Hydration Packs: Lezyne Fire Break vs Camelbak Lobo

More drivel about my marathon-prep. I decided to buy a hydration pack because…

  1. I’m a thirsty bastard.
  2. I wanna do the event self-sustaining – no queuing for the bag-check, and if I can help it, no car.

My aimed pace is 7km/hr (or 8.30/km). That’s a 6-hour walk. For the 1st 3 months of training, I needed a liter of water every hour. On a hot day, about 50% more. As the fitness level came up, I’m seeing myself needing less. On short 5-10km run/walks, I can down 1 – 1.5 liters an hour before my outing and just bring a small bottle with me.

I got the Lezyne Fire Break in December, and I liked it. It was light and ergonomic. It had a whistle integrated to the clip on the sternum strap. It would hold my keys, some change, ID, ventolin, a little pocket knife, some gels, not much else.

The valve did leak sometimes. The ziploc style closure of the 2 liter bladder was sometimes difficult to positively seal. This gave me worries of refilling on the go. The screw-down hose-to-bag interface loosened on me one time and over an hour drained the contents of the bladder down my butt and legs.

I got the Camelbak Lobo recently and have used it once. So this is just a first impression.

Unlike the ziploc closure of the Lezyne bladder, this 3 liter bladder can be filled from a tap with the bladder in-situ. I reckon I need 6 liters total. This bag, coupled with just one water stop would do the trick. It’s got space probably even for a T-shirt change.

It doesn’t have a clip to hold the hose, but unlike the Lezyne, the Camelbak hose will mostly stay down and won’t swing up and hit you in the face (yes that’s ever happened).

As a start, it doesn’t feel as comfortable as the Lezyne. The straps seem to sit further up my shoulders, closer to my neck, and pressing down on my traps. The Lezyne is made of really minimalist type material and so sits flatter. The Lobo, however is deceptively light once the bladder is about 1/2 emptied.

Lastly, the Camelbak model seems to have a rain-resistant zipper (none of the literature say this though). I experienced rain for the first time while I had this with me. I ziploc’ed my phone and keys just to be sure – nothing got wet, but me.

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