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Adventures of Oregon Laura The almost perfect hydration pack - The Camelbak Annadel.
 Posted By: Laura Luksich
 Posted On: Jun 8 2010 7:18PM

Brooke, Kouba, and I went for a 28 mile trail run on Sunday.   Slow and steady, we finished in about six hours with some aches and pains, but all of us feeling we’ll be able to finish the SOB 50K (31.07 miles) with smiles on our faces next month.  Six hours?  Yes, it was a monster route.  We did the Lithia Loop Marathon route with an added few miles of the Mine trail and the trails in Lithia Park.  This route isn’t your typical marathon route.  It has 9200 feet of elevation change with almost zero pavement running, plus we added on mileage.  So yes, we were happy with six hours.

Lithia Loop Marathon Route Elevation Change

Because the route we chose was a loop, and we don’t have endless time to stash water and food along 28 miles of fire road and trail, we needed to carry everything with us.  Brooke opted for her Camelbak most similar to the Hydrobak – just water with a few zippers.  She also strapped on her Nathan Speed 2 belt for added water and places to store food and the essential cell phone.  Kouba borrowed a friend’s Camelbak Snoangel: very cute and feminine.  She also carried my Nathan Thermal Quickdraw for half of the way filled with a replacement drink (I carried it for the second half).  I went for my Camelbak Annadel.  I was silly in thinking 1.5L would last me on a humid day.  I thought I’d make it to mile 20 before I ran out of water, but only made it to about mile 13 – the first 10 miles are all uphill.  Thankfully, my friends were a little smarter than I was and had extra water that we all shared.

      
Annadel                                Hydrobak                    Snoangel

This was only the second run I’ve done in my new women’s specific Camelbak Annadel.  The first one was a few weeks ago when we did 24 miles.  I was really happy with it then and ended happy with it on Sunday.  My twins also gave a thumbs up in testing out the Annadel.

Gabriel and Evan giving the Deuter and Camelbak packs a try.


The pack has enough room to stuff in my camera, a half of a bagel, granola bar, goldfish crackers, Clif Bloks, and my vest just in case it decided to rain on us.  The pack was stuffed full and felt heavy before the start of our run, but after a few miles, my body adjusted (and drank quite a bit of water out) and it molded right into my back and I didn’t give it much thought - until about mile 13 when I ran out of water, and then again at mile 17 when my underarms started chafing.  We took a break to stretch and eat, and when I took off my pack I felt the burn on my underarms.  Bummer, I didn’t notice it happening until it was too late.  The buckles from the strap adjustments on the Annadel had been rubbing on my underarms.  Not much I could do at that point but add some Bodyglide and continue on.  That was my biggest frustration with my Annadel pack. 

Cons:

  • Can sometimes rub the lower back area with the curve of the pack
  • On my frame, the buckles rubbed my underarms when adjusted properly
  • I had to keep tucking the tube for the reservoir back in to the pack


Pros:

  • Women’s specific design – can actually cinch down the sternum strap without sacrificing comfort
  • Not too big or bulky, but can still carry enough food and water for a long run
  • Bite valve didn’t leak and was easy to drink from
The reservoir worked well too.  I’m still a bigger fan of Deuter’s reservoirs (see previous post), but Camelbak definitely has some good features:
  1. Durable and leak proof with Lifetime Warranty
  2. Treated with Hydroguard to inhibit bacteria growth
  3. Large opening for filling and cleaning and easy bite valve for drinking
Camelbak also claims there won’t be any plastic taste to the water, but I don’t think it tastes like just water either.  There is some kind of rubbery/plastic flavor that I’m still getting in my water after a few washes of the reservoir – although it is drinkable and not really that bothersome.

Brooke and Kouba weren’t so fond of their packs.  Brooke prefers her belt, but needed more than 20oz of water along the way so had to wear out of necessity.  Kouba became a quick fan of the handheld Quickdraw – more to come on the next post for the handheld.

Bottom Line:
The Camelbak Annadel is a great running hydration pack.  It has enough room to store the essentials and can carry enough water for a few hours of running.  It is comfortable and can be adjusted that it could fit numerous body types.  Once I got going, I hardly remembered I had it on.

 
Myself, Brooke, Kouba on our 28 mile run

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