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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bladders > CamelBak Antidote Reservoir > Test Report by Cheryl McMurray

INITIAL REPORT:  September 15, 2010
FIELD REPORT:  January 4, 2011
  March 8, 2011


Name: Cheryl McMurray
Age: 51
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight: 145 lb (66.6 kg)
Email Address: cherylmcmurray2ATgmailDOTcom
City, State, Country: Garden Grove, California, U.S.


I've been backpacking and hiking for four years, mostly on weekends year around.  Overnight trips are usually long weekend trips in the Eastern Sierras with 32 lb to 40 lb (15 kg to 18 kg) loads depending on the season. One class two rock climb with a day pack is common. Day hikes are 10-15 mi (16 km to 24 km) in the San Gabriel Mountains with loads of 15 lb to 20 lb (7 kg to 9 kg). I'm a tent style camper and have experienced snow, freezing temperatures, high winds, light rain, thunderstorms, but mostly fair weather.



Manufacturer:  CamelBak
Year of manufacture:  2010
Product:  CamelBak Antidote Reservoir
Listed weight:  N/A
Weight as delivered:  5.5 oz (155 g) for Antidote Reservoir, 5.5 oz (155 g) for UnBottle sleeve
Measurements when empty:  8 in wide (20 cm), 17.5 in (44 cm) long
Measurements when full:  6.5 in (16.5 cm) wide, 17 in (43 cm) long, 2.5 in (6.35 cm) deep
Measurements inside UnBottle when empty:  8.25 in (21 cm) wide, 18 in (46 cm) long, 1.5 in (4 cm) deep
Measurements inside UnBottle when full:  7.25 in (18 cm) wide, 18.25 in (46 cm) long, 4.5 in (11 cm) deep
Available capacity:  50 oz (1.5 l), 70 oz (2 l), 100 oz (3 l)
Size tested:  100 oz (3 l)
MSRP:  $35 US (UnBottle sleeve not included)
Warranty:  Got Your Bak™ Lifetime Guarantee


The CamelBak Antidote is CamelBak's latest redesigned reservoir that includes a wider fill port opening for easier cleaning and center baffle enabling it to have a lower profile for a more streamline shape.  There are integrated dryer arms that fold out from the sides of the fill port for easier air drying and a Quick Link System for connecting and disconnecting the hose without spilling any water.  The materials used are stronger and more durable than previous reservoirs, are engineered to perform in the toughest conditions and they have added a lifetime warranty.  The Antidote also has a featured called HydroGuard which is supposed to inhibit bacterial growth inside the reservoir and tube surface.



The Antidote 100 oz (3 l) came with the UnBottle insulating sleeve that was customized for the reservoir.  There were no instructions included so I will do my best to describe its features.  I noticed right away the new fill port as I'm very familiar with CamelBak's old design of the screw top from previous years.  This fill port has a tongue and groove type of design that when the arrow on the cap is lined up with the circle at the 10 o'clock position on the outside ring, requires only a 1/4 turn to the right to close the cap.  The reservoir has a baffle down the center that attaches the front of the material to the back keeping the reservoir more streamlined.  There are also markings on the front of the reservoir in both liter and ounce measurements to indicate how much liquid is in the reservoir. 

Locking mechanism for fill port Bite valve, valve lock opened
Valve lock closed
Locking mechanism for fill port
Bite valve, valve lock opened
Valve lock closed

The dryer arms are hidden around the side perimeter of the fill port and can be opened by pulling them out to the side a little and down.  At that point, the reservoir can be opened up and held into place so that it can dry completely.  I'm not sure how it can be hung upside down to dry as the hanger on it is placed at the top of the fill port but it can be hung right side up.  This hanger is referred to by CamelBak as a handle drop slot that is supposed to maximize stability as well as make loading and unloading of the reservoir easier and faster.  The hose is connected to the reservoir with a click-in connection that makes it easy to connect and disconnect without leaking any fluid.  The Big Bite Valve has a locking mechanism that when turned toward the bite valve will keep any water from flowing to it.  The valve lock can be removed by twisting and pulling for better cleaning and the valve can be pulled off as well for cleaning.

Measurements, handle drop slot, baffle Dryer arms
Click-in connection
Center baffle, handle drop slot, measurement lines Dryer Arms
Click-in connection


Note that the UnBottle sleeve is not an official part of this test but may be used in some of the testing.

The Antidote Reservoir came inside of the Unbottle sleeve which has been customized for the new design of the reservoir.  It is made of an insulating material with a port opening along with a zippered opening for accessing the hose Quick Link System.  There is a hanger/handle at the top of the sleeve that opens and closes with a side release buckle.  There is an exit port for the hose on the upper back of the sleeve along with a small port opening at the bottom which can be hooked on something like a nail to hang it upside down.  There is a zipper on the upper 1/3 of the back of the sleeve to open and insert the reservoir.  The zipper pulls are on each side so that it can be zipped from either direction. 

UnBottle features
UnBottle back zipper
UnBottle features
UnBottle back zipper

Full reservoir height
Full with UnBottle sleeve
Full reservoir height
Full reservoir with UnBottle sleeve


There were no instructions that came with either the Antidote Reservoir or the UnBottle sleeve, however, when the product is released, there may be more information on CamelBak's website.


There are a few accessories that CamelBak states in its website that will be available for the Antidote Reservoir.  One item will be the Fresh Filter that will provide better tasting water when using potable water.  The other accessory that will be available will be the Insulated Tube with Flow Meter to keep the water colder longer while monitoring how much water is consumed.  Neither of these accessories will be tested in this series. 


I measured the water while filling the Antidote up and the 100 oz (3 l) reservoir was filled all the way with 96 oz (2.8 l) of water.  Pretty close.  The fill port lid closed very easily with the specified 1/4 turn and I was able to open it with only my left hand (I'm right handed) which is the first time I have been able to open a CamelBak reservoir like that.  So far I'm impressed.  I was able to attach and detach the hose using the click-in connectivity without any water spilling or dripping.  With the Ergo HydroLock in the lock position I was not able to get any water through the hose so that feature worked well.  With the HydroLock in the unlock position, the water flow seemed very generous with minimal effort.  After filling the reservoir, I emptied it, extended the dryer arms and since I couldn't hang it upside down without it being inserted inside the UnBottle sleeve, I hung it on a nail using the handle drop slot.  The reservoir stayed open and the next day I checked to see how dry it was.  Except for about 2 tsp (9 ml) of water in the bottom, the rest of the reservoir was dry.  I just took a paper towel and was able to reach my whole hand down into it and dry the rest of it.

The reservoir was a little snug to fit into the UnBottle sleeve when full.  It did take some effort to get it all the way in so I will be filling the reservoir when it is already in the sleeve for future use.  To remove the hose while the reservoir was in the sleeve, I blew the water in the hose back into the reservoir, opened the zipper access and released the hose.  There was only about a drop of water moisture which could have come from water still left in the hose but once dried, stayed that way.  After unzipping the top opening of the sleeve, I was able to pull the hose out.  I then inserted it back down into the front of the sleeve and it went easily down toward the connection.  The reconnection was quick and remained dry with no leaking. 


So far I'm really impressed with the new design of CamelBak's Antidote Reservoir.  I like how easy it is to open and close the fill port lid along with the click-in connectivity of the hose to the reservoir.  In the past, I have found it difficult filling these types of products when the hose is attached as it always seemed to get in the way so I'm looking forward to testing the Antidote with this option of disconnecting the hose first.   The material seems sturdy and I like how the baffling keeps the reservoir streamlined.  I look forward to testing this reservoir with and without the UnBottle sleeve.


I've tested the CamelBak Antidote at total of 9 days in the field with my backpack and three different day packs.

Location:  McGee Creek area, Eastern Sierras near Mammoth, California
Trip Duration:  3 day, 2 night
Distance:  16 mi (26 km) backpack, 6 mi (10 km) day hike
Temperature:  40 F (4 C) to 75 F (24 C)
Elevation:  7,600 ft (2,300 m) to 13,000 ft (4,000 m)
Conditions:  Sunny with some strong winds

Location:  Mt Baldy, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California (three times)
Trip Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  8 mi (13 km)
Temperature:  58 F (14 C) to 85 F (29 C) first two times
Temperature:  39 F (4 C) to 65 F (18 C) third time
Elevation:  6,200 ft (1,900 m) to 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
Conditions:  Breezy to windy, sunny

Location:  Peter's Canyon, Southern California
Trip Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Temperature:  65 F (18 C)
Elevation:  500 ft (150 m)  to 700 ft (200 m)
Conditions:  Cloudy, foggy, damp

Location:  Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California
Trip Duration:  2 day, 1 night
Distance:  3 mi (5 km) backpack, 6 mi (10 km) day hike
Temperature:  47 F (8 C) to 70 F (21 C)
Elevation:  3,100 ft (900 m) to 5,300 ft (1,600 m)
Conditions:  Partly cloudy, intermittent winds



I have no hydration sleeve inside of my backpack so I placed the reservoir in the mesh pocket on the front of the pack which actually worked very well.  The hose, measuring 39 in (99 cm), was long enough to reach around the side of the pack and clip onto the shoulder strap.  I filled the reservoir at home before leaving on the trip and with the 1/4 turn locking system of the port, it was very easy to fill and close it.  I had no issues with the reservoir leaking while being transported in my car and I attached the hose at the trailhead with the quick release with no problems of leaking.  The mesh pocket on my pack is deep, however the reservoir, being pliable, needed to be strapped down under the port area so that it would not fold over after losing shape as the water level decreased. 

Antidote in front pocket of backpack
Hose attached to pack
Antidote stored in front mesh pocket
Hose attached to shoulder strap

Day Hiking

I have used the reservoir in three different day packs.  The first one was just a summit pack that I used on the backpacking trip which did have a reservoir sleeve to slip the Antidote into along with a thin foam pad for some support.  After drinking most of the water the reservoir did sink down into the sleeve but I never noticed it while wearing the pack.  The other two packs are conventional day packs with large reservoir sleeves, an exit port and a support structure.  The sleeker design of the reservoir enabled me to insert it into the hydration sleeve of my larger day pack while it was almost full.  I usually need to pull bulkier things out first before inserting previous hydration systems so this was a nice feature.  The Antidote has worked very well in all three packs and the hose has always been long enough but not too long that it gets in my way.  I like the right angle that the bite valve has as it makes it easier to drink but I have noticed that it can hook onto my arm when taking the pack off. 

Antidote in summit day pack
Hose length inserted in summit day pack
Antidote inserted in hydration sleeve of summit day pack
Hose length in summit day pack

Filtering Water

On the backpacking trip I needed to filter water into the reservoir when I got to camp and this is where I had some difficulty.  The material is not stiff enough to stand up on its own and since I didn't have anyone to hold it up for me I laid it on an incline on the ground.  I was only able to get it about half full before the water began to spill out so I closed the port and filled a 33 oz (1 L) container to fill the rest of the reservoir by transferring the water.  It only required an extra step and I always bring extra water containers so it didn't become an issue.  One thing I really did like was the ability to disconnect the hose, leaving that attached to the pack, and just taking the reservoir with me down to the creek.  I blew any water that was in the hose back into the reservoir first and then disconnected it without any leakage.


I did use the UnBottle sleeve on one of my day hikes up to Mt. Baldy.  The temperatures were forecasted as very hot that weekend and I thought it would be good to have the benefit of ice water during the hike.  I filled the reservoir 3/4 full with water and placed it in the refrigerator the day before the hike to get it cold.  The next morning I filled it as full as possible with ice cubes and inserted it into the UnBottle sleeve.  It went in easily and I was able to feed the hose down and connect it without any issues or leaking.  After zipping everything up I placed it in my pack and fed the hose through the hydration port.  Although the temperatures turned out to be mild at high altitude, I enjoyed ice cold water for the entire hike which took me 5 1/2 hrs.  The entire timing thus far was 7 hrs from the time that I added the ice cubes to the reservoir.  In order to keep the water in the hose cold, I blew the water back into the reservoir after each drink.  The water flow from the  Big Bite Valve flowed very easily which was nice since the trail was very steep the whole way up and I needed all of my extra oxygen for breathing.  When I was done with the hike I put the pack in the back of my car and proceeded down into the the lowlands parking the car at a restaurant with an outside temperature of 100 F (38 C).  From the end of my hike until the time that I left the restaurant was another 4 hrs and upon testing the water with another drink before leaving, the water temperature had rose from ice cold to just cold.  Not bad after 11 hours.


After each trip I disconnect the hose, empty the reservoir, rotate the drying arms out, insert some paper towel in the bottom and hang it using the handle drop slot.  The dryer arms are easy to use but seem slightly delicate so I use care when extending them.  By the next day the reservoir is completely dry, however if I don't put the paper towel in the bottom, a small puddle will form there and I have to hand dry that area.  I am able to insert my whole hand into the fill port and down into the reservoir without any issues.  After disconnecting the hose I pull off the bite valve and the valve lock, setting them aside to dry.  The quick release insert is not removable, however, there is a large opening for air to enter.  I usually take it outside and swing it around to get as much water out first.  After hanging the hose for 5 days there are still some very small beads of water in it but so far no mildew in either the hose or the reservoir has developed.


I'm very careful to store the reservoir away from sharp objects either in transit to a trip or in my backpack and so far the durability of the Antidote has been excellent with no punctures or seam failures.  The Big Bite Valve does not leak after taking a drink but seals back up nicely.  The shut off valve has been reliable, completely shutting off any flow of water through the hose and the hose quick release has performed flawlessly without any leaking.


Quick release hose
1/4 turn to close the fill port
Dryer arms
Streamline profile
Excellent water flow from the Big Bite Valve
Shut off valve to keep from accidental leaking
Long enough hose to store the reservoir in the front mesh pocket of my backpack


Would like to see a loop at the bottom of the reservoir for hanging it to dry upside down
Hose does not completely dry after 5 days of hang drying
Filtering water is difficult due to the pliable material when filtering solo



Eagle Pk, Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California
Trip Duration:  2 day, 1 night
Distance:  Backpack 5 mi (8 km), day hike 6 mi (10 km)
Temperature:  41 F (5 C) to 65 F (18 C)
Elevation:  3,100 ft (950 m) to 5,300 ft (1,600 m)
Conditions:  Windy, light rain

Sunset Peak, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Trip Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Temperature:  60 F (16 C) to 75 F (24 C)
Elevation:  4,600 ft (1,400 m) to 5,800 ft (1,800 m)
Conditions:  Sunny, warm

Icehouse Canyon, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Trip Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Temperature:  25 F (-4 C) to 36 F (-2 C)
Elevation:  5,000 ft (1,500 m) to 7,500 ft (2,300 m)
Conditions:  Shaded trail, sunny, intermittent wind

Mt. Baldy, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Trip Duration:  Day hike snow climb
Distance:  7 mi (11 km)
Temperature:  47 F (8 C) to 55 F (13 C)
Elevation:  6,200 ft (1,900 m) to 10,060 ft (3,050 m)
Conditions:  Sunny, windy

Mt Wilson, San Gabriel Mts, Southern California
Trip Duration:  Day hike
Distance:  15 mi (24 km)
Temperature:  45 F (7 C) to 70 F (21 C)
Elevation:  1,000 ft (300 m) to 5,500 ft (1,700 m)
Conditions:  Sunny, warm, frequent shade


The Antidote reservoir has performed very well on all of the outings that I've used it on.  The first of two outings that I'll mention is the day hike up Icehouse Canyon.  I had planned on hiking a different location (warmer) but lack of snow brought me to Icehouse Canyon.  I was not planning on the low temperatures of this canyon but I was with a group of friends who decided to switch from our original location.  I was a little worried that my water would freeze but I continued anyway.  The Antidote was inside of the UnBottle Sleeve and I did have an insulating sleeve on the hose.  With a temperature of 25 F (-4 C) on a shaded trail, my first sip of water yielded nothing.  I was beginning to think it was a mistake to continue on this hike but I warmed up the hose in my hands a little and sure enough, I was able to drink.  After my success, I decided not to test fate anymore and kept the bite valve inside of my jacket.  The temperature eventually rose above freezing and I didn't have any more issues with it freezing.  The water inside of the reservoir was never an issue but any water left in the hose or bite valve did freeze in temperatures below freezing.

The second trip that is worth noting is the day hike up to Mt Wilson.  I had a water source at the summit but it was a little distance from my lunch location.  I was able to easily release the hose from the reservoir and just carry the reservoir down to the water faucet.  With the port being so easy to open, refilling the Antidote is a simple pleasure. 


I've used the Antidote a total number of 9 days during my long term testing.  It has been very durable with no failures or leaking.  The hose, bladder and bite valve show no signs of any mildew and the dryer arms have held up well and have functioned as they were designed to.  The two features that I like the most on this new design from CamelBak is the quick release hose along with the easy open/close port.  The only thing that had a problem with during my entire testing period was the lack of structure to the bladder when using a water filter to refill it.  The material will not hold up on its own so unless I have someone to hold it, I've had to resort to filling water bottles and transferring the water into the bladder, however, that is a very minor issue.  I do highly recommend the CamelBak Antidote and will continue to use it on every above freezing trip.

This concludes my test series and I want to thank CamelBak and BGT for the opportunity to test the CamelBak Antidote. 

Read more reviews of CamelBak gear
Read more gear reviews by Cheryl McMurray

Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bladders > CamelBak Antidote Reservoir > Test Report by Cheryl McMurray

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