||I have been using Camelbak products for
years, for everything from motorcycle riding
to hiking to mountain biking. I recently took
up paddling. I owned a Hydrobak and a
Mule, but neither really worked for
kayaking. I noticed that they were releasing
the Cortez, so I purchased one from ACK.
1. It fastens nicely to the deck bungees. It
has 4 clips, that seem solid enough. I have
had it on deck when I upended my kayak
on land to empty it of water and it held fast.
It has a bungee system on top of the bag so
you can still place things there, even though
it is covering your boats bungees.
2. The bitevalve has an easy to use cap on
it. This keeps lake or seawater off the
3. The hydration tube is longer than the one
on my Mule, and it is insulated. I live in a
warm climate and when using my mule with
the uninsulated tube, the first sip is usually
warm. I am not having this issue with the
Cortez. Also, they were thoughtful enough
to include a safety whistle that clips right to
the hydration tube. It also has a zipper on
the tube end that allows you to connect the
hydration tube after the bladder is in the
4. This uses the 3L bag, the same bladder
that my Mule uses. I have actually set my
new bladder aside and am using my older
mule bladder for both. The quick connect on
the bladder lets me interchange the
hydration tube depending on whether I am
paddling, it hiking or mountain biking.
5. This is a low profile bag, so I haven't had
any noticable wind issues like one might
expect from a larger deck bag.
6. The way the clips are designed, one could
easily attach this to the back of a backpack
as well. I havent done this, yet, but
probably will as my current camping pack
doesn't have a bladder pouch.
1. The deck where I fasten this to my kayak
slopes forward. Since I fasten it with the
tube end towards me, this means that as I
drink, the tube end will be higher. I have
reversed it so the tube end would be lower,
and even though it is a longer tube, I would
still have to lean forward to get a drink. To
be fair, this hasn't prevented me from
getting a sip, and its not really a fault with
design, it's just a result of using this product
with my kayak.
2. I would like to see a pocket on it large
enough to contain a very small drybag for
things like chapstick, snack bars, etc. I
could use the bungees, I suppose, but a
small pocket would be a nice addition
3. Color Selection seems to be limited. This
isn't a huge deal, and in no way affects
functionality, but having them available in
the common kayak colors would be nice.
4. I am having to find more places to stop
for relief. I suppose this one is both a Pro
and a Con, but I am definitely staying
hydrated and having to stop more than
when I was just using a nalgene bottle.
5. It is a Camelbak, so it has a camelbak's
Overall, I would recommend this, but with 4
stars. The reason I am not giving it a 5 is
because of the lack of a pocket and the
price. In my opinion, if they added a pocket,
it would justify the price.