Hey there! I’m revisiting this post  back from the earliest days of my blog–can you believe I published it on April 10, 2014??–because now it comes with a giveaway! This giveaway is not sponsored by CamelBak or Nuun.

First, The Review!

Integrity Statement: CamelBak provided me with a Relay pitcher to review back in 2014. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. All words are my own, except where otherwise indicated.

So just how much water should be consumed on a daily basis for optimal health? The consensus among health experts, in other words those who look to optimize health and not merely look at the absence of disease as a sign of health, is that there is a chronic dehydration epidemic.  Paul Chek and Steve Meyerowitz recommend one-half of an individual’s body weight in ounces (90 oz. of water for someone weighing 180 lb.), while Mark Lindsay recommends 0.6 ounces times body weight in pounds (106 oz. for someone weighing 180 lb.) for achieving optimal health and mobility. Even greater fluid intake has been recommended for those individuals who are exercising and sweating profusely. While there seems to be no agreement between the researchers and the health experts, there is enough anecdotal clinical evidence to suggest that increased water consumption is warranted for achieving and maintaining tissue mobility and overall health for most individuals.

Evan Osar, Corrective Exercise Solutions to Common Hip and Shoulder Dysfunction, Lotus Publishing (2012) at 44. For National Hydration Day, I encourage you to stay hydrated!

out of the box Relay

Why am I dehydrated? My main problem is that I don’t like drinking room-temperature water.  I’ll drink hot water (in the form of coffee, tea, cocoa, or similar beverages).  Otherwise, I only like it ice cold.  Call me an American (but at least I know not to ask for ice while abroad, okay?). I’ve kept a filter pitcher in the fridge since the very first ones came out, to keep my water cold and fresh-tasting. I’m also somewhat obsessed with water bottles, and have amassed a collection of about a dozen in my quest to contribute fewer disposable plastic bottles to landfills and the plastic mass floating in the Pacific Ocean.  (Despite our best garbage-sorting efforts, most plastic is not recycled. In 2019, even less plastic is recycled because China stopped accepting American plastics for recycling. Why? We suck at recycling–there were far too many dirty items, non-recyclable “wish-cyling” items, and contaminants. Since I found half a sandwich in my apartment recycling bin, along with dental floss and used kleenex, I’m not surprised.)

Until the fall 2013 Fitness Magazine Meet and Tweet event, I thought CamelBak was not a brand for me. The CamelBak I knew was a hydration pack for longer distance runners (not me) and had a bite valve (not for me). In my defense, the association makes sense, since CamelBak basically invented the hydration pack. As it turns out, CamelBak makes a pretty excellent water bottle with a filter in the bottle—the CamelBak Groove Insulation—so the water is filtered as you drink it.  The drinking spout folds, make it spill-proof, and therefore perfect for me.  My CamelBack from the Fitness event became my go-to travel bottle, since the straw-like drinking valve prevents me from spilling it on myself as I drove all over the state of California for work; I eventually lost it during my work travels. Hopefully it found a good home. The double-walled bottle design is optimal for avoiding slippery hands and water puddles caused by condensation as cool beverages warm up, but the same design prevents it from being optimal for refrigerator storage. Also, it is too small to chill enough water to keep me steadily drinking.

My new RelayEnter CamelBak Relay. The Relay is a filtration pitcher with a 10-cup capacity, perfect for the fridge. (It fits inside the door.) CamelBak graciously offered me a Relay to test drive, and after just a week I decided to give away all of my other filtration pitchers. I’ll never need them again, since CamelBak has a lifetime “Got Your Bak” warranty. By the way, now that I’m in 2019, I still only use my Camelbak.

Filter close-upWhen I opened the box, my first thought was disappointment.  The filter is so huge compared to my old pitchers that I thought, “there is no way I can recommend a product that is going to generate more waste than what is already on the market.”  Then I read the directions.  Oops. Turns out the filters last four months (not 30 days) with regular usage, which means it generates LESS waste than my old filters. Win! This is “double-filter technology,” filtering the water first as you fill it up, and again as you pour the water out. The lid even has a built in reminder dial so you don’t have to remember when to change the filter. Win!Close up of the reminder

The most obvious thing to love about the Relay is that it fills up quickly. My old pitchers were very slow to filter the water, so I would end up standing at the sink as I filled the pre-filtration chamber, waited for it to filter, and then re-filled the chamber to achieve a full pitcher to put in the fridge.  Those days are over. The Relay filters the water about as quickly as I run the tap, meaning I turn on the tap and fill the pitcher—no waiting. Sure, you might be thinking this is a net savings of just five minutes per refill, but over the course of a year those five-minute periods add up to hours I could be running or sleeping!

My second favorite feature is the snap-shut lid. Despite my years in dance and yoga, you can just call me Grace in my tiny kitchen. The biggest peril with my old pitchers is that I’d pour a glass of water over ice just after filling the pitcher and knock the lid off, spilling the water in the pre-filtration chamber all over myself, the floor, the stove, and anything else nearby. With the Relay, that’s impossible.  The lid has two side-locking latches that snap shut, securing the lid tightly. So even if I managed to start pouring before all the water left the pre-filtration chamber—a move that would require Speedy Gonzalez-like agility, since the chamber empties so quickly—there is no way I can accidentally turn my desire for a drink into a shower.  Bravo!

The speedy filing and secure lid were designed in response to consumer requests.  According to the press release: “CamelBak Relay is the latest example of our commitment to promote hydration while eliminating disposable bottled water,” said Sally McCoy, CamelBak CEO. “We listened to our consumers’ frustration with existing water filtration pitchers and solved each complaint by creating an all-around better product that filters water fast, prevents spills and fits well into refrigerators.”

As a design aficionado, I also appreciate the pretty colors (and CamelBak sent me a blue one, my favorite!). I know, pretty colors shouldn’t make the water taste better…but if they make me like the pitcher more, I’ll want to use it more, which means I’ll drink more water.  Hydration, level up.

Camelbak_Relay_Sam_0727_CharRelay_BoxRightPour_PurpleFINALFinally, the taste. I currently live in an area with decent-tasting water but WWII-era plumbing.  According to CamelBak, “When tested to NSF/ANSI Standard 42, independent test results have shown Relay removes 97% of chlorine, taste, and odor.” I have not seen the test results, but I love the taste when I pour.

You can learn more about CamelBak and buy your own Relay at http://www.camelbak.com . The Relay is also available at Target (MSRP $36.99), and at this point in 2019 I’m pretty sure you can buy it pretty much everywhere–I buy my replacement filters using Amazon Prime.


In celebration of #NationalHydrationDay (no, I am not sure when that is, but I saw it in a tweet for runners, so it has to be a real holiday, right?) I am giving away a box of hydration goodies. One lucky winner will receive:

  • A brand new Camelbak Relay Pitcher! (In the box–but I accidentally left it in the sun, so one side is faded.)
  • A brand new Camelbak Fresh filter water bottle! (Not in the box–I accidentally squished it–but the plastic wrapper is still over the “straw” portion and the filter is still in the package, so you can tell it’s new.)
  • A  suite of Nuun products (see my review here: Happy Nuun Year!): 1 tube of Nuun electrolytes (watermelon), 1 tube of Nuun vitamins (blueberry pomegranate), AND a limited edition Nuun water bottle celebrating the Pacific Northwest!
  • Samples of other hydration products (as your taste may differ from mine)

This is only open to residents of the US and Canada. Sorry everyone, this is a big ol’ box, and postage is killer!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




  1. I had no idea Camelbak made a pitcher. Sounds like a pretty sweet set up! Thanks

  2. Michelle Chavez Reply

    interesting! may have to give the ol’ brita pitcher a break and try this one out!

  3. Thanks for the review!
    I’m a fan of Nuun products. Just started using Rest, in addition to Sport.

    • Bain Reply

      Which ones are your favorites? I like the cherry limeade with caffeine, and pink lemonade, and tropical…and the new vitamins products are growing on me. The only thing I dislike is the stupid non-GMO butterfly of deception–did you know that none of the ingredients in nuun are available in a GMO format?!?

  4. Cheryl Flesch Reply

    I need a new pitcher. My Britas need to be recycled. Might be looking into this one.

    • Bain Reply

      I tossed my Brita. (Well, tossed the filter, washed the pitcher, and donated the pitcher to a resale.) The squared shape of the Camelbak is a million times more convenient when I go to “tetris” the fridge!

  5. Jennifer Wilson Reply

    I drink water that we buy in jugs. Our town water is nasty.

    • Bain Reply

      I have definitely been to places where the water that comes from the tap tastes yucky. (I was fortunate to grow up in a town–Plymouth, MI–with great tap water, and go to summer camp at a place with very tasty well water.) Personally, I’m suspicious of bottled/jug water, since most of it is just somewhere else’s tap water! But I do understand avoiding the yuck. Have you tried any filtration pitchers? It could save you a ton of money in the long run, and keep plastic out of the landfill (especially since China won’t accept US recyclables anymore).

  6. Didn’t know about this one, I haven’t used much of a pitcher before, cool.

    • Bain Reply

      It’s pretty great–or I wouldn’t still be using it some five years later.

  7. Susan Smith Reply

    I keep a pitcher of water in the fridge and I try to drink it all in one day.

    • Bain Reply

      Drinking water throughout the day is a great way to make sure your body can use it. I can’t point to any specific proof or science, but it seems better to sip and try to maintain a hydration level than to chug a glass when you get thirsty.

    • Bain Reply

      I’m really pleased with mine. Five years, and still going!

    • Bain Reply

      Is it one of the big round ones? I liked how they look, but not how much of my valuable refrigerator real estate they hogged!

  8. Evan Proctor Reply

    I currently use an Epic Water Filter pitcher in the fridge. It is not my favorite but I decided to switch things up and ditch the Brita. I was having a problem with my Brita filters developing mold very quickly and I could not justify purchasing a new filter every week… I’d be curious to see how the Camelbak Pitcher performs!

    • Bain Reply

      Filter pitchers still have to be cleaned on a regular basis with hot soapy water. The pitcher itself is exposed to anything that floats in the air while you fill it (that includes mold) and everything else in your fridge that might have a mold spore (cheese?). I give mine a thorough scrubbing when I change the filter.

  9. I don’t really use any specific hydration products, but I’d love to try as I plan on some big hikes this year.

    • Bain Reply

      If you’re going to be out and sweating for more than an hour, you should definitely check out hydration products. Pro tip: if there are any big races near you, there are often hydration products to sample at the race expo (and entrance to the race expo is usually free!)

    • Bain Reply

      I’ve never tried that one. What do you like about it?

    • Bain Reply

      Since water does so many important things for the body, it’s really important to drink it.

  10. I usually just drink tap water, so this would be so cool to win!

    • Bain Reply

      Did you know that most bottled water is just tap water that is bottled from somewhere else? The laws protecting your tap water are more strict than the laws governing the content of bottled water, too!

  11. Jennifer M. Reply

    I have been using camelback and contigo. My kids lose them at school or sports and events so I always need more.

    • Bain Reply

      My brothers were that kid, always losing the water bottles. Mom used to put our last name on them in laundry marker. With the new water bottles, you might be able to decorate them with paint markers, which might make your kids more invested in them and likely to bring them home…or maybe not. Kids are going to be kids!

  12. Sarah Ferguson Reply

    I used to have A Brita but now we just use the dispenser from the fridge. I’m not impressed with the quality so I would love to have something else. It has really been on my mind because my son is now 8 months old and starting to drink water. I want only the best for him!

    • Bain Reply

      Have you changed the filter in the fridge dispenser? Turns out most people don’t even think to check to see if their dispenser has a filter. (If you’ve ever seen a pitcher filter that REALLY needs to be changed, you know what I mean!) Congratulations on the baby boy!

    • Bain Reply

      I have found that having a water bottle I really love that keeps water COLD helps me a ton! That’s also why I like to keep a pitcher in the fridge.

    • Bain Reply

      It’s a great habit. Did you know there are some people who literally drink zero water at all? They drink lots of other things, but not water. Water is as close to free as a drink can be, and it’s good for your body.

  13. This looks good. I try to drink at least one pitcher full of water a day.

    • Bain Reply

      Good for you! You’d be surprised at how many people do not. Water is so important for every system in the body, from helping cells divide (very small level!) to removing waste from the body (much bigger level) to regulating body temperature.

    • Bain Reply

      A filtered bottle is a great way to stay hydrated on the go.

    • Bain Reply

      It’s so important that it doesn’t taste bad. Even though bad-tasting water can be perfectly safe, it’s hard to convince people to drink it.

  14. Lauren Donley Reply

    I didn’t know they made a pitcher! I need to get my son one of their hydration packs for all his outdoor activities.

    • Bain Reply

      It’s important to carry water when you’re outside in the summer. I never did as a kid, but then we would drink out of the creek–something I don’t recommend now!

    • Bain Reply

      Me too! If it isn’t cold, I have a hard time getting myself to drink it. Bonus, it can help you track how much water you have had. (if you have to refill the pitcher at the end of the day, that’s how much you drank–unless you have roommates or family to “help.”)

    • Bain Reply

      Good for you! Most people don’t drink enough water. Did you know that even mild dehydration can affect many of your body’s systems, including your brain, your blood, and your nose?

  15. Cathy Balogh Reply

    When at home we hydrate with water from the tap and outside hiking I have a non Camelbak branded hydration backpack

    • Bain Reply

      Hooray for tap water! Did you know that tap water is regulated by the EPA? Local water providers are required to release certain information to the public to, including the source of the water, how it is treated, and what the latest test results are. I love that I can look that up.

    • Bain Reply

      Do you find your water tastes bad/off if it isn’t filtered?

  16. Julie Ann S Reply

    I like to drink electrolyte water,,, I’ve been wanting to try nuun too!

    • Bain Reply

      Did you know that most plastic water bottles are not recycled? For years we relied on China to do our recycling (from the US). China, fed up with Americans’ inability to ONLY put recyclables in the recycling, started to reject all shipments from the US. This means that even if you put a plastic bottle into the recycling bin, it most likely ends up in a landfill.

  17. Lorna Webster Reply

    Just a water bottle, but I’ve been considering a pitcher!!!

    • Bain Reply

      Refillable bottles are the way to go. Filters are helpful if the water tastes off. I drink more water if I keep a pitcher of it cold in my fridge. (Since I rent, I don’t have a water dispenser and filtration system on the fridge.)

    • Bain Reply

      Filters and refillable bottles are a better option for the planet, especially now that China is rejecting our recyclables. (Too many people put random crap in with their recycling, which ruins the batch of recycling.) Most plastic bottles that we put in the recycling bins today are actually just going into a landfill. It’s so depressing.

    • Bain Reply

      One of the great things about filter pitcher is you can stop buying bottled water.

  18. Gabrielle R Reply

    I just have a life factory glass water bottle. I love it, but not the best for giking!

    • Bain Reply

      I love glass bottles too! Glass is more easily recycled than plastic, too. But yes, not so practical for hiking…

  19. I have been using Clif Shot Bloxs for years for during-race electrolytes but have started using Nuun to “prep” and pre-hydrate the days before, especially for races in high humidity/hot temperatures. I also use Nuun for visits to Walt Disney World. It helps keep me hydrated in the parks.

    • Bain Reply

      In-race hydration can be a challenge–and everyone has to find the right combo of water, electrolytes, and fuel. I totally use Nuun for sweaty weather.

    • Bain Reply

      Do you find that filtering the water and keeping it cold makes you drink more? I sure do!

  20. I drink a lot of water and make sure to moisturize my skin daily.

    • Bain Reply

      Water is super important for skin! Being dehydrated constantly affects your skin’s ability to do its best.

    • Bain Reply

      Do you find it makes a big difference in how much water you drink?

    • Bain Reply

      I find the bladder packs intimidating because they seem hard to clean.

    • Bain Reply

      I had one too; back then they only came in big and round. I like that the Relay is square, so it eats less room in my fridge!

    • Bain Reply

      What’s your favorite? Mine changes, but right now it is cherry limeade or tropical.

  21. We just use filtered water from the fridge.. We used to buy bottles, but the environmental concerns made us stop

    • Bain Reply

      For most of us, it is so easy to use refillable bottles instead of disposable plastic ones. Once you find out how few of those bottles are actually recycled–and that you can’t continuously recycle plastic (like you can with glass)–it’s almost unconscionable to use bottled water if you have alternatives, isn’t 1t?

  22. maria gentry Reply

    I always have my water bottle near me, so I can drink water all day!

    • Bain Reply

      Carrying a water bottle I really love has been a game changer–I definitely drink more.

    • Bain Reply

      Excellent, zero bottles! How often do you change the filter?

  23. I have a filter system in the fridge, and I also use nuun tablets when I go running in the summer months

    • Bain Reply

      I love that nuun comes in so many flavors. Which ones are your favorites?

    • Bain Reply

      Are you involved in any sports or outdoor activities? Carrying a water bottle in the summer is a must!

    • Bain Reply

      Have you ever had a filtration pitcher? Making water taste excellent makes it much easier to drink enough of it.

  24. Robyn Bellefleur Reply

    Not much….just a pitcher of good ‘ole tap water in my fridge.

  25. jeremy Mclaughlin Reply

    We usually just use the filtered water from our fridge.

  26. Rebecca Weiss Reply

    We have a filter on our sink water. I enjoy drinking a bunch of water! I get headaches if I don’t stay hydrated.

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