Product Review: Camelbak Delaney Race™

You  may recall, that last week I complained about a waistpack bottle hydration system that was unsuitable for running, in my opinion. Many of you opined that NO waist-based bottle hydration system could work. Fear not, friends, for I have found the Holy Grail (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).

The Camelbak Delaney Race™ (backside pictured above, is a lightly padded belt, designed to carry an
Energy Bar, Gel, Cash,  and Keys (in a fanny-pack reminiscent front pocket, not pictured). Equipped with a 24 oz Podium® bottle,  and two 5 oz gel flasks, this pack “leave no excuses for not setting personal bests” (according to Camelbak).

Apart from its “fanny-pack pretensions,” the front pocket performed admirably, holding my ubiquitous BlackBerry, keys, and a map. Two gel flasks flank said front pocket, allowing for easy access to quick sugar snorts of your choice. The first several times I used the pack I had no gel (no gel you say?!), so once I stored my earbuds in an empty flask, planning on implementing the SUARLRMM (who’s hipper than the kids now, ChrisK?), which, unfortunately, did not happen. Another time I crumbled pieces of Trader Joe’s Bittersweet Dark Chocolate with Almonds into an empty flask, finding out mid-run that said treat is, in fact, not adequate nutrition on a long, slow, hot, run.

Two caveats:

  1. I initially struggled with the belt system. It is not an intuitive system, but, after several attempts, it held securely; the additional padding near the hips was a welcome feature.
  2. The gel flasks are not secure in their holsters at all times. For running upright, in a more or less forward direction, no problems. However, should one get lost (stop laughing, it can happen to anyone!) and that someone had to bushwack their way out of a dead-end path, the flasks could fall out when crouched and duck-walking under low-hanging branches. This actually did happen to someone I know J, so, if you happen to get lost or decide to bushwack, keep a firm grip on the flasks!

The Podium® bottle is one of my favorite bottle ever, so comfortable to use and carry. I can see why so many cycling teams have made it their go-to bottles. Camelbak also sent me a Better Bottle™ .75L, which we actually have a large selection of at home. BPA free, relatively spill-proof, what’s not to like? The only thing I can think of is that not all children understand to hold the bottle down and sip on the straw, rather than tilting bottle up and receiving a lapful of juice or water.

From their website: CamelBak is the originator and world leader in hands-free hydration systems. The first CamelBak products proved to be very popular among mountain bikers and motocross riders, because it allowed them to drink without taking their hands off of the handlebars in technical terrain.  The product began to cross over into other sports when scientific studies showed athletes drank more fluids and performed better when they wore a CamelBak.  Since then, athletes from an ever-growing list of sports and activities use CamelBak hydration systems for their convenience and performance benefits. In addition to cycling, CamelBak has Hands-Free Hydration systems for hiking, running, snowboarding and skiing.  CamelBak’s state-of-the-art packs and hydration systems have benefited athletes, outdoorsmen, and soldiers around the world. While CamelBak has grown tremendously since the early days, one thing hasn’t changed.  CamelBak still believes in the performance advantage that proper hydration delivers for just about any activity.  CamelBak is a privately-held company headquartered in Petaluma, California.

So, for those of you who doubted it, who said it couldn’t be done, I am here to say you are so wrong. Camelbak has created a comfortable bottle-based waist pack (with gel flasks and storage no less!) that is ideal for running. While their website says it is ideal for a 10K, I ran for almost 2 hours with it and enjoyed it the whole time. With a way to refill the bottle mid-run, this would be good for runs of almost any length. Highly recommended!

(Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free to review on my blog – courtesy of Camelbak. I did not pay for the items, receive payment for this review, or agree to give them a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

Have a product you’d like reviewed? Contact me at lakotega@yahoo.com.

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