Camelbak "classic" or "Mule"?

I found a website,, which has THE LOWEST prices on Camelbak hyration packs that I’ve seen…and I’ve looked all over the net. Anyway, I would like to get advice on WHICH pack to get for Moab, keeping in mind that I will most likely be riding either the “novice” or “backenders” trails(s). I’m leaning towards the Classic, pictured below in black/gray, because it would probably fit snugger and more ergonomically against my back. The Mule (also pictured) does carry 100 oz. (30 oz. more than clasic), but seems more cumbersome. The Moab videos also seem to show a lot on riders with the Classic, or similar sized pack. Thoughts? The website has an 800 number for support and phone orders, and the classic is only $32.95, the Mule is $59.95…way less than the $80 on other sites. And these are both 2006 models!:smiley:



Well there is a big difference between the two… The MULE is pretty big but the classic might not be large enough… if you can find it, maybe one in-between size would be best, otherwise I think the Classic would work, but you might need an extra little bottle of water in the pocket.

Mine is about the same size as the Classic, and holds 70 oz., but what I do is stick a second ‘bladder’ half full in with the first. A bladder costs $8-12.

I like that idea! Gonna call the guy back and ask if the classic will have room for an extra bladder. thanks

I have a Mule. I outgrew my original, smaller Camelbak. When my Mule gets old, I’ll probably replace it with something with a bit more cargo space. The amount of water it holds is just right for me. Remember, a large bladder doesn’t need to be completely filled for every ride!

Also, for a place like Moab, smart riders will also be carrying tools, food, and probably a jacket. You’ll want these on your back as well. My jacket gets stuffed into the elastic straps on the back of my Mule.

I also wear a fanny pack/butt bag, which I don’t necessarily recommend because there seems to be a social stigma about wearing one. But it’s a convenient holder for my camera, cell phone, and some other stuff. It works for me.

You know, I really can recomend a Kelty hydration pack. Who says you have to have a Camelbak brand?

sort of a thread jack but terry, what with the onslaught of moab questions? theres still like 2 months left unitl the event. you cant possibly need that much time to prepare. unless of course your bringing everything needed for every rider there.

First off, this particular question is not necessarily for moab, but I wanted to get the something NOW for my prep rides, and I wanted to call on the combined wisdom of this forum, since so many have BEEN to moab, and so far most have been very forthcoming, friendly and helpful. Secondly, with all the, frankly STUPID, worthless, childish and MEANINGLESS, and OFF TOPIC threads, I thought my questions (look at my posts and you will see a diversity of topics) would be welcome, especially since I am a newbie too this sport, and have appreciated the help and advice thus far. But no worries, if I have any more “MOAB” questions, I will direct them privately to those who are happy to help. I am not being “defensive”, just want to say thanks for all the help thus far. Signing off for now.:slight_smile:

Here here. Plus, adding “Moab” to a thread topic seems to make it cooler. Even cooler than “MUni Weekend.”

I’ll add this though, after all these threads you’d better show up in Moab! None of that lame “Oh, my job schedule changed” “I got fired” “I broke my leg” or those other lame excuses. :slight_smile:

It’s all about the Mule man, but you knew that in your heart before you asked the question.

I happen to have both, and have ridden with both. I also recommend the Mule.

The “classic” has almost zero cargo space, and has just the single cross-chest strap. The “Mule” has a lot more space to carry cargo, and has straps that cross both the chest and the stomach, which in my opinion makes it more stable. And like John Foss said, If you’re on a short ride, you don’t have to fill the “Mule” bladder all the way up.

The first time I rode in Santa Barbara (on Tunnel Trail) I used the “classic” and ran out of food and water half way to the bottom. Never again.

I would definitely go for the mule. I have been looking at camelbaks recently and I like the Blowfish a bit more than the mule mainly because of the design and that it holds more. It also helps to go to a local store that has them and try them on so you get to see how they feel.

Mule for sure. The cargo space is a must and 70oz isn’t enough. I have a 72oz rocket and I had to strap an extra nalgene bottle to it to so I’d have enough water, and that was riding during november when it wasn’t that hot.

I have this

It has a small pocket for small stuff. If you have a thin jacket i guess you could put that in there too.

I would assume Moab to be a lot tougher and more demanding in both riding, weather conditions and overall harshness than any of the Mt. Snowdon rides I’ve done, and I trained for those (although not exclusively, I went out on a 3+ hr Muni ride twice a week) for about a month. I’d prefer to hear of someone taking it more seriously, finding it easy and having a great time, rather than someone underestimating thier ability, and going underprepared and under equipped. With our help we can both make him feel more competent about riding Moab, and make him enjoy himself more and not hold others up. Besides, spending money on unicycling is heaps of fun anyway.


I started with a Mule, but upgraded to Blowfish for more cargo space. Same 100 oz bladder, but more room for tools, food, jacket, camera, etc. Or, more space for a second bladder too, or water bottle. Since it’s “expandable”, you can always keep the expansion zipper zipped and that makes it smaller. The weight difference is inconsequential to me compared to having what I want along.

I like the Mule for rides that don’t require much “stuff”, just water and a couple of tools. For anything like Moab, I’d go bigger for sure.

My $.02.


How are these in terms of hopping? Do they bounce around? How secure is the bladder inside the bag?

I am thinking of getting a pack like these for street riding so that I can keep liquid with me and maybe a couple of granola bars or something of the sort but I’m worried about it bouncing around.

What’s the biggest size bladder we can get for, well, anything? I had 3 liters last year on a muni ride (2 liter bladder and a 1L gatorade bottle filled with water) and I ran out after only a couple miles… Later in the summer when it got less humid wasn’t too bad, but quite often in moderately warm weather I’ll start with 2L and get back to the car to find I only have a mouthful or two left.

Mountain Equipment Coop has 3 liter bladders you can get for 12-13 dollars canadian plus shipping, they include the tubs and stuff too, but I don’t know how well the fit would be in various bags.

Well, my current plan is to get a new hydration pack this summer that holds 3L or so, and then jury-rig my old bladder on some how, or at least carry it with me so I can swap out…

Claire Standish: I have a really low tolerance for dehydration.
Andrew Clark: I’ve seen her dehydrate, sir, it’s pretty gross.

Lots of camelbaks

If you want lightweight or just a smaller pack, look at the Rogue or Lobo. For Moab, I’d ALWAYS go for the 100oz reservoir. It can be hot even in March. I use the Mule 75% of the time and have a Hawg for epic rides when I carry clothes and a water purifier. There is a new pack Camelbak has this year called the Mayhem. They started a freeride line of packs, complete with a padded pocket for camera, video, iPod, etc. and external straps for armor and all that other bulky freeride stuff. The Mayhem is just a little bigger than a Mule but it will carry a bunch more stuff without being a huge pack. Support your independent dealers before buying online. Sometimes you save a few bucks but customer service can be hard or non-exisistent if you have problems. We’ve taken reservoirs, bite-valves, and whole packs off the shelf to take care of warranty problems so our customer wouldn’t be out of their pack for a week.