CamelBak is known for its hydration bladders and its no-leak water bottles, of which I own quite a few.
CamelBak products are made to a high-quality standard and they last a long time but, like with everything, they do eventually suffer from leaks and can fail or have issues over time.
Most issues with leaks are caused by trouble with a CamelBak gasket. This is true for both the water bottles and the bladders and luckily it's often a pretty even fix.
Even if the issue spells disaster for your bottle lid or bladder CamelBak have a generous lifetime warranty on their product which means you may be eligible for them to fix or repair your item free of charge.
There are a few common CamelBak gasket issues, many of which can be fixed rather easily.
1. Unseated Bladder Gaskets are an Issue
While the issue is uncommon, your CamelBak bladder or bottle gasket can become loose or unseated.
Take the O-Ring around the bottles for example. These help to provide a watertight seal between the lid and the bottle but sometimes they don't sit snuggly in their groove or they can become twisted or stretched so they don't fit properly.
If this happens, water will leak around the seal's edges and get you wet during use.
The trick to fixing this problem is to closely examine the gaskets and carefully press them back in place.
You can apply a little petroleum jelly to some seals if you’re struggling to get it in its proper position. This is a unique solution I found in the video below and from the comments it sounds like it actually works really well.
If your gasket still leaks after being properly installed, it’s likely worn or damaged and requires replacement.
2. Worn or Damaged Gasket That Needs Replacing
A CamelBak hydration bladder comes equipped with a thick and durable gasket that’s built to withstand extreme performance. That doesn’t mean you can’t damage it over time.
The same goes for the O-Rings on the CamelBak bottles.
If you’re particularly hard on your gear, leave it in the sun, or you keep it stored alongside other gear that moves and bumps against it then the gasket could become damaged with time. Even just regular everyday use will wear down the gasket over time.
Nothing lasts forever.
A damaged gasket will likely have a crack, a tear, or a tiny hole somewhere. If you can see any damage then you'll need to replace the gasket with a new one. There aren't really any easy fixes for broked gaskets.
CamelBak products are covered by a lifetime warranty, and you should contact the company to get the issue resolved if your gasket fails. Even if this issue isn't covered under warranty they should be able to sell you a replacement gasket or point you in the right direction for buying one.
3. The Threads Aren't On Straight
A common issue with the hydration packs is the lid threads not being properly aligned and the lid not being screwed on exactly straight.
With a water bottle it's easy to see when this happens but for the hydration bladders it can be more difficult to tell and sometimes you don't find out until too late.
When this happens the gasket doesn't press hard enough against the rim of the bottle or bladder and leaks will occur.
To make sure the lid is aligned properly rotate it backwards until you hear/feel it click as the threads align themselves. Then screw it on tight.
4. Debris Trapped in Gasket
CamelBak products are made for the trail and that means they can accumulate a lot of dirt and debris, especially if you refilling them while you're out in the bush.
From time to time dirt or small rocks can get stuck in the gasket and this can stop a seal from forming and can allow leaks to get through.
Check your CamelBak closely for any dirt or debris and remove it and see if this fixes the problem.
5. Hidden Mold Growth Under The Gasket
CamelBak products are constantly liquids. Those liquids gather on every internal surface of the bottle. That includes the seals holding the liquid in.
The rubber gaskets are areas that commonly trap small amounts of water that you can't see and mold can begin to grow under and around the gasket.
Above you can see mold growing under the gasket of one of my Yeti tumblers. While this isn't a CamelBak product the CamelBak bottles and bladders can also have this problem and you need to regularly remove and clean the gaskets and the grooves they sit in so mold doesn't grow.
Even if you clean your CamelBak regularly, you might be allowing mold to grow on your rubber gaskets if you aren't taking them off and cleaning them individually. The mold is often hidden too so you won't know until it's too late.
If mold accumulates on the inside of your CamelBak’s seal, it will hurt the flavor of the liquids you consume and could make you sick.
To resolve this problem, remove the rubber seals (use a butter knife if you find them hard to get out) and hand wash them with soap and water.
Wash the inset of the lid with the same soap and water and give it a good scrub with a brush or dish cloth to remove all the mold. For more information about cleaning your water bottle, consider this guide on cleaning a Hydro Flask lid – CamelBak bottles are very similar.
6. The Air Valve Has Popped Out of Place
Under some of the CamelBak bottles there is a one-way air valve that lets air in as you drink but doesn't let water out.
If this valve pops out, gets out of place or gets dirt or debris under it then water has a free path out of your lid and into your bag, wetting everything in it's path.
Check the underside for your lid and if you see holes in a flower like pattern your air valve might be missing. If the air valve is there check that it's in place properly and it's clean. Click here to learn exactly how to replace a CamelBak air valve properly.
7. Eddy+ Bite Valve Looses Its Seal
A common CamelBak leaking issue is the Eddy+ bite valve losing it seal and leaking, even when it's sitting upright on your desk.
The can happen when the bite valve no longer seals properly and air and water pressure pushes the water up and out of the bite valve.
Unfortunately there is no simply fix for this, but luckily you can purchase new Eddy+ bite valves and replacing the Eddy+ bite valve will fix the problem.
Set includes 2 Camelbak Eddy+ bite valves and straws. Made from 100% BPA-free plastic. Does not fit kids bottles
But first contact CamelBak as they may just replace it for you free of charge.
Obtaining Replacement Gaskets that Fit
Finding the right replacement gaskets for your water bottle or bladder can be difficult to do. The gaskets for different bottles are different sizes, and the same is true for the bladders.
Always match a replacement gasket with the type of CamelBak product you have for a reliable replacement.