An affordable classic, the CamelBak Crux Reservoir comes back from a redesign even better than ever! The newest design offers the same great handle that makes filling from most water sources a breeze. The larger diameter hose provides a higher water flow while the easy to use bite valve is one of our favorites. The bladder itself is durable, with a screwtop that is sealed, and doesn't leak. The exterior plastic polymer is quite durable and tough, ensuring that, with proper use, it'll last for a long time. While it's not our Best Buy Award winner this year, it was certainly considered for it. This hydration bladder is a top performer.
CamelBak Crux Reservoir Review
Cons: Can't flip inside out.
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CamelBak Crux Reservoir
|Price||$34.99 at Amazon||$36.95 at Backcountry|
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|$34.99 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$39.00 at Amazon||$26.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|Pros||Durable, great water flow, easy to fill and clean, versatile use, good price.||Durable, reliable, fast flow rate, easy to fill||Lightweight, slim profile, simple to use, easy to clean||Many innovative uses, slim profile, pressurized system, fairly lightweight, easy to fill, dishwasher safe||Lightweight, super packable, durable material, inexpensive, incredibly versatile|
|Cons||Can't flip inside out.||Wider profile doesn't fit narrow hydration sleeves||Not as durable as other options, connections get gummed up without lubrication||Expensive, small learning curve, no measurement on bag, initial plasticky taste, not our favorite bite valve||Poor taste, does not come with hose or bite valve, doesn't pack easily into backpack sleeves|
|Bottom Line||This high value bladder with stellar performance for a decent price.||This favorite offers burly and reliable construction best for hiking and backpacking.||A lightweight and slim bladder for any on-the-go athlete.||This notable bladder offers a pressurized system and a great all-around hydration system.||This reservoir is lightweight and durable with many functions.|
|Rating Categories||CamelBak Crux Reservoir||Platypus Big Zip EVO||Shape-Shift Reservoir||Geigerrig Hydration Engine||MSR DromLite Bags|
|Ease Of Use (25%)|
|Ease Of Care (25%)|
|Ease Of Filling (20%)|
|Quality And Durability (15%)|
|Weight And Packability (15%)|
|Specs||CamelBak Crux...||Platypus Big Zip EVO||Shape-Shift...||Geigerrig...||MSR DromLite Bags|
|Weight of Bladder & Tube (3L, *2.5L system,**4L system)||8.40 oz||6.90 oz||5.40 oz||6.40 oz||5.20 oz**|
|Bladder Capacity Options (liters)||1.5L, 2L, 3L||1.5L, 2L, 3L||2L, 3L||2L, 3L||2L, 4L, 6L|
|Bite Valve||Bite valve with updated shutoff valve||HyFLO Self-sealing Bite Valve||Bite valve with shutoff twist valve||Bite valve with shutoff twist valve||None (Bite valve with lock arm shutoff valve in separate attachment kit)|
|Can bite valve be removed?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hose Connection||Quick release hose (no swivel)||Mid-tube, but can be changed to the base. Quick Release||Quick release (no swivel)||Quick release hose (no swivel)||At the mouth of the screw top|
|Closure Type||Screw top||Zip top||Slide top||Slide top||Screw top (3 in 1 spouts)|
|Warranty||Lifetime Guarantee||Limited warranty||Lifetime warranty||30-day money back guarantee||Limited warranty|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The CamelBak Crux Reservoir has been a Best Buy Award winner in the past, but with new price changes (an increase), it lost that spot. It offers great all-around performance with a durable design. Despite many online reviews reporting that this bladder leaks, the latest design seems to fix these issues. We've used it while hiking, biking, running, and more, and it works perfectly. This bladder is a top scorer and stands out for its large handle that makes filling easy, and super-fast water flow.
Ease of Use
This hydration system is super easy to use. It features a great wonderful bite valve and a tube that has a larger diameter. This facilitates a much faster water flow rate with very little work. The bite valve is comfortable to use and the locking mechanism offers more versatility than those without. We've used this bladder easily while hiking in the mountains, climbing, biking, and running. It's one of our favorites simply because the water flows freely with little to no effort.
The profile of the bladder is a regular size and is compatible with many different hydration sleeves in different types of packs. We had the opportunity of putting it into a super small running pack, and it's more narrow front to back profile did well. It also slipped easily into backpacks designed for hiking and fastpacking. Overall, it is versatile in its uses.
Ease of Care
This bladder is built with a huge screw top opening that is quite large. You can easily fit a scrub brush inside if your bladder gets super grimy. Though, we found that with routine care, even if putting sugary drinks into the bladder, we didn't need to scrub, even after using it every other day for the last few months. The wide mouth is very easy to dry, and with the appropriate tools, you can clean the tube with easy. Since all parts disconnect, you can do good work to take things apart and sanitize if needed. Overall, this bladder is pretty darn easy to care for.
Ease of Filling
Oh boy! With a massive handle, the filling is ridiculously easy. The handle itself can hold quite a bit of weight, and because of its design, it made filling at a sink, river, stream, lake — whatever! — incredibly easy.
If you want a bladder that doesn't take any additional work to fill, this wide-mouthed product is a wonderful option.
Quality and Durability
When doing some research online, we found several reviews on the CamelBak website complaining about screwtop of this model leaking.
When we received this bladder, we made note of these complaints and tested them directly. After 40+ hours of testing, while running, climbing, hiking, ect., the screwtop of this bladder didn't leak at all. The newest screwtop offers an insanely awesome seal and clicks together smoothly. When the bladder is inverted or squished or stuffed into a pack, it stays sealed.
The material its made of is pretty darn strong as well. The plastic seems to be impervious to punctures and the seams are welded together. We tugged at them, tried to pull them apart, and even froze and dethawed it. After doing this several times (it's a great way to kill bacteria after all), we have decided that this is a high-quality product. While we've been testing these bladders for a long time, the newest update seems more bombproof than ever. However, only time will tell as we keep testing it out. We'll keep you posted for the future!
Weight and Packability
A midweight bladder, we've used it for so many different things. While it's not our top choice for missions that require measuring and counting every ounce of your gear kit, we've still taken it long-distance running, hiking, climbing, and on alpine missions.
The bladder itself packs down, but because of the large screw-top construction, it can't be rolled up very easily to be stored. It's not the most packable, but it's not so bad either.
This is a wonderful value for the price. This bladder was considered for the Best Buy aAard and has won them in the past. However, with CamelBak increasing the price (just by a little), another less expensive option stole its place on the budget podium. That said, this is one of the highest-scoring products in this review, and it isn't very expensive. The newest version of this bladder is an improvement. Based on our experience, we'd expect it to last for a very long time.
The CamelBak Crux Reservoir is a classic. Durable in design, the newest version is leakproof, with an awesome level of water flow. It became a favorite simply because it's so easy to fill, maintain, and drink from. It's the lower price is great too, almost winning our best buy award.
— Amber King