​CamelBak Crux Reservoir Review

Updated: April 3, 2023
CamelBak Crux 3L

The CamelBak Crux Reservoir wins our Best Value Hydration Bladder, and for good reason. The efficient components make it a firm favourite and its recent shape revision has made it easier to clean than previous models.

The CamelBak Crux Reservoir is great for hiking, dirt biking, and mountain biking where a durable bladder is required.

While it is one of the heavier hydration bladders, this hydration bladder has the best bite valve, a screw top that makes filling completely and easy task and a handy quick release hose system!

If we haven’t convinced you of the value of this one already, then the lifetime guarantee that comes with it should do the trick.

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CamelBak Crux Reservoir

Manufacturer: CamelBak


  • Amazing, ergonomic bite valve that allows for great flow of water 
  • Only hydration bladder that comes with lifetime guarantee (quality expected to last)
  • Handle and large screw top make it easy to refill


  • Harder to clean than other hydration bladders
  • One of the heavier hydration bladders
  • Can be difficult to refill in a shallow stream where it has to lie horizontally to be refilled


The main reason we love the CamelBak Crux Reservoir is for its components. Not only does it have the best bite valve, but its’ screw top makes it is easy to refill to the brink and it has a nifty quick release hose system that makes it compatible with other systems.

Everything works really well and makes the CamelBak Crux Reservoir a popular choice when swapping out unsuitable components on other hydration bladders.  

Though not quite as hardy and durable as the MSR DromLite Bags, the CamelBak Crux Reservoir also scores highly on durability and quality. It is made out of a heavier and more durable plastic making it less prone to punctures. One of its major selling points however, is that this is the only bladder that comes with a lifetime guarantee.

The plastic handle and large screw top opening that make the CamelBak Crux Reservoir so easy to refill also contribute to it being one of the heavier hydration bladders so if you are conscious of how much weight you are carrying then perhaps take a look at the Hydrapak Shape Shift Reservoir instead.   

Have a look at the CamelBak bag that fits this hydration pack perfectly. 

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See Other Hydration Packs

Finding the correct hydration pack for your needs and budget remains a tricky task and sifting through the troves of reviews can be time consuming and confusing. To make things easier, check out our expert review on the top 5 hydration bladders here.

Key Features

Size and Profile

The CamelBak Crux Reservoir features a slim profile that fits nicely into most backpacks and running packs. Like most other hydration bladders, it is vertically orientated and comes in 1.5L, 2L and 3L sizes.  

Considering that a hydration bladder is generally harder to pull out of a pack to refill than a water bottle which can be stored in an accessible place on the outside of the pack, again we recommend buying the bigger 3L size so as not to limit yourself on the amount of liquid you can carry. The CamelBak Crux features divided compartments that prevent sloshing so under-filling the hydration bladder is not a concern.

Hydration Pack Opening Type

We love the large screw top opening on the CamelBak Crux which also features a nifty plastic handle that makes the bladder easy to hold under a tap or basin when refilling.

The screw top and handle also means that this one can be filled all the way to the brink from either a horizontal or vertical orientation. Refilling only really becomes a bit tricky when refilling from a shallow stream where we had to lay the bladder flat and let the water flow over and into it, though the large opening did help with that.  

Bite Valve Size 

This was our favourite bite valve! It's medium in size which is comfortable and efficient to use. The switch lock mechanism of closing prevents leaking and does not require too much of your attention to close when on the move. We definitely recommend using this one when swapping out less suited bite valves on the other hydration bladders.  

Ease of Cleaning

Each version of the CamelBak Crux Reservoir that has been released throughout the years improves on the ease of cleaning the bladder. Though not as simple as some of the other hydration bladders to clean, it is still fairly easy to get a brush into the large screw top opening to give the inside of the reservoir a scrub. 

Unlike many other cleaning kits brushes that are sometimes too short to reach through the entire hose, the CamelBak Cleaning Kit (purchased separately for $10), contains a hose brush that is long enough to clean out the entire hose. 

Component Compatibility and Interchangeability 

Though we would not change any of them, all components on the CamelBak Crux can be swapped out if need be. The hose features a vertical quick release system that is compatible with other quick release systems and the mouth piece is detachable for easy cleaning and changing the bite valve.

About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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