Camelbak has been making excellent hydration systems since it invented them, and now the new Daxio is here with its groundbreaking, erm, bottle. Yes, it’s a bottle-based system. Your 60 quid buys you the bag and one bottle. So, let’s take those two elements separately…
The Daxio rucksack itself has a lot going for it. At 26 litres it’s a good size for commuting, day rides and mountain biking. It’s comfortable and well made too. There’s a main compartment with a padded laptop sleeve (big enough for a Macbook, not big enough for a 17in widescreen), a secondary pocket with a good organiser and keysafe, and a ﬂeece-lined pouch for your iPod. It’s a bit short on reﬂectives, but the Velcro tabs to tidy away the loose straps are a nice touch.
The Camelbak Better Bottle is good too. It’s well made from tough polycarbonate, with a carry handle, a non-spill bite valve and an internal straw so you don’t have to tip it up to drink. As bottles go, it’s an excellent choice – if expensive (it’ll cost you £10 on its own).
Up until this point the Daxio seems well-considered, but Camelbak also sells a hands-free adapter (for about £10) that turns the bottle into a fully-ﬂedged hydration system. This seems to make very little sense on two counts. The 500ml bottle is much too small to be used as a reservoir for a hydration system. There is a 750ml version available too, but even that has just half the capacity of Camelbak’s smallest bladder-based systems. A bladder will cost you only a few pounds more than the adapter, so if you need the tube you might as well buy a proper bladder and get the extra capacity – in fact the laptop sleeve doubles up nicely as a reservoir pocket for this very purpose.
All this means it’s hard to see what the point of the Daxio is, really. If you just want a nice rucksack and a nice bottle then it’s worth a punt; it’s not cheap but they're both good quality.
With the adapter it seems to be a very expensive way to get a system that’s inferior to a reservoir-based one, and there’s a host of better options out there.