You are on page 1of 4

FOG HORN

CamelBaks Armorbak.
A Compact Hydration System for Todays Warriors and First Responders.

2013
Twobirds Flying Publication

By: Sal Palma

Clint Eastwood is unquestionably one of my favorite actors. His movie career took him from spaghetti westerns to a crusty old Marine known to movie goers as Gunnery Sargent Highway. Former Mayor of Carmel, hes also a great American. One of the more memorable lines from his movie Heartbreak Ridge, improvise, adapt, overcome is not just good

advice; theyre words whose message is entrenched in the corporate philosophies of highly successful companies, like CamelBak. Their latest addition to the companys military and law enforcement line, the ArmorBak, is proof of concept.

Copyright 2013, Towbirds Flying Publication. All Rights Reserved.

CamelBaks Armorbak. A Compact Hydration System for Todays Warrior.


The services have always understood the importance of hydration. It was not referred to as hydration when I served, but our Platoon Sgt. always made sure we had two 1 quart canteens with us. He also made sure during night ops those canteens were full to reduce noise. In spite of those efforts, there was nowhere near the level of awareness about hydration that exits today; much to the credit of companies like CamelBak, who pioneered systems to ensure that our men and women in uniform stayed hydrated in the harsh arid environments of recent conflicts. Not to undermine its significance, the first hydration system simply consisted of a polyethylene bladder that was longer than it was wide, to take advantage of the human torsos geometry; attached to the bottom of the bladder was the intake tube that terminated in a bite valve. The valve was equipped with a shutoff. To hydrate, the soldier or sailor places the hose in his mouth, bites the valve and sucks on it, much like a straw, to start the flow of water. The concept was revolutionary and changed the face of hydration forever. However, as efficient and effective as the legacy system was, it had its imperfections The early hydration systems required the use of shoulder straps, or a shoulder harness. There was no elegant way to attach the hydration system directly to the soldiers load bearing vest. Lastly, when filled, the bladder took on a round sausage shape, which exhibited a tendency to roll around or shift on the wearers back. One would be hard pressed to describe these deficiencies as significant, in light of the canteen alternative, but they needed attention.

2013

Working closely with the armed services, CamelBak developed incremental solutions that are now reflected in their ArmorBak hydration system.

ArmorBaks foot print, when compared to earlier hydrations systems, is wider and correspondingly more stable on the soldiers back. I observed no rolling motion at any fluid level. Because the ArmorBak is wider it can now be made shorter without adversely impacting fluid capacity; which has a side benefit that has to be experienced to be appreciated.

Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

CamelBaks Armorbak. A Compact Hydration System for Todays Warrior.


ArmorBak does not extend past the load bearing vest, so it can be secured more closely to the body giving it a very low profile. CamelBak designed the ArmorBak specifically to attach to the back of the IOTV, MTV or any other vest equipped with a MOLLE/PAL back panel.

2013

A side benefit to the quick release attachment straps is that they add pressure to the hydration system. By tightening down on the two straps provided, you add pressure to the bladder which improves water flow. So, you can actually use the ArmorBak to rinse off eating utensils or anything else for that matter. Looking under the hood, ArmorBak is configured with the Antidote Reservoir.

The side release buckles attach to the vests PAL webbing, on its back panel. Then, using the straps provided, the wearer can securely fasten the ArmorBak to his vest. The result is a significantly lower stack height. CamelBak markets the system as its Direct Armor Attachment System (D.A.A.S. ). D.A.A.S. works exceptionally well, and there are numerous benefits to a smaller stack height; one immediate advantage is getting in or out of vehicles.

I can literally take up two pages enumerating everything that I like about this reservoir. Instead Ill talk about the three things that I think are important. First is the internal baffle. The Antidote Reservoir has a built in internal baffle that eliminates sloshing. This may not be a big deal
Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

CamelBaks Armorbak. A Compact Hydration System for Todays Warrior.


to some, but its a huge deal for me for the stability that ensues from not having water shifting around; not to mention sound discipline. Second, the wide mouth makes it easy to fill the reservoir; more importantly, its easier to clean the bladder. Irrespective to the inert nature of the reservoirs material, the internal surface can and does act as a petri dish; making it likely that you will experience fungal and bacterial accumulation, if not regularly cleaned. Having a wide mouth makes the cleaning process less laborious. Finally, the turn twist off cap means an end to cross-threading or fumbling around trying to install the cap. The review sample did not include the Mil Spec Antidote, so the auto shut-off port was absent; however, all other features like the Quick Link Exit Port and QL HydroLock Bite Valve Adapter were present and functioned as one comes to expect from anything CamelBak brings to market. The auto shut-off port makes it possible to separate the bladder from the intake tube so it makes filling the bladder easier. This is a very nice feature to have. In writing a review, one of several things that I closely examine is how well the manufacturer integrates its distinct diffirentiators. Are they seemsless? Are they functional, and not simply fluff? Are they reliable can you reasonably expect things to work under the conditions factored into the designs thought process? Theyre all important considerations in making a

2013

selection. Try as I may, Ive found nothing in excess or poorly implemented in any of CamelBaks products and the same holds true for its newsest addition, the ArmorBak. For all of you S.W.A.T. officers that are still using the legacy CamelBak hydration systems, please give the ArmorBak serious consideration. Youll be glad you did! -SP

Manufacturers Specifications Hydration Capacity: 100 oz / 3 L Total Capacity: 183 cu in / 3.0 L Weight: 0.5 lbs / 220 g Dimensions: 16 x 10 x 3 in / 41 x 25.4 x 7.6 cm Torso Length: N/A Fabric: 500D Cordura Fabric front panel and yoke > 210D Nylon lining > Nylon webbing > 5 mm closed cell foam

Copyright 2013, Twobirds Flying Publication, All Rights Reserved

Related Interests