Camelbak Thermobak 3-L Hydration Pack Review

What a difference a few generations makes. Forty years ago, the military was considered by many civilians to be an evil entity, but today those men and women serving in the armed forces are heroes, as they should be. That’s what makes the Camelbak Thermobak 3-L Hydration pack worthy of the camouflage colors that make it easily recognizable. Those green camouflage patterns, renowned around the world, are only the tip of the great iceberg that is this hydration pack.

I’m often asked to write reviews for a number of different products, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to look into hydration packs, so I had to do a little research first. I assumed that all you really needed to think about was capacity and durability, but believe it or not, there’s a lot more to these packs that what first meets the eye.

Things to Look For

Not all hydration packs are the same. Sure, if you go online or walk into a store that carries them, you might think that they are all the same, but you’d be mistaken at the very core of your reasoning. Forget about the colors, the price, and all the fancy creative names that they carry on them. Focus on what matters to you, such as:

  • Capacity
  • Features
  • Comfort
  • Style
  • Versatility
  • Durability

I actually decided to start by discussing the versatility of the Camelbak Thermobak 3-L Hydration pack because, well frankly this pack seems to have a little something for just about everyone.

Versatile All the Way

What struck me first when I started checking out this pack was that many military service members actually choose this pack over all the others. They like this pack so much, it seems, that they invest their own hard-earned money on it to become part of their regular service gear. It offers the highest volume of water storage without being cumbersome.

That’s the last thing you want to deal with when you’re hiking deep into the woods, or into enemy terrain (even if that ‘enemy terrain’ happens to be a steep climb in your neighborhood). I mean, what’s the point of carrying extra water if you’re not going to consume it, for starters, and that it’s going to weigh you down, tiring you out even faster?

3 liters is the ideal amount of water, for one, but being able to use the D-ring attachments points allow you to attach it to a load bearing vest or rucksack. In other words, the Camelbak Thermobak can be used in conjunction with other gear without much of a problem. That’s a nice advantage.


Okay, we want the products that we use every day to last. We want them to not fall apart within a few weeks or months. This pack is durable. Just reviewing many of the user comments about it gives a great indication to its versatility. After all, the one thing that you want is to not have to worry about being too ginger with it. You don’t want to have to be gentle when you’re out hiking in the woods.

The Camelbak Thermobak 3-L Hydration pack can handle military grade hikes, it can handle most everything you throw its way. This pack has been literally tested by hundreds of soldiers already in battlefield conditions; it’s going to hold up to whatever test you put it through.


What can I say? It holds three liters of water, which is the perfect amount. 100 ounces, or 183 cubic inches, however you prefer to measure your amounts. Many other packs tend to hold half that amount. For one, less quantity of water means that you won’t be lugging around extra weight. It also means that you can add a few extra items that you want to carry with you.

However, most adults, when hiking and exerting a fair amount of energy, will quickly realize that 3 liters is the perfect amount for a three hour hike, for example.


I love the simple features of the Camelbak Thermobak 3-L Hydration pack. The quick release shoulder straps make putting it on and taking it off a snap (literally). Those straps can also be stowed conveniently in an inside pocket. It also has a few extra pockets for those necessity items, such as food, a hunting knife, bug spray, or whatever else you want to bring with you.

Comfort and Style

As mentioned, I really like the look of the camouflage patterns and when you have this pack on, you barely even notice it. Comfortable shoulder straps don’t dig into your skin or chafe your sides. The lightweight composition makes carrying it barely more than a whisper on your back.

Camelbak takes pride in how it constructs its packs and it shows with this pack. I was thoroughly impressed with the styling of it and having that camo color really knocks it out of the park for me.

What About a Guarantee?

You bet. Camelbak has a ‘Got Your Bak’ guarantee. They stand behind their products and that should give you some indication that they believe in their products. I have to tell you, after trying them out, I believe in their products as well. No matter what you put them through, as long as it’s in the normal realm of hiking or biking or camping, you won’t be disappointed.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line for me is that this is at the top of a long list of hydration packs on the market today. Normally I don’t take much stock in items that are ‘tested’ by military members, but when I read that so many of these men and women are using their own memory to buy this one, I become a believer.

You can pick up your own Camelbak Thermobak 3-L Hydration pack at There, you can read testimonials and see that I’m telling it like it is. This pack is the real deal and I’m not trading mine in for anything.


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