The other day, I was filling one of my CamelBaks and noticed that the hose had grown a bit of mold.
When I went to pull the tube off to clean it, it wouldn’t budge.
Like, at all.
Which made me wonder, how exactly are you supposed to remove the tube from a CamelBak reservoir? Especially older reservoirs that don’t have a release button.
Removing the tube from new CamelBaks is really easy, just press the release and slide it out. Older CamelBaks were a lot more challenging. If simply pulling the tube off doesn’t work, you can try to twist as you pull, soak it in hot water for 15 minutes to soften the plastic, push the tube away from the base with a butterknife, or, if you’re replacing the tube anyway, cut a vertical slit in it near the base to make it slide off much easier.
Removing the tube from your CamelBak makes properly cleaning it so much easier. But unfortunately, older reservoirs don’t actually have a hose that was intended to be removed.
Luckily, I was able to figure out a few ways to make removing a stubborn CamelBak tube much easier.
How To Remove The Tube From Modern CamelBaks (2011 to present)
In 2011, CamelBak released the Antidote bladder, which added several new features that have become standard on all new reservoirs since — one of which is a removable hose.
As a result, removing the tube from modern CamelBaks couldn’t be any easier.
Just press and hold the release button and slide the tube out of its port on the bladder. It’s as simple as that.
Once it's been removed no water should flow out of your CamelBak bladder. It's designed to only have water flow when the hose is attached.
How To Remove The Tube From Older CamelBaks (before 2011)
But before CamelBak added that quick release button, the tubes were actually pretty challenging to get off. So if you've got an older CamelBak then you might have a bit more trouble.
If you’re having difficulty, there are several methods you can try.
Twist As You Pull
If simply pulling the tube off the bladder doesn’t work, twisting it a bit as you pull may do the trick.
This is by far the fastest and easiest method, so it’s worth a quick shot before you move on. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Soak In Hot Water To Soften The Plastic
CamelBak recommends soaking the bladder in hot water for five or ten minutes before trying to remove the tube.
Hot water will soften the plastic and should make it a lot easier to pull the tube from its base. A lot of people online have had success with this method so it's definitely worth a try.
Pry Loose With A Butter Knife
The reason pulling the tube from its base is so hard is because the tension of the pull increases the compression force around the base — meaning the tube literally grips tighter the harder you pull.
Finding a way to “push” the tube away from the base would have the opposite effect, and actually reduce compression force at the base.
One way to accomplish this is to slide a butter knife between the tube and base and push upward. If you can create even just a little bit of give, the tube should slide off pretty easily.
You just need to be really careful using a knife as you don't want to cause a tear in the tube if you plan on reusing it. Avoid using sharp knifes and be careful when using this method.
Cut It Off
If you’re removing the tube to replace it, it doesn’t matter if the old tube is damaged.
Cutting an inch long vertical slit in the tube near the base with a razor or a sharp knife will make it slide off easily.
Just be careful not to cut the reservoir as well, or you may be replacing more than just the tube.