   
Try to give it away and cough up the extra money for a Camelback. The bad taste is just too much for me!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Calgary Pathways

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $40.00

Purchased At:   The Bike Shop

Bike Setup:   Giant Iguanna

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Doug Gangi a Weekend Warrior from Phoenix, AZ

Date Reviewed: October 17, 2003

Strengths:    Nice and roomy pockets, bungee tie down, comfort, new Hydrapack bladder and bite valve - best on the market in my opinion

Weaknesses:    Old Hydrapack bite valve (spring-loaded)

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this pack about 4 years ago and have been very happy with the pack. It's not overly bulky on the outside but can really hold a lot of stuff - 2 tubes, my pump, an Alien toolkit, cell phone, granola bars, and LOTS of water. The pack has been abused, fallen on, dragged around, and it still functins as well as the day I bought it. And the pack is very comfortable.

The original Hydrapack bladder and bite valve were just so-so. But they were definitely better then the slit-valve in the Camelbacks!! The spring-loaded bite valve on the Blackburn had some issues -- after 3 years the o-ring would not seal up any more and it would drip water. And it took some getting used to as you could not just "suck" on the valve -- you had to grab it with your teeth and push in the valve with your tongue. Not the most intuitive way of drinking, but you could really gulp down water once you got the hang of it.

The old Hydrapack bladder also had a small screw-on lid that always leaked. I hated it.

HOWEVER, the "new" Hydrapack bladders (now a spin-off from Blackburn) are the BEST! The bite valve is SO easy to use and it is completely foolproof. It never leaks. And the easy-fill bag is GREAT! If I could give the new bladder 10 chilis, I would. And it is durable -- last week I fell on my back in a crash and landed square on my Hydrapack. It was full so I just laid on top of it teetering...waiting for it to pop. But it held up.

Overall I have to give this 5 chili's even though the original Hydrapack bite valve had issues. Given how tough as this pack has been over the 4 years and how great the new Hydrapack bladder is, I'm going to keep this pack for many years to come!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any I am riding on

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $45.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   Camelback

Bike Setup:   '98 Trek 8000

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Pablo Pizarro from Caracas, Venezuela

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2003

Strengths:    holds up to 2 liters, easy to fill and easy to clean. small so you can pt on your fridge w/o any problem. I have been using it for more than 3 years now and no problem at all. Valve is push type, I prefer this system rather than bite one. Washable, the holder i mean.

Weaknesses:    do not keep temperature for long time; but I have to say that usual temperature in Venezuela is 85F°, almost the whole year. That´s why I put it in the fridge the night before. When Full of water you just can carry your personal stuff and a small pump. Only one zip. Make your back sweat as pig.

Bottom Line:   
If I have to buy this again, I will doit for sure. it´s and excellente produts, with low price and high performance. But as someone stated below, this will be a good products I you ride for up three hours, if you need more water then buy a C´back mule; but you will be carrying a heavy stuff on your back and everybody know what this means.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   the next one

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   none, my first and only one up to now

Bike Setup:   Old proflex reptile, with some new components.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rich a Cross Country Rider from Littleton, CO

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2003

Strengths:    Holds lots of stuff. Many pockets internal and external, external bungee. Not too bulky.

Weaknesses:    Cargo and reservoir compete for space. I would expect that to be true for all reasonably sized packs.

Bottom Line:   
After 5 years I finally broke it. I tore a shoulder strap off in a crash. Interesting that everyone complains about the bite valve on all packs but most give the Camelbak 5 chillies anyway and the Blackburn 1 chillie. I don't get it.

Anyway, my hydrapak has served me very well for the past 5 years. No complaints about the bite valve, mine never leaked and it is the best bite valve I have tried so far.

I don't know what my next pack will be but the Blackburn will definetly be considered.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Waterton/CO trail

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $55.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Platypus spray skirt hydration pack.

Bike Setup:   98 Klein Attitude Comp

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Allen S a Weekend Warrior from Sylvester GA USA

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2003

Strengths:    Very light weight, Valve took some time to get used to but nice. Easy to clean, fill like open top design

Weaknesses:    Pressure valve will soak you if you don't stow in the right place. I cannot find a replacement bladder!

Bottom Line:   
I use this product while playing scenario paintball, after a couple of hours of running around on the field, you can build up quite a thirst. I imagine that playing paintball is more abusive on hydration systems only because they see more regular abuse. I have used this pack for 4 years and it does need a new bladder but the pack is otherwise in great shape. I give it a 10+ for the price

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   N/A

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   Internet

Similar Products Used:   N/A

Bike Setup:   N/A

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dale a Cross Country Rider from Corralitos,Calif.

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2003

Strengths:    fit your shoulders well

Weaknesses:    bladder sucks,leaks badly and the valve that you have to push the middle in to drink does not work well at all!

Bottom Line:   
Not bad for the price,but they need to go back to the drawing board to see if they can come up with a better sealing system and bite valve..

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anthing offroad

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   internet

Similar Products Used:   Camelback

Bike Setup:   Spec. FS XTR

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Ryan Wong a Cross Country Rider from ontario

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2002

Strengths:    holds water

Weaknesses:    I went through two this summer, one leacked the whole time so i thought well maybe i got a bad one it happens so ibought another one two weeks later the muoth peice broke off hydra pack sucks

Bottom Line:   
Dont buy one

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $45.00


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Zen a Weekend Warrior from san francisco, ca

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2002

Strengths:    Aesthestics. Good pack design and I like the bladder.

Weaknesses:    Water delivery system sucks, especially the valve. It leaks 100% of the time and you end up drinking 30oz and wearing the other 40 oz, and wondering why you dehydrating so fast.

Bottom Line:   
Do not buy any Blackburns until they fix the valve. Their valve with the spring loaded middle that you push in with your tongue is awful. I'm shocked that people actually like this product at all. Not condemning Blackburn per se...their mini pump works exceptionally well.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $25.00

Purchased At:   Sports Basement


Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Stark a Weekend Warrior from Highland, CA

Date Reviewed: July 22, 2002

Strengths:    it holds water

Weaknesses:    too small, hard to clean, inferior sip valve, small storage space, hard to get hose in comfortable place to drink while riding, small, and overall not a great pack.

Bottom Line:   
I got this pack free from Supergo when I bought a bike there. I used it for over a year and finally decided to bite the bullet and try a real camelback pack. Boy, do I now realize what a piece of donkey dung the blackburn is.

In the mule I can carry tools, tubes, patches, wallet, keys, phone, and a digital camera. In the blackburn I was lucky to get my wallet, keys and a few small tools in there. Do yourself a favor, spend a few bucks and get a good pack that will last a long time.

I tried to pawn the blackburn off on my wife, but she's having none of it. She drinks the nice cold water out of the mule on my back and makes me drink the lukewarm stuff on hers. Oh, and the bite-valve on the mule is 1000% better than the stupid tooth-press valve the blackburn uses.

I like my blackburn pump though.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   sart, sycamore cyn

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   supergo

Similar Products Used:   Camelback Mule

Bike Setup:   Fisher Hardtail, Fisher Sugar 2

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Steve Downey a Weekend Warrior from North Attleboro

Date Reviewed: July 22, 2002

Strengths:    Fits well, secure. Exterior holds up well. I like the bungee cord on the outside - good for jacket.

Weaknesses:    Too small! I find that I can either carry water or tools - not both. Must remove all tools, tubes etc. from pack to re-zip pack after adding water, then put tools & tubes back in. An expanding bellows system would help.

Bottom Line:   
Too small for anything but racing.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Freetown State Forest

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $45.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   None - looking for replacement. Camelbak Blowfish or Mule. Perhaps, Northface sliquid.


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Robby a Cross Country Rider from Kentucky

Date Reviewed: June 13, 2002

Strengths:    Sleek design, attractive, reasonable price

Weaknesses:    Hose routing, bladder quality (leaks), bite valve quality (leaks when you don't want it to, yet doesn't let much water out when you do), pack material isn't durable, zippers are weak

Bottom Line:   
After trying to use the included bladder and bite valve for about a month, I decided to replace it with a reliable 100 oz. Camelback bladder. No more problems there.

As for the pack itself, the material is worn and slightly ripped in several places. Two of the zippers won't stay shut despite keeping the pack fairly lightly loaded. I'm just disappointed in the overall quality of the pack.

I would like to return this to Blackburn, but their website has been down for quite some time. Are they still in existence? They make great pumps, but need to go back to the drawing board on their packs!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   A dry one!

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   Pricepoint.com

Similar Products Used:   Camelbak Lobo


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed a Cross Country Rider from Lakewood, Ca

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2002

Strengths:    Durable. Good size for most rides.

Weaknesses:    None ( nope, mine hasn't leaked a bit.)

Bottom Line:   
This is a great little pack. I've owned mine for about a year now and do quite a bit of riding. I was surprised to read the reviews regarding leaking. My bladder and valve have been flawless ( knock on wood.) If anyting, its a small pain to clean and the hose does yellow a bit. It holds the bare necessities and just enough water for a 2+ hour ride. This is a great little pack system that has worked fine for me.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $35.00

Purchased At:   Pricepoint.com

Similar Products Used:   Camelback Ammo


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Erich T. a Weekend Warrior from Oakland, CA

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2002

Strengths:    Cheap, pleanty of little pockets, rear mesh pocket is easy to reach while riding.

Weaknesses:    Cheap, leaks a bunch

Bottom Line:   
This thing kinda bugs me. It would be just fine if it didn't leak so much. It holds 70 oz. which should give me a good afternoon's ride worth of water, but it always seems to ruin out. It might be my drinking habbits, but I suspect that the top third of this thing ends up down my back into the back of my shorts. Once I sip the head off, it seems to be fine.

I like all of the little pockets to hide your 'stuff.' The mesh pocket on the back works well for my Power Goo like stuff. I can reach around during my granny gear climbs (almost all climbs for me), and take a hit from my Goo flask.

I might suggest looking elsewhere for your hydration needs. Then again, by looking on this list, maybe they had a bad run of bladders. Maybe I oughta call Blackburn for a replacement.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $30.00

Purchased At:   Performance

Bike Setup:   Typical off the shelf $400 XC Giant with a few minor upgrades.

Reviews 1 - 15 (93 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Question for Hydrapack owners

I've just bought a 3L Hydrapack Reyes for my son and the bladder appears to be far too large for the pack. I have a Lone Pine pack and its 2L bladder fits comfortably inside the pocket in the pack. The Reyes pack has a tag marked 3L and comes with a 3L bladder. The pocket for the bladder howev ... Read More »

Hydrapack at Bluesky

Chainlove had a hydrapak big sur for 29.00 at one point this summer but I missed it. Today I found the same item at BlueSky on sale for 34.00 - I just ordered it. Pretty good deal on what appears to be a really nice pakRead More »

Best hydrapack option

This year will be the first year I have been on 100 mile unsupported races. In the past endurance races I've done, there has always been support of some kind. I was wondering if just bottles is preferred, figuring you get water in 30-40 miles, or is a waterpack just the way to go, and what brand. ... Read More »

Washing your camelbak or hydrapack

I've got a Hydrapack Ammo. It smells. Do I just throw it in the washing machine on warm or cold and let it out to dry? EDIT: I'm not talking about the bladder. I'm talking about the actual backpack.Read More »

Only H2O in a Hydrapack?

Is it best practice to only put water in a hydrapack? Is it a sin to put Gatorade mix in there? :confused: Thanks!Read More »

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