I rode for four hours yesterday with my new Camelbak Octane. I had a Camelbak Mule some years ago when I rode with two wheels and found it very useful, but it was big and bulky.
I don’t have the best balance as yet so I was very concerned that any hydration pack I bought would have to be as unobtrusive as possible - i.e not throw me off balance or put weight high up on my back. I got very close to buying the standard bottles in a waist belt, but in the end opted for this Octane XCT.
The Octane is designed with runners in mind rather than b*kers so it’s very low profile and doesn’t move around at all when you’re wearing it. It has very limited storeage capacity, but was extremely comfortable, carried 3L of water, 2 mini snickers bars and my allen key set without a problem. It rained throughout my ride but the snickers remained perfectly dry.
I was very pleased with the Camelbak, hardly noticed I was wearing it and didn’t feel that carrying 3 kilos of water harmed my unicycle balance at all. There is another version of this pack called the Octane LR which stands for Lumbar Reservoir where the water is stored in lower down in the pack around your lumbar region rather than up your spine as a further aid to stability while running. The LR version is quite a bit more expensive and having experienced no stability issues with the XCT I doubt whether it’s worth the extra.
In summary I highly recommend the Camelbak Octane XCT 2011, it’s not cheap at around £55 ($80) but it’s very well made, well designed and unicycle friendly.