After many years of faithful service from the standard Omega reservoir, the brain trust at CamelBak redesigned their popular bladder with many upgraded features. The most noticeable design change is the cap. No longer is a Herculean effort required to open and remove the cap. One 1/4 turn with minimum effort does the trick. It also has a larger diameter, so filling is easier as well. While they were at it, the engineers lowered the stack height for a slimmer fit and made the entire cap assembly 19% lighter.
The bladder itself features hidden 'dryer arms' which fold down from the cap to open the entire fill area and expose it to air for quick drying. A baffle has been added to the center of the bladder to keep the weight of the water evenly distributed and stable - a feature borrowed from the Military line of packs. This feature also reduces the stack height by a claimed 24% and provides a flat and seamless integration into the pack.
Lastly, a Quick Link valve has been added to the bottom of the pack where the tube exits. This nifty feature has a shut-off valve and allows the user to 'click-fit' tubes for replacement, add filters or insulated tubes in a matter of seconds. Clearly the finest bladder we have seen from any manufacturer and makes for a nice upgrade to any pack, whether you are using CamelBak brand or any other brand.
As with the other reviewer, a removable hose is a requirement for me. Despite what the editors have commented on, there are other manufacturers who have dealt with the issue of securely attaching the hose successfully. The remaining design of this hydration pack is fine, including the high-flow mouth piece. The lack of removable hose is a deal breaker.
Pros: Large / secure reservoir opening
Cons: No removable hose
Bought as a replacement bladder to my Camelbak pack. First step was to wash thoroughly prior to use. Could not remove the hose from the bladder for cleaning. This is a mandatory requirement for me in order to clean thoroughly after using sport drink in my bladder. Tried all the standard tricks (hot water, etc.), even tried a pliers and still could not remove -- it appears sealed on with adhesive. I will be searching for a new hydration pack supplier because of this poor design.
Removable hose could lead to a severe leakage problem - think water all over your pack. Its also a high stress area - probably the reason they sealed it - ed.