One of the biggest problems with CamelBak bladders is that the walls of the reservoir tend to cling together when wet. And no airflow means little to no evaporation.
If you simply empty your bladder and hang it on a drying rack or clothesline, it could take days or even weeks to fully dry — more than enough time for mold, mildew, and bacteria to grow.
That’s where a CamelBak dryer can help. A CamelBak dryer will quickly dry the entire inside or your CamelBak so it remains clean and is less likely to grow mold.
The best CamelBak bladder dryer to dry your reservoir fully and quickly is a RiVern CamelBak Dryer. It circulates air from a blow dryer throughout your reservoir to dry it in minutes.
But if you’re not in a rush, a PEET Personal Hydration System Dryer, CamelBak Reservoir Hanger, or U’Be Hydration System Drying Pad will all dry your CamelBak just as well and are much easier to setup and use.
I learned the hard way when I got my first CamelBak, after leaving it to dry on my dish rack only to find several patches of black mold growing inside a week later. Whoops.
But the good news is, fully drying a CamelBak is actually really easy once you have the right tools.
1. RiVern Hydration Bladder Dryer
A RiVern Hydration Bladder Dryer is my go-to when I need my reservoir dry fully and quickly — like when I’m traveling and don’t want to stick my wet bladder in my luggage.
It works by connecting to the end of a blow dryer and circulating air throughout your reservoir, fully drying your bladder in minutes.
I don’t always use it at home because it takes a little more time actively drying than the other options below (it takes about 15 minutes to full dry your CamelBak), but it is by far the fastest and most dependable way to dry your CamelBak.
The major benefit of this method is that it'll also dry your drinking tube, which can otherwise be very difficult to get dry in a short time period.
Sometimes I'll leave the bladder to dry 99% of the way and then I'll use this dryer to air out the last little bit and get the inside of the tube dry. Just make sure to use your hair dryer on the cold air mode as you don't want to melt the plastic.
2. PEET Personal Hydration System Dryer
Let’s be honest, the PEET Personal Hydration System Dryer is a cleverly repackaged shoe dryer and they didn’t do a great job of hiding it.
But it doesn’t really matter because it actually works surprisingly well to dry CamelBak bladders. Unlike the dryer above it does this hands free so you don't have to spend any time actively drying your bladder.
All you have to do is stick your bladder over the dryer through the fill hole, turn it on, and leave it running overnight. Again just make sure you're not running a heat mode or you could melt the plastic. Regular air will dry your bladder just fine.
It’s easy, quiet, and energy efficient.
The only downside is that it doesn’t work for camping or backpacking because it runs on electricity. Plus you'll still need to work out how to dry the drinking tube properly as this doesn't do a great job of pushing air through the tube.
3. CamelBak Reservoir Hanger
A reservoir hanger isn’t as quick as a RiVern dryer or quite as easy to use as a PEET dryer, but it gets the job done without the need for a blow dryer or electricity.
Reservoir hangers come with a notched hook that slides into a CamelBak’s QuickLink port to make hanging easy, a notched trap to hang your delivery tube vertically, and a wedge that separates the walls of the bladder to allow air to circulate throughout the reservoir as it hangs.
It takes less than a minute to set up and your bladder will be perfectly dry after an overnight hang (maybe a bit longer in humid conditions). I found that water does still seem to pool at the bottom so soaking this up with a rag can speed up the drying process a bit.
It couldn’t be much easier.
If you don’t already have other cleaning supplies for your CamelBak, a CamelBak cleaning kit comes with a reservoir brush, tube cleaning brush, two cleaning tablets, and a reservoir hanger for only a few dollars more than the hanger itself.
And even if you already have them, it’s probably still worth buying. Brushes need to be replaced every six months to a year anyway, depending on how often you use them.
Features a large brush for the reservoir and a extra long straw brush to clean the drinking tube plus CamelBak cleaning tabs which will help clean away any scum. After cleaning use the reservoir drying kit to easily hang your bladder and get it completely dry.
A must have for CamelBak bladder owners.
4. U’Be Hydration System Drying Pads
U’Be Hydration Pack Drying Pads are another easy way to dry your CamelBak bladder. Just stick one into your reservoir with one end partially exposed and wait.
The hyper-absorbent pad sucks up most of the water within minutes and any remaining droplets are wicked away within a couple of hours.
Moisture is wicked out of the bladder (by the exposed end), where it can evaporate quickly and this is good to pair with a CamelBak drying hanger for fast and power free drying.
They’re my favorite way to dry my CamelBak on the trail. I just stick one in, hang my bladder from my backpack, and wait for it to dry as I hike.
For home use, U’Be Drying Pads work well enough on their own, but when combined with a reservoir hanger, dry your bladder even faster.
5. DIY Reservoir Hanger
If you're the thrifty type and don’t want to buy one of the CamelBak dryers above, it’s not really that hard to make your own. All you need is a wire hanger and you can make your own DIY Hydration Pack dryer.
- Unwind the neck of a coated wire hanger (so the jagged edges don’t puncture your bladder).
- Bend the hanger a few times near the non-hooked end, creating a rounded frame that’s small enough to fit inside your bladder.
- Loop the non-hooked end of the hanger back around the neck of the hanger to help it keep its shape.
- Stick the frame through your bladder’s fill hole, hang it, and wait for it to dry overnight.