For many years I have been a fan of a simple water bottle, you can see how much is left. They are easy to keep clean. They just simple work and are little to no hassle or fuss. So, when I received the Camelbak Fusion 2L Reservoir with Tru Zip Waterproof Zipper to test it was going to have to do a lot to convert me.
On first impression the build quality felt great, I liked the stiff back making it easy to push and pull out of my pack. The zip opening to fill up was also great, nice and wide to open up and fill, this made it a lot easier when refilling with a jug and not direct form a tap. My first negative was the size. I am used to using small packs, ten litre to 18 litre and it would not fit into any so I had to use my 28 litre pack. This was not an issue but if you have an old pack just check the size to make sure it will fit!
My other concern was not being able to see how much water is left, a simple check with a water bottle. But, having used this for two walks I did not find this an issue, the two-litre capacity was more than enough. I was walking in cold wet weather so this might change in the summer and warmer weather. I did find I would drink less as I was worried I might run out, something you might get used to over time and know how much you have left.
I have used older bladders in the past and always found the bite valve to be, at best, unless. But it’s great to see an update here – good flow and easy to turn on and off – with a simple valve that opened up to allow drinking.
Another good update is the easy release clip for the hose from the main bladder, my only concern is over time how easy this will be to clean. The tube was easy to clear but I was not able to clear the valve on the bladder. I’m not sure if this would get dirty over time and need replacing.
Now the issue of keeping it clear and dry, this is one of the main reasons I have moved away form bladders to bottles (maybe i am just lazy!). You can buy a cleaning kit – https://www.camelbak.co.uk/accessories-c40/cleaning-c64/reservoir-cleaning-brush-kit-p165 with all the brushes you need for a SRP of £25 and then use the Cleaning Tabs to make sure it’s ready for the next time you use it.
Overall, I was impressed with the quality and ease of use, the stiff back was a win for me. If you don’t mind the cleaning and drying, then it’s a great bladder. The size has increased so check the pack you are planning to use – some smaller packs may not take it. An improved bite valve is great and the ease of breaking the bladder down to clean is definitely better!
I was impressed with the bladder but time will tell if I ditch the bottle for it!