Being a trail runner in Florida means you expect some hot and humid runs. This means that hydration is essential, especially for any run longer than an hour. I used to wear a belt with water bottles. I could never tolerate the weight around my waist, the bouncing of the bottles, and the constant sloshing of water. No matter how many brands I tried, I was never happy with a water belt. After a particularly tough long run spent fighting with my water belt most of the way, I decided I’d had enough. I needed to find another hydration solution. I did a lot of research to find the best hydration solution for me. Since I detested anything heavy around my waist, I was ready to try a backpack style hydration pack. I decided to test out the CamelBak Dart hydration pack.
The CamelBak Dart Hydration Pack is a smaller, lightweight backpack style hydration pack. Designed for runners, it has features specifically with runners in mind. The pack contains a fillable bladder reservoir with a tube that connects to a valve for drinking. It has adjustable shoulder straps, and an adjustable chest strap to secure a snug fit. On the back of the pack there are two zippered pockets, one with a mesh insert and key clip. On one of the front straps is a small mesh pocket, perfect to stash a gel. When filled, the reservoir holds 50oz of liquid. It is constructed of lightweight fabric and mesh, with reflective elements on the back.
So how did it work? My first test, I made sure to adjust the shoulder straps and the chest strap to get a snug fit, without feeling tight. I headed out on the trail, nervous about whether my new hydration pack would be comfortable for a long trail run. I didn’t wear it extremely tight, so there was a little movement on my back, but the pack did not bounce at all. (See my secret tip at the bottom for eliminating any water sloshing!) I was thrilled! This was by far the most comfortable hydration I had ever run in. I even had my phone, keys, and gels stashed in the zippered pockets and I hardly noticed they were there. As an added bonus, I taught my dog, NiKYO, how to drink from the valve (no dog lips, please). This makes the Camelbak a great way to carry water for both of us.
I have had my CamelBak Dart for a year now, and it is still going strong. The Camelbak Dart has gone with me on my hot and steamy Florida trail runs. The Dart was even enough to handle a 19 mile trail run / hike on the North Carolina Foothills trail. My Foothills trail adventure was going to be a long day. I had plenty of room in the Dart’s zippered pouches for gels, camera, rain hat, stinger waffles and larabars. The 50oz reservoir was more than enough for the long trek. This hydration pack can definitely go the distance!
Want to know my secret trick to eliminate any water sloshing in your Camelbak? Once you have filled the water reservoir, hold the reservoir overhead, with the hose connection at the top (this is upside down for my Dart pack, as the hose connects to the bottom of the reservoir bag). The hose will be lower than the reservoir bag. Then suck the air out of the pack through the valve, until there is no more air visible in the top of the reservoir. No water sloshing in your CamelBak!
Want to get your own CamelBak Dart for your trail runs?
Disclosure: I was not paid to review this product, and the review is my own opinion. Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have purchased this product, and I recommend it because I have had a positive experience, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.