Product Care and Tips

Certain questions seem to come up pretty regularly, especially when people are using our products for the first time. Here are easy ways to clean and take care of your equipment from our product teams.

Cleaning

How to clean your CamelBak reservoir

The best way to care for your reservoir is to clean and dry it after every use, especially if you fill the reservoir with anything other than water.  However, theoretically, if someone didn’t clean it after every single use, and mold or discoloration happens to develop…

  • Use hot water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda or bleach.  Mix the solution inside your reservoir and hold it up above your head while you pinch the bite valve, allowing the bleached water to run through the tube.  You can also use CamelBak Cleaning Tabs.
  • Let the reservoir and cleaning solution sit for about 30 minutes.
  • Wash the reservoir with hot water and mild soap. Be sure to completely rinse away any bleach or cleaning solution before using again.  You can also use CamelBak brushes from our Cleaning Kit to scrub your reservoir and tube.  Brushes are the best way to ensure you are scrubbing all of the areas of the reservoir clean.
  • Once the reservoir is clean, be sure to air dry the reservoir so no moisture is trapped inside, which can cause mold to grow.

These steps will make your reservoir safe for use.  If you have spots left from the mold, they will never come all the way out because the reservoir is permanently stained, but still safe and usable.

For more information, watch our video on reservoir cleaning.

Yes, your CamelBak eddy™, Groove®, and Better Bottle™ need to be cleaned

Contrary to popular belief, just because you can’t see “the yuck” doesn’t mean it’s not there…

Groove Only

  • Remove the carbon filter as it is the only part of your bottle that is not dishwasher safe. 
  • Give your Fresh™ Filter a quick 15-second rinse the first time you use it to dislodge any harmless, loose particles of carbon, then set it aside, as no additional cleaning is recommended. 
  • If you accidentally run your filter through the dishwasher, discard and replace it with a new filter.

For more information, watch our video on Groove cleaning.

Groove, eddy, and Better Bottle with BigBite™ Valve

  • Pull off the bite valve and straw from the cap.
  • Clean it in the top rack of the dishwasher or by hand with warm, soapy water. 
  • If you like to use a bottle brush, we don’t recommend forcing a brush through the Bite Valve slit. 
  • For a deeper cleaning, add a drop of mild soap or tablespoon of bleach to a clean glass jar filled with water.  Drop the bite valve, straw and cap into the solution, and tightly close the jar’s lid.  Shake the mixture around for 30 seconds, and then let the parts soak for about 15 minutes. Rinse and shake dry.
  • Now, to re-insert the Bite Valve into the cap:
    • Flip the stem collar (the component the bite valve attached to originally) to the open position.
    • Orient the bite valve so the finger tab points towards the front of the cap.
    • Push the bite valve firmly onto the stem collar.

    For more information, watch our video on bottle cleaning.

    Tips for cleaning your Kids’ Bottle

    Unfortunately, we can’t offer up the bottle cleaning equivalent to the five-second rule, you just gotta do it.  It won’t take long, and your kids will be eternally grateful.

    We recommend first removing your one-piece bite valve and straw for cleaning.  It’s easy to do.  (Yes, it looks like a lot of steps here, but it really is easy):

    • Flip the stem to the open position by pulling on stem tab or pushing stem release button under the handle.
    • Turn cap over and pull out the straw.
    • Grab the flat finger tab on the base of the Big Bite Valve under the cap.
    • In one firm motion, pull the Big Bite Valve component out of the cap.

    Clean the bite valve and cap by hand or in the top rack of a dishwasher.

    • If you use a dishwasher, a top-rack basket for small parts is ideal, and it’s good to avoid high-heat settings like 'sanitary clean' or 'heat boost' which may distort plastic components.
    • If you clean by hand, use warm, soapy water.
    • If you like to use a bottle brush, make sure it doesn't have exposed metal edges that could cut the silicone, then insert the brush into the open end at the base of the valve. We don't recommend forcing a brush of any kind through the Big Bite Valve slit (where you drink from) as this could damage the sealing surfaces of the Big Bite Valve.

    To re-insert the bite valve back into the cap:

    • Flip the stem collar (the component the bite valve passed through originally) to the open position. You should be able to look through both the opening in the cap and the opening in the collar.
    • Turn the cap over and orient the bite valve so the finger tab points towards the back of the cap (where the handle loop is).
    • Insert the tip of the bite valve through the cap and the collar until the end of the Big Bite Valve peeks through the outer end of the collar.
    • Turn the cap over and grab the end of the Big Bite Valve and pull through until it sits in the grooves incorporated into the collar. If you pull the Big Bite Valve too far out these grooves will be visible. Just press the valve back down until these grooves are seated.  Turn the cap over and press on the base of the valve to make sure it is seated.
    • Insert the straw (either end it doesn't matter) into the hole in the valve base. Don't over-insert the straw just until you feel resistance.

    Cleaning your Podium® Bottles is way easy

    The Podium® Bottle is dishwasher-safe and easy to clean. Remove the cap assembly, making sure the JetValve lockout is open, and place it with the bottle on the top rack of your dishwasher. For best results, we recommend avoiding high-heat settings such as 'sanitary clean' or 'heat boost' which may distort plastic components.  We don’t recommend forcing a brush or other cleaning tool through the JetValve cross-slit (i.e. where you drink).

    We recommend cleaning the Podium® Chill bottle by hand using warm water and soap if desired. High heat from the dishwasher may distort the lightweight plastic bottle components. The Podium® Chill cap can be washed in a dishwasher on the top rack.

    Please note that the Podium caps are primarily composed of two components: the JetValve and the silicone nozzle. To wash the cap by hand, pull off the silicone nozzle and wipe cap with a soapy sponge. Rinse thoroughly and snap the nozzle back on. Do not disassemble small parts of the cap JetValve. Disassembly of the plastic cap could lead to leaks or product malfunction.

    For more information, watch our video on cleaning your Podium bottles.

    How to keep the fill port o-ring on your reservoir free of dirt

    In certain conditions, particularly in desert or sandy environments, fine grit can infiltrate the o-ring seat.  This can prevent a proper seal when tightening the cap.

    To keep the inside of your fill cap clean of dirt at all times:

    • Rinse fill port and cap with water.
    • Scrub cap with cleaning brush if necessary.
    • Check o-ring for damage.
    • Replace o-ring if necessary.

    How to clean your CamelBak hydration pack

    We recommend wiping your pack with a damp cloth to remove dirt. If the pack is extremely dirty and needs a deeper cleaning, soak it in cool or warm water with a very mild soap. Rinse the pack thoroughly with cool water. If soap residue remains in the fabric, it may create suds if exposed to water or sweat.

    DO NOT wash your pack in a washing machine. Machine washing may damage the pack or affect the integrity of the fabric and fasteners, and will void the Got Your Bak™ Guarantee.

    Usage

    Give your CamelBak hydration system a thorough check

    Before you hit the trails this summer, be sure to give your CamelBak hydration system a thorough check to ensure it is in full working order. Just like any piece of gear you may own, a hydration system works best when it is well maintained.

    Instructions: 

    • Pull your reservoir out of the pack. Do a quick visual inspection to ensure everything looks clean and free of mold. Run some clean water through the system to remove any old odors. For instructions on cleaning your reservoir, click here.
    • Give the drink tube a firm tug on each end to make sure it doesn’t come lose. If you find that the tube is easily pulled off of the reservoir, Quick Link assembly or Ergo HydroLock you can cut an inch off the tube and then press the part back into the tube.



    • Check the seal on your reservoir cap by filling the reservoir with water and screwing the cap completely closed. Rotate the reservoir in different angles. If leaks are found make sure the cap has been closed securely and examine the o-ring around the base of the cap for debris or tears. Be sure the o-ring is seated uniformly around the cap and hasn’t rolled or moved away from the sealing area. If leaks persist please contact our warranty department by clicking here.

    Following these steps will give your CamelBak reservoir new life and ensure your water tastes good and stays secure when you’re out on the trails!

    How and when to change your Groove filter

    The Fresh™ Filter in your CamelBak Groove reliably reduces contaminants for 300 refills of the bottle, or approximately 3 months of use at 3 - 4 full bottles per day (48 gallons / 180 liters).  You may need to change the filter more or less often depending on the amount of water you consume. 

    Over time, the filter becomes saturated and is able to absorb fewer contaminants. If used past the effective life (3 months, 3 - 4 full bottles per day) the filter will remove contaminants less effectively and will flow more slowly. Changing the filter regularly ensures that you have clear refreshing great-tasting water.

    To change your filter:

    • Unscrew the cap from the bottle.
    • Unscrew the filter housing and tube assembly 1/8th turn to remove from the cap.
    • Hold the Fresh Filter by the collar and pull it out of the filter housing.
    • Remove a new Fresh Filter from its wrapper and rinse thoroughly, inside and out under running tap water for 15 seconds.  With a new filter, you may experience trapped air bubbles or small particles of carbon in the first few sips. These are harmless, and rinsing the filter should minimize their occurrence.
    • Hold the new Fresh Filter by the collar and slide it into the open end of the filter housing.  The collar will remain visible above the end of the filter housing when fully inserted.
    • Insert the filter housing and tube assembly into the cap and rotate it 1/8th turn.  You should feel gentle resistance as the new filter engages the seal in the cap.

    Fresh Filters can be disposed of in household trash; they are not meant to be placed in curbside recycling or compost.  However, the filter is made from a sustainable plant-based source and weighs only 0.2 oz so the waste is minimized.

    For more information, watch our video on Groove filters and cleaning.

    Quick Link Conversion Kit Installation Instructions

    Retrofit any CamelBak OMEGA® or non-Quick Link Antidote hydration system with Quick Link™ components.

    Installation Instructions: 



    • Step 1:
      Cut the tube 2"-3" from the base of the reservoir.
    • Step 2:
      Moisten the bottom threads of the Quick Link with rubbing alcohol and insert into the smaller tube with force. Repeat for drink tube.
    • Step 3:
      Unclick to fill, click in to drink.

    Following these steps will give your CamelBak reservoir new life as a Quick Link enabled hydration system!

    The CamelBak Bite Valve

    The blue/black/clear/pink/grey thing is our CamelBak Big Bite™ Valve. This patented feature provides easy drinking and spill-proof safety. Do NOT remove or cut this piece to drink. Simply bite it slightly and sip as you would out of a straw.  Here’s another bonus:  a recent study by Pepperdine University revealed that people who drink from CamelBak Bottles drink up to 24% more water than people who drink from other reusable bottles or plastic disposable bottles.

    The bite valve on my new bottle doesn’t have a slit (opening) and I can’t drink from it

    The self-sealing silicone can sometimes seal tightly before first use. To open, squeeze the bite valve and twist & roll between your fingertips. This should loosen the seal and open it up for drinking. If you’re still experiencing problems, please contact our Warranty Team.

    Why the Podium and Podium Chill bottles don’t have Big Bite Valves

    These bottles are designed specifically for cycling, via an innovative, hassle-free feature called the CamelBak Jet Valve. Made from medical-grade silicone and designed to flow automatically when you squeeze the bottle, the Jet Valve vents pressure and seals shut automatically when you're done. It's simple, and there’s no biting involved.  You can either put the nozzle between your lips or open your mouth and squirt. The JetValve opens automatically when you squeeze, then shuts automatically to prevent drips. Since there's no pop-top valve to shut off you can guide the nozzle into helmet vents easily without accidentally shutting off the valve.

    The rotary valve under the nozzle on the cap is a secondary lock-out. We recommend using the lock-out exclusively for storage i.e. if you're storing the bottle in a bike bag or trunk. Leave it open during rides or for easy access when you're drinking from the bottle. You can also lock out your backup bottle on the bike to prevent any unexpected squirts from potholes or other big hits.

    Advice on using CamelBak Groove in the back country or overseas

    Only use your Groove with potable tap water.  The Fresh™ Filter contained in your CamelBak Groove does not remove harmful microscopic pathogens that may be contained in tap water outside of the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.  Your CamelBak Groove is not a purifier and not certified to be effective against bacteria, cysts or viruses.

    Tips for trouble-shooting a leaky bottle

    If your bottle cap is leaking from the vent valve (the small round air-pressure regulator in the center of your cap), you may have a small object trapped inside the valve itself.  Turn the cap over, and look under the round, grey, rubber flap.  If you carefully peel back the rubber seal and clean out the inner workings of the vent valve, the leak should stop.  Important: Do not remove the rubber gasket for cleaning purposes, because it is impossible to reattach.

    There also might be a slight “film” on the vent top from dust, so be sure to keep this clean as well. See CLEANING.  Be sure to always shake the lid dry to avoid any “film” buildup on the vent valve, and keep your bottle in an upright position as they are spillproof, but not drip proof.

    If your leak persists, we will be happy to replace the leaking cap for a brand new one with our Got Your Bak lifetime guarantee.

    Flying the friendly skies

    You can fly with your eddy Bottle, Groove bottle, Better Bottle, and Kids’ Bottle and use them in other high altitude situations (i.e. driving up to the mountains), but take care so you don’t get all wet.  Keep the bottle right side up with the bite valve in the closed position.  Remove the straw for additional protection.  Expect a bit of 'spurt' during the first sip, unless you open the cap with a quarter turn to release some of the pressure. Your Podium bottle, Podium Chill and Podium Ice will work normally in high altitude situations.

    An easy way to stick the bite valve back into the eddy bottle, Better Bottle, and Groove Caps

    • Flip the stem collar (the component the bite valve attached to originally) to the open position.
    • Turn the cap over and orient the bite valve so the finger tab points towards the back of the cap (where the handle loop is).
    • Push the bite valve firmly onto the stem collar.

    An easy way to stick the bite valve and straw back into the Kids’ Bottle cap.

    • Flip the stem collar (the component the bite valve passed through originally) to the open position. You should be able to look through both the opening in the cap and the opening in the collar.
    • Turn the cap over and orient the bite valve so the finger tab points towards the back of the cap (where the handle loop is).
    • Insert the tip of the bite valve through the cap and the collar until the end of the bite valve peeks through the outer end of the collar.
    • Turn the cap over and grab the end of the bite valve and pull through until it sits in the grooves incorporated into the collar. If you pull the bite valve too far out these grooves will be visible. Just press the valve back down until these grooves are seated.  Turn the cap over and press on the base of the valve to make sure it is seated.
    • Insert the straw (either end it doesn't matter) into the hole in the valve base. Don't over-insert the straw just until you feel resistance.

    Some nice beverages to drink in your bottle

    Almost anything goes for your Podium, Podium Chill, Kids’ Bottle, stainless or Tritan® eddy and Better Bottle – milk, juice, sports drinks - but please clean it thoroughly after each use. 

    The CamelBak Groove, on the other hand, is designed and intended for use with water only. The filter may remove the flavor from these types of beverages, leaving you with unsavory water.

    We have a few suggestions regarding carbonated beverages:

    Podium, Podium Chill, Podium Ice:  It’s fine to use carbonated beverages in your Podium, Podium Chill and Podium Ice.  The Jet Valve automatically vents pressure so that 'fizz' will not cause pressure buildup.  Please note, if the lockout is shut off there will be pressure buildup which isn't dangerous but could lead to unexpected spray when opened.

    eddy, Better Bottle, and Kids' Bottle with BigBite Valve:  We do not recommend carbonated beverages with the straw configuration of the eddy, Better Bottle™ or our Kids’ Bottle; remove the straw and drink via 'tip and sip.'

    How to adjust the straps so the pack fits comfortably

    CamelBak packs are designed so you can easily adjust them to fit your own body type:

    • For packs with shoulder straps, start here.  Unfold the Velcro strap management system at the bottom of your shoulder strap harness.  (Some models may not have this feature).  Adjust the straps to the appropriate height so that the pack rests comfortably on your torso, based on your activity and personal preference.
    • If your pack has a waist belt attached, try to set the shoulder straps so the waist belt lines up with the top of your hips.  Next, fasten the waist belt comfortably around your waist. Stabilizing some of the pack weight on your hips allows your shoulders to move more freely and support less weight which will enable you to enjoy your activity longer.
    • If your pack has a sternum strap in place, slide the sternum strap-assembly up or down so it lines up just above the top of your abdomen.  Secure the sternum strap across your chest.  Sternum straps help stabilize the weight of the pack around your entire upper torso, rather than primarily on your shoulders. Make any final adjustments to stabilize your pack as needed for maximum comfort.

    How to adjust and/or remove your reservoir tube

    To remove the tube from the reservoir (or to take off the bite valve locks), soak the end of the reservoir with the tube connection in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.  The warm water will soften the plastic and allow you to pull the tube off of the reservoir or pull the locks off of the tubes.  Soak a little longer if you are having a hard time removing them. To reapply the new tube onto the reservoir (or to insert new locks), soak the end of the new tube in hot water and slip it back onto the reservoir while warm.  The plastic will cool, firm up and reattach itself to the reservoir.

    Rules of the road for drinking hot beverages in our bottles

    Generally, if you are using any of our bottles with the BigBite™ Valve, be aware that the experience will be similar to drinking hot liquid through a straw and use caution.  In fact, in many cases, we recommend avoiding hot beverages altogether.

    Here’s some information on particular products:

    • eddy and Better Bottle with Tritan®:  Hot liquids or boiling water can be used in the CamelBak Tritan® eddy and Better Bottle™.  We do not recommend hot drinks because the experience will be similar to drinking hot liquid through a straw. Additionally, we do not recommend boiling the bottle itself.
    • Kids’ Bottles/All Stainless:  We do not recommend using hot beverages in our stainless steel bottles or Kids’ Bottles due to risk of burns from drinking hot liquid from a straw. Additionally the single-wall metal bottle (.75L and .4L sizes) does not insulate your hand from the heat of the contents.  
    • Groove:  Warm water in your CamelBak Groove is just fine, NOT boiling water (maximum temperature: 100 degrees Fahrenheit).  As we mentioned above, the experience of drinking hot beverages in your Groove will be similar to drinking hot liquid through a straw so please use caution.
    • Podium, Podium Chill and Podium Ice:  Warm beverages are OK in the Podium, Podium Chill and Podium Ice bottles provided they’re not hot enough to burn your mouth.  Extra-hot or boiling water can distort the plastic in the bottle but warm tea is a nice treat for a cold ride.

    Notes on microwaving (or really, not microwaving) your bottle

    • Tritan® eddy and Better Bottle:  Feel free to use the CamelBak Tritan® eddy or Better Bottle to warm up liquids in your microwave (ie. up to a minute) but we don’t recommend cooking your dinner in it. Please be sure to remove the cap of your bottle prior to using the microwave. The cap contains a metal screw in it that is not microwave safe. 
    • All Stainless:  Like any metal product, none of our stainless steel bottles should be microwaved. 
    • Kids Bottles, Podium, and Podium Chill:  Our Kids’ Bottles and Podium/Podium Chill bottles should not be microwaved because it can lead to uneven heating of the contents.
    • Groove:  Please do NOT microwave your CamelBak Groove.  The cap contains metal screws that are not microwave safe.  Sparks will fly…

    To freeze or not to freeze your bottle, that is the question.

    Tritan® eddy or Better Bottle and Kids Bottle:  You can freeze the Tritan® Better Bottle™, and Tritan® Kids’ Bottle but we have some guidelines for you.  If you are going to freeze your bottle, please make sure:

    • The bottle is not completely full when you do this (3/4 full is recommended to allow for expansion of the water as it freezes to ice).
    • The bottle is right side up
    • The bite valve (if your bottle has a bite valve) should NOT be flipped up or down if there is any frozen water in the tube. Wait until thawed.

    Stainless Better Bottle and Kids Bottle:  We do not recommend freezing your Stainless Steel Bottles.

    CamelBak Groove:  We do not recommend putting freezing water inside your Groove bottle.  Recommended temperatures are between 34 – 100 degress Fahrenheit.   Feel free to fill the Groove bottle with ice, but be sure to leave enough room in the bottle for the filter housing and tube assembly when the cap is replaced.

    Podium Bottles:  You can freeze your Podium or Podium Chill bottle, but before you do make sure that the bottle is only partially full. We recommend only 3/4 full to allow for expansion of the water as it freezes to ice. Place the bottle in the freezer right side up. Remember: you won't be able to drink until components have thawed.

    eddy™ Glass Bottle:  We do not recommend freezing glass. It's not tempered and isn't intended to have the temperature change or pressure. 

    Materials, Safety & Recycling

    The basics on BPA-free and the bottle materials we use

    After rigorous 3rd party testing of all of our bottles, no harmful chemicals have been detected to come in contact with or leach into food/beverage surfaces.  We have verified that all materials used in our bottles meet the stringent guidelines set by California Proposition 65. Extraction tests were completed by independent 3rd party researchers verifying that the new material meets all requirements as set forth by organizations such as:  FDA food safety standards, European Community food safety standards, Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare, and California Prop 65.

    Bisphenol-A is an ingredient used to make polycarbonate.  Due to consumer requests, CamelBak is proud to offer Bisphenol-A Free (BPA-Free) eddy bottles, Kids’ bottles, and Groove™ bottles made of a copolyester polymer called Tritan® from Eastman with the same great properties customers have come to expect from polycarbonate: vibrant color clarity durability dishwasher-safe and with no residual taste.  A FCN (Food Contact Substance Notification) notice #729 declared that Tritan is safe and meets all FDA guidelines for material that is to come in repeated contact with food.  

    The Podium, Podium™ Chill and Podium™ Ice Bottles are made primarily from TruTaste polypropylene, a proprietary blend of polypropylene that is food-safe and taste-free.  Compared to ordinary bike bottles which are made of low-density polyethylene that can flavor or distort the taste of your water, a CamelBak TruTaste bottle means your water will taste like it should.

    HydroGuard is a CamelBak proprietary antimicrobial technology embedded directly into the Podium, Podium Chill and Podium Ice bottle walls. HyrdoGuard is an EPA-registered compound with anti-microbial properties to inhibit the growth of bacteria that can cause odors, discoloration or deterioration of the bottle. HydroGuard does not protect the user against disease-causing organisms and bottles should be cleaned after each use.

    Safe design and testing procedures are enforced for kids’ products

    When designing kids' products, safety is paramount. CamelBak™ Kids' Bottles undergo rigorous third party testing for BPA lead and other substances. In addition CamelBak conducts independent testing to ensure product safety for kids'-specific hazards including choking and breaking.

    Congress and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recently strengthened safety standards in response to public concerns over product safety. CamelBak¯ actively supports these improvements and ensures all products comply fully with the new rules and reporting requirements.

    We use stainless steel because customers tell us they prefer it to aluminum

    The CamelBak eddy™ Stainless, eddy™ Stainless Insulated, and Groove® Stainless are made with medical-grade stainless steel. Stainless steel is a special type of steel that is naturally stain-resistant corrosion-resistant and taste free. Because of these unique benefits stainless steel is used in a variety of products from cookware and mugs to medical and surgical devices and food processing equipment. Stainless steel is strong scratch-resistant and provides a naturally bright clean finish without coatings or paints.

    When we design a product we look for the best material to satisfy customer requirements. For metal bottles, consumers tell us they prefer the durability and purity of stainless steel. Aluminum bottles have to be made with an inner coating or liners, often with undisclosed ingredients to protect the metal which isn't required on a stainless steel bottle. Stainless steel is also stronger harder and more scratch resistant than aluminum.