Hydrated! The Origin Story of CamelBak




Hydrated! The Origin Story of CamelBak

Stay Hydrated! The Origin Story of CamelBak

The 8o's were a very inventive years in outdoor sports:

In the late 1980s, Michael Eidson, an emergency medical technician (EMT) and bike enthusiast, conceived the idea that would later become CamelBak. While participating in a grueling 100-mile road race in scorching Texas heat, he grew frustrated with the impracticality of using water bottles. Determined to find a solution, he embarked on an innovative endeavor.

Eidson experimented with various materials and containers until he devised a makeshift hydration system. His solution involved filling an IV bag (remember, he’s an EMT) with water, securing it inside a tube sock with a clothespin, and placing it in the back of his cycling jersey. With a hose attached to the top of the IV bag and a bite valve at the end, Eidson created a hands-free hydration system that allowed him to drink water while riding.

During the race, his invention garnered attention from fellow cyclists, impressed by its ingenuity. Recognizing the potential of his creation, Eidson founded CamelBak Products, LLC in 1989 with the aim of revolutionizing hydration for outdoor enthusiasts. Production began in the United States, specifically in Petaluma, California, and the company's debut hydration pack, featured a backpack-style design equipped with a built-in reservoir, hose, and bite valve for on-the-go hydration.

CamelBak's hydration system quickly gained popularity among cyclists, runners, hikers, and outdoor adventurers, establishing the brand as a leader in hydration solutions. When the company’s headquarters outgrew its original space, it relocated to a larger facility in Petaluma to accommodate increasing production needs.

Military contracts played a significant role in shaping the trajectory of the CamelBak brand. In the early 2000s, CamelBak secured contracts with the U.S. military to supply hydration systems for soldiers deployed in combat zones. The contracts provided a substantial source of revenue for the company and helped drive innovation as they tailored the system to the unique needs of military personnel. The contracts also enhanced brand visibility and credibility, and as CamelBak products demonstrated reliability and performance in demanding environments, the outdoor industry took even more notice.

In 2015, CamelBak was acquired by Vista Outdoor Inc., a leading global manufacturer of outdoor sports and recreation products. Following the acquisition, CamelBak's headquarters transitioned to Vista's corporate headquarters in Farmington, Utah. CamelBak continues to innovate and expand its product line, introducing new designs, materials, and technologies with the goal of enhancing performance and usability.

CamelBak is recognized as a global leader in hydration solutions, continuing to grow in the civilian and military markets by offering a diverse range of products, including hydration packs, water bottles, reservoirs, filtration systems, and accessories. The company's commitment to innovation, quality, and sustainability has solidified its reputation as a trusted brand among outdoor enthusiasts, reflecting the enduring legacy of Michael Eidson's original vision.

Don't want to miss anything?

Get weekly updates on the newest gear stories, sports and tips right in your mailbox.


Download the App
on iPhone and Android.

Make your orders and sales faster with our crossplatform application

App StoreGoogle Pay
App Design