This post may contain affiliate links.

Camelbak Hydrolock


Camelbak Bite Valves

I am not a fan of Camelbak hydration reservoirs, but I love their locking valves. So much, that I tear off the wimpy mouthpiece that comes with the Platypus hydration reservoir drinking system and add a Camelbak hydrolock valve to it.

Camelbak hyrolocks rock because the valve stops the flow of water through them. If you backpack, the last thing you want is for water to come out of the hose when you stop and take your backpack off for a rest.

If you examine a Platypus mouth piece (far right), water comes out of it when you squeeze it open. If you accidentally set your pack down on it, it will leak water all over your pack and drain your water supply. That can be a real drag if you don’t have a filter with you or aren’t close to a water supply with safe water. This only has to happen once before you become a convert of the Camelbak hydrolock.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.


  1. I'm not a fan of hydration reservoirs at all – but it looks like you've got it right switching to the Camelbak mouth piece. I tend not to used these things because i'm alwasy worried I don't know how much water is left. I think it is Camelbak that has come out with a in-line device that tell you how much water you have used – have you tired that thing?


  2. The Nalgene bite valves have a set of magnets with one magnet on the valve and the other clips to a strap on your backpack.

    I love how the magnets allow me to have slack in the feed line without the valve flapping all over the place.

    I think I am going to buy a few more in case they ever stop making them.…

  3. Robin – I just finished a product review for on the Camelbak Flowmeter that you will find helpful. It should be out in a dew days. It's perfect for easing your doubts about how much water is left. I'll post a link to it when they publish it.

  4. The Platypus bite valve that comes with the Big Zip bladders does have an on/off feature, it's a little different than Camelbak but works okay. I think the old Hoser setup is being discontinued.

  5. Robin – here's a link to the Camelbak Flowmeter article I mentioned this morning. It went live on their site late morning today.

  6. Hi All,

    I am the Division Director for Hydration and Water Treatment at Cascade Designs, the parent company of platypus, MSR, SealLine and Therm-a-Rest.

    Just want to let everyone know, as Lori mentioned, platypus does have a shut off valve. It is available as an accessory and comes standard on the Big Zip SL.

    Also, the hoser is NOT being discontinued, it is one of the lightest reservoirs available and we upgraded it recently with new taste free, antimicrobial film and a reinforced hang loop.


    Erik Flink

    Division Director Hydration and Water Treatment

    Cascade Designs

  7. Thanks for the clarification Erik. Although I only use the hoser system and platypus reservoirs, I didn't mean to imply that platypus does not have a locking valve available.

  8. We dropped the bite valves in favor of the platy shutoff valve. No more leaks in the car. It is great when you get to camp. Thanks for the tip.

  9. I am looking at the platypus system to replace my pump filter (heavy) – anyone have any issues with cold temps/freezing of the filter? I need a system that can survive night temps below freezing but where day temps allow for gravity filtration. Are these filters fragile? – ie if you drop them – game over. Need something reliable for a 10 day remote hike

  10. I know my filter, First Need, has a ceramic matrix in it, so that one is a no go for sub-freezing temps.

    You might be able to do all your filtering in a day when it is warmer?

    I think you need a back-up plan, say chemicals and a water filter.

    I have also read that hose system freeze up pretty easy.

  11. The hoses freeze in winter. You need to use chemicals or boil. You also need to use bottles.

  12. Thanks – chemicals it is – and less weight to carry…though I think I might need two bottles – one to drink from and one in "treatment" – so carrying weight might be impacted

    I'll look at platypus for warmer weather…

  13. For winter you want three 1 liter bottles. You want to heat them up to boiling before leaving camp and insulate them. Drinking cold water during the day sucks and you won't do it, so heating and the fuel expenditure make sense. My bottles turn to slush bu the end of the day, even though I get them very hot….

    IMHO winter chemical treatments only makes sense in the following scenarios.

    1) You've melted the water and brought it up to 50-60 degrees F, at night, after you get into camp. So this is your rehydration water. Drink 1 or 2 bottles before dinner.

    2) Before bed, you heat up 1 liter to 90 or 100 degrees F and pop in chemicals. Put this liter into your bag with you for the night to keep it from freezing and to drink from during the night. Don't drink it all, because it will be your starter water for melting snow in the morning.

    There are some slight variants possible here, but you won't use chemicals for 100 of your water.

    Also the bottles much be wide mouth, and you want to store them upside down during the day so the threads don't freeze.

    Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha loading...