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CamelBak Unisex Adult Cortez 100 oz Paddling Hydration Pack

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Brand CamelBak
Color Silver, Orange Popsicle
Item Weight 0.46 Pounds
Item Dimensions LxWxH 17.5 x 8 x 3.15 inches
Capacity 3 Liters

About this item

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  • Mesh
  • Antidote Reservoir features easy open/close cap and low-profile design
  • Lashes to kayak
  • Bungee overflow
  • Bite valve cover and insulated tube cover
  • CamelBak Got Your Bak Lifetime Guarantee

Product Description

New to our paddle collection, the Cortez allows you to secure your drinking water firmly to your kayak. This deck mounted Antidote reservoir features our Quick Link System, a grip strip on the back side to help it stay in place, a bungee overflow to quickly secure a hat or clothing layer and external access to the reservoir fill port. The Cortez also comes with an insulated tube cover to keep your water cold and a bite valve cover to keep river or ocean water off of the drink interface.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2016
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4.0 out of 5 stars Basically a nice new Unbottle.
Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2016
CamelBak Cortez; basically a nicer, newer Unbottle, but not the end-all be-all I was hoping for paddling.

I used to paddle a rec boat in which I'd throw an unbottle along with plenty of other crap and go paddle around a puddle for a few hours. That worked quite fine, but as I started paddling bigger waters and longer trips, and the heat tab started really firing up, I needed something better.

Plenty of folks just carry bottles of water under their bungees, I've done that and it works fine. Some carry it in their cockpits and pop the skirt, I don't like doing that as I don't want something rolling around my cockpit and I don't want to pop my skirt to drink, and I also don't want a tube running through my tunnel particularly in rough waters where I need to be ready to exist, so I read about this and took a chance on it.

First, the good: I have plenty of other hydration packs already, and actually already had an Omega bladder with the quick release hose connection, so I froze two 3L bladders overnight before heading out the next day. I left the house at 630, and was loaded at the put-in at 730. The Cortez was strapped to my deck, the other bladder in a day hatch for a quick on-the-water refill. Around 630 that evening I was back in the car having unloaded everything and noticed that the bladder that was still in the cortez had a fist sized lump of ice in it, while the bladder that was uninsulated was completely melted and thoroughly warm. That was impressive, and I remember being similarly impressed with the Unbottle: while insulating layers are rather thin, they're surprisingly effective in helping keep your water cool. So does it keep my water cold ? Yep, especially if you throw those puppies in the freezer the night before.

The tube on this is rather long as well, and you can mount it either tube-end close or tube-end far to get the tube-length for your preferences. It has tube clips on both side of the carrier to help accommodate that.

It uses the latest Camelbak hoses, that is to say it has a quick disconnects both at the bladder end and the bite piece end, but it comes with only a straight bite piece. I prefer the 90 degree ones BY FAR and have a small collection of them in a junk drawer, but they won't work with the quick release so I'll havle to buy one. It does come with a shut off valve and bite piece cover as well. Additionally, the hose is lined with a cooling material rather than the black heating material... I remember when these are all optional pieces, likely around 10 dollars each, so it's nice that Camelbak is including them on newer models as part of the base kit. The quick release system really does make it more convenient to load up the bladder with water and get it back into the sleeve; I remember how I would fuss with that with the older unbottle with fixed connections.

The quick connect at the bite piece end lets you connect filters up easily; I do that with my other one while hiking but I paddle in brackish and salt water, so no water resupplies along the way for me; it's a spare bladder in the day hatch or nothing. For hiking however it's great to fill up through the drinking hose and not have to empty your pack to squeeze a full water bladder in. With slightly older Omega bladders that only had the quick disconnect at the bladder end you had to buy the conversion kit to be able to quick connect at the bite piece end, so it's nice that this is included as well.

My old unbottle had 4 simple D rings on each corner, leaving the rest to you for attachment: this has 4 plastic clips that you could theoretically not only clip onto declines, but potentially onto the outside of a backpack as well, or rig with guy line like it were an older unbottle. You can also slip this into a pack sleeve and benefit from the insulation.

Now, the cons:

while this has a bit of rubber on the back, it's not going to grip on a boat that's been 303'd anytime recently; you'll still have to shove it under the deck lines or clip it into further elastics to keep it aligned. Additionally, it raises your deck; more so while it's plump full of water obviously, but even empty this isn't a svelte item; completely empty it's still more bulls than a rolled up pneumatic float; completely full it's about as much windage as a foam paddle float. Additionally, while it has bungee on top so you can kind of "still use the bungee its sitting on", the bungee is very, very small; you wouldn't even get a float in it, but you could potentially show some gloves or or a scarf in it. The bungee has a disconnect in the middle which is convenient, although I find it a bit hard to use with wet hands and especially when gloved. I would have actually preferred to have a pouch running the length of it to store additional goodies instead of bungee.

It does not have any sort of clip or attachment to attach it to your PDF. Camelbak sells a magnetic one, but it relies on a disc sitting inside a groove, and the magnet keeps it in the groove; but it's sitting firmly in plastic and not relying on the magnet as it's sole attachment. . This means it's extremely convenient to disconnect for drinking purpose, but not "break free" and therefore I won't use it to connect the hose to my PDF as that would be connecting me to my boat; not good in a wet exit. I've seen other brands ( Platypus ?) whose clips rely purely on magnetic attraction with no other fittings; those would be much safer in a wet exit.

There's a bright yellow piece of plastic on the tube that looks like a clip; it's the world's tiniest, most useless whistle. Actually it's better than nothing, but please don't rely on this as your primary whistle; it's really very quiet. Also, it's just clipped on with no tether so eventually it will be in the drink. I'm not even sure why they include this, other than for the sake of being able to say they made a kayaking-specific model. To me its basically a non-feature.

The carabiner clips have a small hook to them to make them surer, but I find these annoying when hooking and unhooking it and I'm not sure if they're really a benefit or not. I tend to attach it to further bungee so they're stretched a bit, keeping it well aligned which would also mean that there's constant tension on the clips and they should need that extra hook, but I suppose some people attach it loosely in which case they would be a help.

The bite piece really doesn't flow water as much as I'd like so I may take an Xacto blade to it. Unlike hiking, bicycling or backpacking, every time I fiddle with this thing I'm losing momentum so I'd rather gulp the water down a few times a day, then have to constantly sip it down.

All in all as an Unbottle it's quite nice, but I would say that it's kayaking optimized features are more notional than anything else.
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Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2016
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Top reviews from other countries

Hellie Bellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great hydration pack the floats my boat.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 3, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars Bolsa cortez camelbak
Reviewed in Spain on January 5, 2018
Jose Martin Romero
5.0 out of 5 stars Convierte cualquier backpack en Camelback
Reviewed in Mexico on June 2, 2018