CamelBak Arete 18 Hydration Backpack for Hiking Review

CamelBak Arete 18 Hydration Backpack for Hiking


Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a casual hiker, or a busy commuter needing hydration on the go, the CamelBak Arete 18 Hydration Backpack for Hiking, 50oz might just be the perfect fit for your needs. This lightweight, breathable backpack not only promises to carry your essentials but also provides hydration with its integrated 50oz reservoir. In this review, I will dig deep into its features, compare it to similar products, and share some tips and tricks to help you make the most of it. If you’re already considering buying it, you can do so here.

Design and Quality

The CamelBak Arete 18 Hiking Backpack really stands out when it comes to design. It is available in a sleek Indigo Bunting/Silver color that can suit any outfit or adventure. This backpack is not just about aesthetics though; it is equally impressive when it comes to quality. The bag is made from durable and lightweight materials, ensuring its longevity while remaining comfortable to carry.

The 3D Vent Mesh Harness provides a breathable layer between the pack and your back, preventing overheating on long hikes. With a secure phone pocket, a laptop sleeve for a 15″ device, and side stretch pockets for extra water bottles or other essentials, this backpack offers ample storage in a compact design.

Key Features and Benefits

The CamelBak Arete 18 comes with a 1.5L Crux Reservoir, providing easy access to hydration during your hikes or commutes. The hydration bladder is housed in a separate compartment, leaving the main compartment free for other items.

The side stretch pockets allow for additional water bottles, and the secure phone pocket offers quick and easy access to your phone while keeping it safe. The laptop sleeve is a thoughtful addition for those who need to carry their tech along with them.

This backpack also boasts a lightweight and breathable 3D Vent Mesh Harness with additional cargo, making it comfortable to carry even on longer treks.

Comparison with Similar Products

Compared to other hydration backpacks like the Osprey Skarab 18 or the Deuter Speed Lite 20, the CamelBak Arete 18 holds its own. While the Osprey Skarab 18 also comes with a hydration reservoir, it lacks the laptop sleeve that the Arete 18 offers. On the other hand, the Deuter Speed Lite 20 offers a similar hydration capacity but doesn’t include the reservoir.

Pros and Cons


  • Lightweight and breathable design
  • Hydration reservoir included
  • Laptop sleeve and secure phone pocket
  • Side stretch pockets for additional storage


  • Some users might prefer a larger reservoir
  • The thin design may not be as durable for rugged outdoor use

User Reviews and Testimonials

The CamelBak Arete 18 has received mixed reviews from users, with some praising its lightweight design and hydration capabilities, while others wish for a larger hydration reservoir.

One user found it perfect for short hikes and commutes, especially appreciating the ability to carry a 15″ laptop. Another user lauded the backpack’s durability, stating that despite its lightweight and thin design, it held up well during long hiking trips.

However, one user noted that the hydration reservoir was smaller than expected, which may be a consideration for those requiring more water on their hikes or commutes.

You can check out other user reviews on this page.

Tips and Tricks

To make the most of your CamelBak Arete 18, ensure that you pack it efficiently. Place heavier items towards the bottom and closer to your back for better balance. Use the side stretch pockets for quick-access items like snacks, a map, or a water bottle.

Before your hike, fill the hydration reservoir and freeze it overnight. This not only ensures you have cold water during your hike, but also helps to keep your back cool. Just remember to leave some space for the water to expand as it freezes!

Take care of your hydration bladder. After each use, make sure to clean and dry it properly to avoid any mold or mildew growth. Use a CamelBak cleaning kit or a mixture of baking soda and water to clean the bladder and tube, and then hang it upside down to dry.


Q: Can the hydration bladder be replaced if it gets damaged?

A: Yes, the hydration bladder in the CamelBak Arete 18 can be replaced. CamelBak sells replacement parts and reservoirs separately.

Q: Can this backpack fit a 17″ laptop?

A: No, the laptop sleeve in the CamelBak Arete 18 is designed to fit a 15″ laptop.

Q: How do I clean the hydration bladder?

A: CamelBak recommends using a CamelBak cleaning kit, which includes brushes for the bladder and tube. Alternatively, you can use warm soapy water or a mixture of baking soda and water, then rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.


In conclusion, the CamelBak Arete 18 Hydration Backpack for Hiking, 50oz is a versatile, lightweight, and functional backpack that promises to keep you hydrated on your hikes or commutes. With its thoughtful design and features like a laptop sleeve and secure phone pocket, it provides a great blend of comfort, practicality, and style. Despite some minor drawbacks, such as the size of the hydration reservoir, it is a worthy contender in its category. If you’re interested in purchasing the CamelBak Arete 18, you can check it out here.

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