I wear a Nathan Hydration pack for any run over two hours. I love it. It’s compact, comfortable, fits my water, phone, gels, gloves and even a shirt. I have one from the women’s series, which attach under your boobs instead of around your waist.
But the other day, something disturbing happened. I was preparing for a two hour trail run with a great partner. He looked at my hydration pack and said, “That thing looks like a dirty fish tank.” Low and behold, he was right! It was so gross! I had not even noticed.
I tried cleaning and soaking and hanging it to dry, but it was too far gone. A replacement pack was in order, but how to stop it from going all dirty-fish-tank again!?
I quickly and desperately emailed my running club with an S.O.S. message. Our fabulous club president pointed me toward the light. A cleaning kit was the answer. I had no idea they even existed, foolish little me.
The kit comes with a flexible brush that easily fits inside of and is movable around the bladder. Complementing that is a solid, long, skinny brush that cleans the drinking tube. Both are easy to use and very effective. The “tube-cleaning tube” (not the technical name, of course) actually makes its way through the entire length of the drinking apparatus, no small feat if you ask me.
But that’s not all! There is a hook so that you can hang the bladder upside down to dry. And saving the best for last is what Camelbak calls the “Reservoir Dryer” (the term is even trade marked). Essentially, it holds open your bladder to allow it to thoroughly air dry. (Now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)
Camelback throws in two cleaning tablets, which I have yet to use. Everything in the kit is individually replaceable, a very convenient way to buy.
Frankly, the Reservoir Dryer is awkward and the instructions are terrible. Yet, some how, it magically works. I clean out the bladder, fumble my way through inserting the dryer, hang it upside down and tada… it’s dry and clean by morning.
Totally worth the $20.