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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > Camelbak Flurry > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

CAMELBAK FLURRY BACKPACK
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
OWNER REVIEW
June 11, 2007

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: TheMiddleSister@usaring.com
AGE: 56
LOCATION: White Lake, Michigan USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.63 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

I started hiking in 1998 after an eye-opening climb up Hahn's Peak in Colorado. Hooked, I return to Colorado often. I've hiked/snowshoed glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in domestic and exotic locations, including Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. At home, I plan for 2-3 hikes of 6-8 mi (10-13 km) weekly and one weekend hike monthly. Weekday hikes take place in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, a mixture of heavily-wooded moderate hills and flat terrain. Weekend hike locations vary. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) including food and water

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Camelbak
Year of Manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.camelbak.com
MSRP: N/A
Measured Weight - Empty Reservoir: 1.15 lb (0.522 kg)
Measured Weight - Filled Reservoir: 3.96 lb (1.37 kg)
Capacity: 45 oz (1.4 l)
Dimensions: 12 in x 9.5 in x 6 in (30 cm x 24 cm x 15 cm)
Volume: Cargo - 99 cu in (1.62 l) • Total - 180 cu in (3.0 l)

Product Description:

The Flurry is a flexible winter hydration system that carries 45 oz (1.4 l) of liquid in a compact waist-mounted pack. It is a bit bigger than the standard "fanny pack" and a lot more useful! It is comprised of two zippered top accessed compartments. The zippers for the main compartment which contains the reservoir holder zips and unzips from the center with a two zipper system creating an opening halfway down the pack.

Camelbak Flurry Backpack
Camelbak Flurry Backpack



The zipper for the smaller front compartment zips and unzips from side-to-side, right to left (unzip) about halfway down the pack also. The zippers have brightly colored yellow cord loops with a plastic-like end for easy grasping.

Front Compartment
Flurry's Front Compartment
Main Compartment
Flurry's Main Compartment


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Hydration Tube Port
Flurry's Hydration Tube Port
On both the left and right sides, there is a port for the hydration tube. The port is formed by two pieces of stretchy material which not only makes it fairly easy for me to pull through the thicker insulated hydration tube, but also closes up nicely when not in use.

There are easy lift-and-pull release buckles on each side of the pack for compression purposes to stabilize the varying pack load. These straps and the waist belt strap closure are made of a woven material and are adjustable. The waist strap has a neat stretchy loop which secures the ends of the strap once it is adjusted so there are no long loose ends flapping around annoyingly. The support belt is a thinly padded but adequate design. tapering to the belt closure buckle which is a clip and lock mechanism. Near the front of each side of the belt strap is a convenient hydration tube clip for holding the tube right up front and center for quick access.


The Flurry is attractively designed in a solid black woven material with grey accents on the smaller front compartment. A molded Camelbak logo adorns the center of the pack with a tiny "Flurry" tab sewn vertically along the seam. "Camelbak" is also molded into the front toggle buckle.

Inside, the main compartment is divided into two sections - one is a padded insulated pouch to hold the water reservoir, the other for small items, like keys, food bars, camera, etc. The water reservoir pouch has a stretchy material at the top which helps secure the reservoir yet is still flexible enough to make stuffing a filled reservoir in possible.

The front compartment is sufficiently large enough to hold extra socks, a sandwich and even my wind jacket.

Included with the Flurry is an OMEGA™ Reservoir with fully insulated hydration tube. The very large twist top closure features a "handle" for holding while filling the reservoir. There is also a thin bit of some sort of synthetic material which attaches the "lid" to the "handle" so the lid cannot fall off. The hydration tube ends in a heavy-duty cap that too is securely attached to prevent loss. The hydration tube uses a "bite valve" for delivery of the liquid.

The name "Camelbak" is molded on the hydration tube cap and the filling handle. There also a generous size woven loop on the top of the Flurry which is great for hanging it up for storage.
Omega Reservoir
Flurry's Omega Water Reservoir

FIELD CONDITIONS AND USE

I have used the Camelbak Flurry for 3 years now in all seasons, even summer. The insulation in the reservoir compartment helps keeps water cold in the summer as well as it prevents water from freezing in the winter time.

I've hiked, snowshoed and cross country skied with the Flurry in Vail, Beaver Creek, Rocky Mountain National Park and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Did the same in southeast Michigan, Beaver Island and Bellaire, Michigan. I also used the Flurry on one Easter weekend trip to the Everglades in Florida.

Temperatures ranged from some really frigid temperatures on night hikes in the Rocky Mountains of 5 F (-15 C) to a steamy 96 F (36 C) in the swamps in Florida. I encountered lots of snow, lots of sunshine and one torrential 5-minute downpour.

Terrain was varied. The Everglades was primarily sand to dirt paths, relatively flat with zero elevation. Michigan featured established dirt trails in flat to rolling hills with moderate elevation from 700 to 1000 ft (213 to 305 m). In Colorado, most of my usage was on snow, both packed trails and fresh deep powder at elevations to a high of 9842 ft (2999 m).

Flurry's Waist Belt
Flurry's Waist Belt with Hydration Clip
I purchased my Camelbak Flurry just after the New Year in 2004. I had been craving a pack primarily to replace my full-sized daypack on snowshoe hikes. On single day hikes and day hikes out of base camp, I needed to carry water and minimal supplies, but I didn't need a very large pack. I also didn't need the wetness and accompanying coldness I generated under a full-sized pack while tackling snow drifts and elevation gains! A waist pack (I REFUSE to wear a "fanny pack".) was just the ticket and Camelbak was my choice for hydration variety.

The first thing I noticed was that the Flurry was way too big for me under most conditions. Bummer! I don't consider myself a teeny-tiny person, but I was seriously in danger of having the pack around my ankles except for the very few times I was wearing a bulky ski jacket. Tightening the waist straps to the absolute tightest they would go, pretty much did the trick. This left very long "tails" flapping around my legs. Fortunately, Camelbak has designed very neat elastic flaps which when twisted over the top of the buckle form holders for the excess straps. Very tidy looking, now.


The Flurry fits very nicely in the small of my back and rides comfortably even when filled to capacity. I usually do start out with a completely filled reservoir. I drink lots of water when hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. As the day goes along, if I don't fill up the expanding space as the reservoir empties with clothes that I'm shedding, I use the compression straps to tighten up the slack in the pack, so the pack remains unobtrusive.

A side benefit of the small size of the Flurry is the ability to tuck it under my rain gear when the weather demands protection from the elements. I don't have to worry about the Flurry (and its contents) getting wet because my jacket or poncho covers it easily!

I'm certainly not going to say that the Flurry has solved my sweating with exertion. I still get wet, but in a much smaller area than before when wearing a full-sized pack.

Accessing water on the trail has never been easier than when using the Flurry! At the start of any hike, I thread the hydration tube through the right side of the pack and clip the end of the tube onto the front buckle holder. It is now always ready for that next sip. The cap while securely clipped onto the bite valve is easily snapped off with one hand, as long as that hand is reasonable dexterous. I don't have to worry about losing the cap either since it is tethered to the stem of the bite valve. Thanks to the insulation on the hydration tube, I have never experienced clogging due to freezing water and the bite valve works well to insure an adequate stream of water into my mouth without annoying dripping when I've quenched my thirst. The last thing I want when hiking in the cold is water leaking down the front of my thighs from a water tube!
Flurry's Valve & Cover
Flurry's Valve With Cover


IMAGE 8 Filling the water reservoir was a bit tricky at first. While the large twist cap opening makes it really easy to fill the pouch up with water and the handle provides a good surface to grab onto, it takes some doing to thread the twist top back into the reservoir properly. I spilled gallons/liters of water before I perfected my technique. I hold the handle in my left hand and when the reservoir is filled to my liking, I lightly lean the reservoir on a flat surface. Using my right hand, I then screw in the cap. Once the cap is securely fastened I "test" it to be sure it is tight enough but not too tight. I found that I must not tighten the cap as far as it will go or else after being out in the cold, the cap becomes difficult to open. If and when that happens, letting the reservoir warm up in mildly hot water, softens up the cap and I can reopen it. However, it's a very fine line between "tight enough" and "not tight enough". The water reservoir will leak uncontrollably if the lid is the slightest bit loose.


After keeping water from freezing and not leaking all over the place, the next most important consideration for me in a hydration system is the taste of the water! Taste is not the number one issue because I figure if I'm thirsty enough, anything will do and there are always ways of disguising less-than-delicious water.

Anyway, with the Omega water reservoir, I've not had any qualms about gulping down plain water. There has never been any bad taste or odor even after many, many uses.

I do keep the reservoir clean, rinsing it out thoroughly after each use and hand drying the reservoir. The wide lid makes it very easy to wipe the whole interior of the reservoir. Once a year - usually at the end of the summer season - I use a teaspoon of household bleach in a filled reservoir and let it soak overnight. The next morning I rinse numerous times to remove the bleach odor. Then the Camelbak Flurry and I are ready for the winter and another season of snow fun!

SUMMARY

I love my Flurry! It's convenient is so many ways due to its small size. I can use it even in non-hiking locales without lugging a huge backpack around town. There is just enough space for other essential items without overdoing the size thing and enables me to not have to stuff the pockets of my clothing.

The Flurry is designed to foremost be a hydration system. It rises to the task perfectly with accessible hydration thanks to the flexible choices of hydration ports and the thoughtfully placed tip holders on the waist straps. The insulation is superior and has kept my water flowing even in the coldest temperatures I encountered when my trail mates were thirsty due to frozen hydration tubes. The bite valve works well to direct water when I want it, but not at any other inopportune time.

The quality of the Camelbak Flurry is excellent, I would have to say. After three years, it is still in great shape, even the stretch parts of the pack which I initially worried might sag after lots of usage. The water reservoir is still as flexible as the day I got it and no leaks have developed in the seams or around the twist cap. I have yet to have any problems whatsoever with this pack and I hope to be using it for some time to come. When the time comes that I do finally have to retire my Flurry, I'll be looking for its descendant!

THINGS I LIKE

1. It works! Water is always available to me on the trail thanks to the insulation, the placement of the hydration tube and the decent capacity of the reservoir.
2. Great size for day hikes. Big enough to carry food, camera, and other small essentials without being overloaded.
3. Easy to fill and easy to clean water reservoir. No tiny bottle brushes needed here!

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

1. I could still use a smaller waist belt or more options for tightening up the belt without using the compression straps.
2. A mesh or fabric backing over the insulation against my back would be nice and might mitigate some of the moisture from sweating.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

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