Camelbak Eddy Review

28 Mar

camelbak eddy

Product Description:

During a hot summer bike race in 1988, Michael Eidson needed a better way to stay hydrated, so he made the very first hydration pack out of an IV bag, a tube sock, and a clothes pin. Since then, that quick invention has grown into Camelbak, the world’s leading manufacturer of personal hydration systems and a direct supplier to the US military and over 50 foreign armies (cool factoid: several Air Force fighter planes include Camelbak hydration packs as part of their ejection-seat-survival-kits).

eddy tabEventually, Camelbak expanded into bottles with the very popular Better Bottle. Then in 2012 Camelbak replaced the Better Bottle with the new and improved Eddy.  Like the Better Bottle, the Eddy is made out of BPA-free Tritan copolyester for toughness, clarity, and dishwashability.  But unlike the Better Bottle, the Eddy features a wider straw for easier drinking and a slightly modified bite valve design for improved durability (The little tab shown in the picture on the right used to be part of the cap assembly in the Better Bottle.  In the Eddy, this tab is part of the silicone bite valve so that if you drop the bottle and it lands on the tab, it won’t break).

That commitment to constantly improving even the smallest details is paying off, as the Eddy’s Amazon reviews show that the Camelbak product is going to perform as well as or better than any other strawed bottle you’re likely you find. Put simply, if the engineering is good enough for Navy SEALS, it’s certainly good enough for you and me.

American Alternative Review:

Camelbak started out as a small American company, pulling itself up by its bootstraps with a unique and innovative product. Since then, however, the company has lost a bit of that American identity by becoming part of a large multinational corporation (it was acquired by Kransco, and then by Bear Stearns, and then presumably by JP Morgan Chase in their acquisition of Bear Stearns) and by opening a foreign office in Italy.

R&D is still done in Camelbak’s Northern California research facility, but not a single part of the Eddy is made in America. The company manufactures every part in China from the polypropylene straw to the silicone bite valve. The only slight exception is the Tritan copolyester, which Camelbak ships to China from the US in stock plastic pellets, which are then molded into the bottle part of the Eddy.

It’s understandable that Camelbak uses this manufacturing set-up. Compared to a basic water bottle such as the Nalgene Wide Mouth, the Eddy’s mechanical design requires more parts (including a co-molded top which requires a comparatively exotic type of molding machine) and more assembly labor. Moving manufacturing and assembly overseas allows them to sell the Eddy at a market competitive price while keeping the bottle’s margins high enough to offset the R&D expenses that the company incurs.

Ultimately, Camelbak decided to sell a feature-rich water bottle for about the same price as competitive water bottles instead of an American-made water bottle with fewer features.

(1.5/5 stars)

You can see all of the sizes and colors the Eddy comes in here.

The Eddy also comes in glass (with a silicone sleeve) instead of Tritan, but the glass is manufactured in France, lowering the Glass Eddy’s American Alternative score to 1/5 stars.

Check out our reusable water bottle category recap to find out which water bottles are the most American-made.  There you’ll find other water bottles that we’d recommend over the Eddy such as the Liberty Bottle Works or the Nalgene Everyday Wide Mouth.


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