Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Durable, lightweight, one-handed access to water.
Cons: Difficult to clean, imparts silicone flavor on water, slow water flow
Best Uses: Driving, cycling, office, light exercise
The CamelBak eddy sets itself apart from the other bottles we reviewed with its flippable bite valve and internal straw. The design is intended to allow for spill-free, quick access to your water and is great for single-handed use. It does do this, but there are a host of drawbacks along the way. It is durable and lightweight, but that wasn't enough to earn it high scores across the board. While good for driving and cycling, we found other bottles like the Lifefactory Classic 22 and Klean Kanteen Original 27 to be better lifestyle bottles. Check out the details behind the scores below.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The 25 fluid ounce CamelBak eddy, with its plastic body, cap, and unique silicone bite valve and straw, rings up at $15. The idea here is bite, suck, drink. The bottle is a good size for everyday use and light workouts. It also proved durable and lightweight. However, it delivers water too slowly to satisfy us during moderate to heavy exercise, and we did not enjoy the affect it has on the taste of water. Read on for an in-depth look at how the eddy performed across each metric.
Ease of Use
The CamelBak eddy features a four-piece bottle consisting of a plastic body, cap, straw, and a silicone Big Bite Valve. The body is narrow enough to fit into most cup holders, and its straw permits one-handed drinking without tilting one's head, most useful while driving and cycling. It's also spill-free and the loop on the cap is strong enough to trust.
The straw valve works by the user biting it and sucking water up through the straw. While the bite and suck method is necessary for many hydration tubes, our testers didn't like it on a water bottle. The greater drawback, though, was the slow flow of water through the straw. While fine for sips in the office, it constantly left us wanting more during exercise. We found that the straw and valve features added complexity without improving the drinking experience, unlike the unique lid of the AVEX Brazos 32.
The CamelBak eddy was also the only bottle to fail our leak test. It didn't leak a lot, but more than we wanted ending up on the electronics in our bags. For bottles that are easier to use and won't leak, check out the Klean Kanteen Classic, Lifefactory, and AVEX Brazos.
The CamelBak eddy also performed poorly in our taste tests. The silicone bite valve gives off a strong taste of rubber, even after several washes. It also retained the flavor of sports drink even after washing. Once tainted with the taste of a flavored drink, the eddy was difficult to return back to neutral, despite cleaning the bottle with baking soda and vinegar.
The CamelBak eddy did prove to be durable. It bounced off the concrete in our drop tests, suffering only minor scratches.
Watch our drop tests here:
Ease of Cleaning
The CamelBak eddy took a long time to clean, especially since it has several parts that were difficult to fully clean. On average, the hand cleaning time was three minutes and 25 seconds, more than two minutes more than half of the bottles tested. For bottles that are faster to clean, have a look at the Hydro Flask Insulated 32 or Nalgene Wide Mouth 32.
Here it is also worth noting that the bite valve remains exposed in both the stowing and drinking positions, which we did not find as sanitary as other bottles we reviewed. We also foresee the likelihood for bacteria and gunk build up inside the bite valve, like a built-in petri dish.
The CamelBak eddy weighs only 5.9 ounces, which is behind only the ultra-light Platypus PlusBottle and Vapur Element 1L. When considering its weight to volume ratio, the eddy fell equal with the AVEX Brazos at 0.23 oz/fl. oz.
The CamelBak eddy is a good choice to accompany you to work and light workout sessions. It allows you to take quick sips to maintain hydration throughout the day. It is also a great choice of bottle for driving and cycling.
For $15, we had hoped for a better functioning bottle from CamelBak. Due to low scores in a few of our metrics, we can't say the eddy is a great value. That said, if you think the straw feature will encourage you to drink more water, then this could be a very worthy investment.
If you like drinking from a straw and bite valve, you might find more value from this bottle than we did. However, we found this feature to be more of a disadvantage, as it made the water harder to access in gulps, tainted the flavor, and made the bottle overall more difficult to clean. The CamelBak eddy does have its advantages in durability, and we really liked how easy it was to drink from while biking and driving.
Other Versions & Accessories
The eddy is available in several colors as well as sizes, including the Eddy .6L and Eddy 1L. There is also the Eddy Insulated, a 20 oz. insulated version of the eddy and the eddy Glass. Cap alternatives include the Chute Cap and the CamelBak Classic Cap.
CamelBak also offers the Eddy Hands-Free Adapter, a hydration tube.
For cleaning assistance, there is a Bottle Brush Kit, which includes a separate brush for the internal straw. Also, there are Cleaning Tablets in packs of eight, which claim to remove any residual taste from the bottle.
— Ross Robinson
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Most recent review: May 19, 2015
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