The camelbak water carrying system revolutionised military hydration. No longer did a soldier have to stop, open a pouch and remove a bottle to have a drink. Now he could pull the mouth piece round, open the valve and drink whilst still patrolling and was in charge of his own hydration rather than waiting for a rest stop dictated to him by a superior. Initially these water bladders were commercial camping items, but the ongoing War on Terror showed how valuable they were and they rapidly became service items. As combat was taking place in Afghanistan and Iraq, the first of these to see service were issued in desert DPM camouflage:
The Camelbak consists of a DDPM cordua nylon bag, with a rubber bladder inside that can be filled through the large screw cap on the front:
The water is then stored inside this bladder and flows through a pipe to a valve and mouthpiece that can be worn on the shoulder and accessed quickly for a drink. Sadly the mouth piece is missing on this example (mea culpa, I used this when I was on exercise quite a few years ago and managed to lose it!):
Note also the grab handle at the top to alllow the Camelbak to be easily carried. A pocket on the rear allows the tube to be tucked out of the way when not needed:
Two straps are fitted to alow it to be worn as a backpack, with an elaborate securing strap to allow the spare webbing to be neatly rolled and tucked out of the way:
The store’s label for the Camelbak is sewn to one of these shoulder straps:
Interestingly for British military issue equipment, this item has the manufacturer’s name and logo sewn to the front of the cover:
My suspicion is that the design was patented so the British Army had to buy from CamelBak and they took the design off the shelf, produced it in the British DDPM and left all the other proprietary features the same.