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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > Camelbak Aurora Hydration Pack > Owner Review by Jenna Steffensen

May 9, 2017

Reviewer Information
Name:  Jenna Steffensen
Age: 23
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennasteffensen AT gmail DOT com
Location: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada
Date: May 9, 2017

Backpacking Background:  I recently started backpacking after moving to the Canadian Rockies last fall. I have only been on one short (3-day) backpacking trip but I am very experienced in day hikes and camping. I’ve hiked mainly in the Utah desert and Canadian Rockies. I have many trips planned this summer and looking for the best gear that’s light and durable enough for the Rockies.

The Product
Manufacturer: Camelbak
Product: Camelbak Aurora Hydration Pack - 2 Liters - Women’s
Weight Listed: 15.3 oz (434 g)
Weight as delivered: 15.3 oz (434 g)
Hydration Capacity: 2L (70 fl. oz)
Dimensions: 15 x 7 x 5.5 in (38.1 x 17.78 x 13.97 cm)
MSRP: US $60

Product Description
The Camelbak Aurora Hydration Pack is a women’s specific pack with a 2L hydration bladder. The pack itself has a low-profile feature making it great for day hikes or biking when I don’t need to pack a lot. The pack has one main compartment to fit the 2L hydration bladder and 3 small outer compartments. The main compartment is a specific shape to specifically fit the bladder it comes with. A Velcro strap keeps the bladder in place and a top flap on the bag comes over the cap of the bladder to enclose it. Two of the small outer compartments have a zipper closure and fit a small amount of gear. Each of them feature an elastic pocket inside the closure to keep valuables safe. The top compartment also features a key clip. The other compartment on the bag has stretch elastic side panels to provide overflow storage. This compartment also has adjustable straps to make sure any extra gear stays secure. The bag itself is made of nylon with decorative stitching on the front. There is also reflective detailing on the bag such as a reflective strip near the bottom of the bag to increase visibility in low light. The bag has 2 adjustable, breathable shoulder straps and an adjustable chest strap. The bladder included with the bag holds 70 fl. oz. (2 L) of water. The bladder has a wide mouth cap for easy filling and a Big Bite Valve. The Big Bite Valve is the mouthpiece Camelbak designed that offers hands-free drinking that self seals after each drink to eliminate drips. The hose of the bladder comes out an opening in the shoulder strap and attaches to an adjustable hose clip further down the shoulder strap.

Field Information
I have used this bladder for many mountain biking excursions as well as many day hikes. I bought it for day hikes in the Utah desert when the days get hot and I need a lot of water. It provided great use in all climates however as I hiked through all seasons in Utah. The coldest hike I used it on was in February when the temperature was between -5 to 0 C (23 to 32 F). Despite the cold temperature the water never froze. The pack does a wonderful job of insulating the bladder. I’ve also used the bag on hikes through Moab where temperatures reached 30 to 35 C (86 to 95 F). The water stored in the hose was obviously warmer from being in the direct sun but after the first sip the water was significantly cooler. In more normal temperatures the bag performs like any hydration bladder would; giving me water when I want.


This hydration bag is great for day hikes when I don’t need to carry a lot of extra gear with me. It fits essentials like phone, cash, GPS and small medical kit (or spare tube, pump, and patch kit when biking). It can fit a very small, packable jacket but anything bigger or bulkier and it won’t fit.

The hydration bladder is very easy to use and to fill. The wide mouth cap helps a lot as I fill it up in my sink. This means I can also add ice cubes to my water on those really hot days. The closure system is air tight as I have never had it spill when the cap is on properly. To close it, I have to match the arrow on the cap to the bladder and twist a quarter turn. It wouldn’t seem like that would be enough to seal but it works wonders. The valve is also very nice to use as it has a HydroLock system to shut off the flow of water so it doesn’t spill. It is just a little switch on the valve that easily turns for when I want to completely shut off the water escaping from the bladder. I have stepped on the valve before and no water came out and it didn’t break either.

Hydration bags are a very handy piece of gear to own. Having to pack extra water bottles for the amount of water I may go through is heavy and not space efficient. This bag does a great job of storing the bladder as it sits in a pouch made specific to the bladder. The hose clip is a handy feature as it keeps the hose down by my side and out of the way. Drinking water on the go while hiking or biking is super easy with this pack.

The bag is very durable as I have taken some tumbles on my bike while wearing the bag. I have also taken the bag on a scramble hike where it has scratched against rocks. There are no tears or defects with the bag so far and I have used it many times over the course of three years. Sometimes dust or dirt will collect on the exterior of the bag but it can be wiped down with a damp cloth. I have never cleaned the inside of the hydration bladder, just let it empty and hang to dry after every use.


The Camelbak Aurora Hydration Pack is a great little pack for short trips when not a lot of gear is needed but there is a need for a lot of water. It provides easy access to water on the go and is very durable. I use it daily with mountain biking or day hikes without any problems.

PROS: affordable, durable, easy access to water on the go, no leakage
CONS: not a lot of internal space for gear

Read more reviews of CamelBak gear
Read more gear reviews by Jenna Steffensen

Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > Camelbak Aurora Hydration Pack > Owner Review by Jenna Steffensen

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