There is nothing worse than opening your backpack to find it soaking wet because the lid of your bottle has leaked. I speak from personal experience with my climbing bag as well as dealing constantly with wet schoolbags from my kids.
I own many Camelbak bottles and have had my fair share of lid leaks.
There are three main Camelbak lids, and some of the most common reasons they leak are a broken locking mechanism in the Eddy lids and a blocked vent valve in the Podium lids. To fix these, you will need to repair the locking mechanism and unblock the vent valve.
There are multiple reasons why your Camelbak lids could be leaking, from incorrectly fastened lids and faulty o-rings to blocked vent valves.
Here are some reasons why your lid might be leaking and some of the fixes that I have tried.
Common Reasons Camelbak Lids Are Leaking
While Camelbak does advertise that they make leak-proof products, there are times when the bottles will break, whether it is caused by user error, normal wear and tear, or a manufacturing defect.
1. Incorrectly Fitting Lid
One of the most common reasons for a leaky Camelbak lid, this includes all three styles of the lids, is because the lids have not been tightened properly.
Sometimes it may feel like the lid is tightened properly, but you may have threaded it incorrectly.
In 2020, Camelbak faced a class-action lawsuit where customers stated their bottles were leaking when they were placed in bags, laid on their sides, and tilted.
No reasons were given by Camelbak as to why the bottles in question, the Eddy bottles, are leaking.
2. Faulty O-Ring
One other possible reason why your Camelbak lid is leaking is because of a broken, dirty, or ill-fitting rubber seal known as the O-ring.
The O-ring needs to be aligned properly so that it lines up with the grooves in the cap of the bottle. If not, this will cause the lid to leak.
Camelbak advises not to remove this O-ring as it is impossible to get it back on properly. If you did remove and reinstall it, this could be a possible reason why your lid is leaking.
Or perhaps it has become unaligned through no fault of your own or the O-ring has begun to wear down over years of usage.
O-rings exist in the Camelbak Eddy+ bottles where the lid screws onto the bottle.
There are 2 O-rings in the Camelbak ChuteMag bottles. One where the lid screws onto the bottle and one where the magnetic cap screws onto the lid.
The Camelbak Podium bottles do not have any O-rings.
3. Dirty Lid
Sometimes a dirty lid can cause the mechanisms in the bottle to not work as well as they should, which can create a leaky lid.
Cleaning your Camelbak lid thoroughly will fix this.
Reasons Why The Camelbak Eddy Lid Leaks
Camelbak has three main types of lids, and each one has its own reasons why they are leaking with some ways to fix them.
Camelbak’s unique bite-valve was designed for a spill-free experience, so when it does leak, this becomes a problem.
1. Broken Bite Valve
The bite-valve of the Eddy bottle range is made from self-sealing silicone but, over time, can be susceptible to wear and tear.
In the center of the bite valve is a small opening that is activated by biting the part of the valve. Many people on the internet have reported that the opening splits along the edge of the valve and tears open.
Some reviews at Amazon mention that the valves often break because their children bite down too hard on the valve, so I suggest going easy when you bite the valve.
If this happens then your only real recourse is to purchase a new bite valve. Luckily the Eddy bite valves are simple and easy to purchase and replace. Here's my full guide on how to replace a Camelbak Eddy bite valve.
Set includes 2 Camelbak Eddy+ bite valves and straws. Made from 100% BPA-free plastic. Does not fit kids bottles
2. Broken Locking Mechanism
One good reason why your bite valve lid is leaking is if the bite valve won’t stay down. This is because of the broken locking mechanism.
The nubs and channels within the bottle break down over time due to normal use of the bottle. When this happens, it prevents the spout from locking.
One way of fixing this is to apply a small dab of food-grade epoxy on either the inner nub or the outer nub to make it stick out a little more and to help the mechanism work properly.
To learn more about dismantling the lid and how to fix this problem, read my article on how to fix a Camelbak bite valve that won’t stay down.
3. Missing or Broken Air Valve
Inside the Eddy+ bottle lids there is a one way air valve. If this isn't in place correctly, is missing or is damaged then water can easily pass through your lid and leak A LOT!
Depending on what model Eddy+ water bottle you have these air valves can be simple to put back in or a bit more difficult requiring some special tools to get the job done.
If you think you have an air valve problem click here for my in depth guide on the different ways to fix/reset a Camelbak air valve.
3. Blocked Bite Valve
Sometimes an object or build-up of dirt can cause a blockage in the hole or vent of the bite valve.
When this happens, the blockage will prevent the silicone self-sealing hole from closing, and thus your lid will stay open a little bit and leak.
4. Bite Valve Wasn’t Pushed Down Properly
A leaking lid can be caused by something so simple as not knowing how to use the Camelbak Eddy bite valve.
When you are done drinking, push the valve down until you hear a small click and feel if it’s firmly pushed into a locked position.
If it's not in the down position it can and will leak when placed upside down or on it's side.
Reasons Why The Camelbak Podium Lid Leaks
The Podium bottles have a jet valve. The jet valve will remain sealed until the bottle is squeezed (or sucked on). This will open the valve and allow you to drink from the bottle.
Here are some common reasons why the Podium lids might leak.
1. Cross-Threaded Lid
Across online forums, the number one reason why the Podium lids are leaking is that the lid has been cross-threaded.
Not screwing the plastic lid on properly will cause the plastic threads to wear down, and the lid won’t sit properly.
Podium bottles don't have rubber O-rings to form a solid seal between the lid and the bottle.
To fix this problem make sure that your lid and top of the bottle is clean from any dirty or gravel that could be getting in the way of creating a firm seal and also make sure to put your lid on really tight.
This tends to solve the issue in a lot of cases. You can also contact Camelbak about this issue and they may give you a replacement bottle.
2. Incorrect Disassembling and Reassembling Of The Valve
Camelbak advises against disassembling all the small parts of the capped jet valve during the cleaning process.
However, despite this I personally think it's important to clean your Podium cap well and to pull everything apart and clean all the parts individually.
It is difficult to assemble the parts, and if it isn’t done properly can cause leaks and malfunctions in your lid.
Failing to put the stopper on properly can result in the bottle leaking even when it's in the off position.
Camelbak has a video on how to properly clean the Podium jet valves.
3. Jet Valve Is Damaged or Dirty
The jet valve in the Podium drink bottles has an X cross section and over time and with usage this can wear out, tear or even fill up with dirt, meaning it no longer closes properly.
Sometimes it has tears that water can leak through and sometimes it doesn't pop back into place.
Sometimes you can fix this with a clean or by manually blowing it back into place. But often this needs to be replacd.
Reasons Why The Camelbak Chute Mag Lid Leaks
According to what I have read in reviews and online forums, the chute mag lid does not seem to have as many problems with leaking lids as the jet valves and the bite valve.
1. Broken Lid
A likely reason why your chute mag lid is leaking is that the lid might be broken or the magnetic slider is not working properly.
Contact the Camelbak warranty department to see if they will replace the lids.
2. Lid Is Full Of Water After Washing
Literally this morning my daughter came to me saying her Camelbak Chute bottle (which is her favorite) was leaking water.
Turns out it wasn't leaking at all but she had washed it and water had filled up inside the lid and that was leaking out.
After giving it a bit of a shake we got all the water out of the lid and there was no more leaking.