Let's talk Camelbak

Looking to get a camelbak for my riding. Riding a 29 on and off road right now. I want a little bit of storage.
Here are a few I was looking at:
Volt with 100oz bladder. I like the concept of the low riding bladder but I’m not sure how it will stand up to some UPD from the muni.
Mule with 100 oz ladder ( I like the mil-tac) I like the idea of the mil spec because it looks to be made of better material inside and out. But the trade off is the nipple is straight and not at a 90 but it does have a cover. It looks like it might ride higher as well.

Ok, who is using what pack?


It has room for a few credit cards, key’s etc. I’m pleased with it.

I have been using an Osprey Raptor 14 after ‘graduating’ from a smaller Camelbak pack.


I love that pack. It rides well - I never even notice it’s there. It has enough storage that you can get tools, pump, food, etc. in the pack and actuallyaccess them when you need 'em (a problem with my older, smaller pack). The dedicated tool pocket on the bottom is nice because it keeps those out of the way, but still accessible when you want them.

Despite being larger, the compression straps really shrink it up nicely when you only want to carry small amounts of stuff.

All in all, an A+ from me on that hydration pack.

My main consideration was having a zippered pocket to hold tools. I frequently carry around an extra set of cranks, as well as the tools to change the cranks, and this includes a Park pedal wrench, which is pretty long. Some of the Camelbaks have an extra-long pocket for tools, others don’t. That might be a consideration for you.

That raptor is nice. I like the wide waist belt and the tool compartment.

I use a Lobo. I can’t think of anything I don’t like about it.
Sometimes on a long summer muni ride I need the full 100 oz capacity.
In the pockets I carry my wallet, keys, a few bandages, tire levers, a few allen wrenches, a few paper towels, phone, sometimes an additional gps logger, a few food items, and there’s a bit more space.

Assuming the current design still allows, you can carry a pump behind the pockets. Even the Silky Big Boy 2000 folding saw, but just barely.

I just back from my LBS and they gave me a deal on the Mule. I believe I’m happy with the purchase. It was a between the mule and the Lobo, I went with the bigger pack I really won’t know until I go for a ride. Thanks for your inputs.

I see this thread has pretty much come and gone. I’m going to throw in my $.02 since I think uni riders use packs almost all the time and getting a good one doesn’t make life awesome, but an uncomfortable pack makes it much less.


I’ve had CamelBak packs for years. I had a Fox pack I liked too. After it wore out I went back to a CamelBak. The biggest issue I had with most packs are the lack of a convenient side pocket for a water bottle. I like to keep the reservoir for water only, but still have quick access to an energy drink. I found it very difficult to find a suitable side pocket that would securely hold a water bottle, yet still allow easy access. The last CamelBak I had was OK, but it ultimately either held securely or was easy to access. I couldn’t seem to get both.

Then, I found a used Wingnut Hyper 2.5 pack at a swap meet for $5. Short story: it may be the best $5 I spent in 2013.

I realize packs fit people differently. Wingnut was one of the pioneers of the low riding hydration pack. For me, it works incredibly well. The side pockets hold a water bottle securely and allow easy access. And, it’s a very light pack. My last CamelBak felt heavy- even when unloaded (it was designed for downhill riders so durability is a priority I’m sure). The way the Wingnut fits, it’s not only lightweight (around a pound w/o bladder), but when loaded the weight is distributed very well.

Drawbacks? The Hyper 2.5 only holds a 70 oz bladder (not included- I’ve been using a CamelBak bladder as they’ve been very good to me over the years.) After months of use I noticed some wear and tear so my wife bailed me out with some sewing fixes. I should note that I did buy the pack used. Fairly used at that, so durability is not a typical problem. The only other item of note is when I pack it with too much stuff, it can sway a bit. As long as I’m reasonable about what I’m carrying, it’s a minor quibble. My other packs seemed to have this issue as well.

I liked the Hyper 2.5 so much that I ordered a Hyper 3.0 to accommodate the 100 oz bladder. It has more interior space too. It should be noted that Wingnut packs do not have a lot of pockets in the main interior space. I usually keep my smaller tools in the side zippered pockets, a water bottle in the mesh pocket (and a snack in the other side), and keep the big main pocket for a tube, pump, jacket, etc.

Wingnut packs are not the cheapest option. They aren’t completely out of line either- with the uni friendly packs starting at $105 (without bladder). They are made in the USA out of high quality sailcloth. Bonus.

Some of my fellow riders still use CamelBak. Others like Osprey (the Zealot 16 was on my short list before I bought the Wingnut). There are other good brands that are out there too.

I’m sold on Wingnut. They are a bit harder to find and they don’t have all the fancy organizational pockets in the main bay. But, they check all the boxes that I want in a pack (lightweight, comfortable to wear, easy and secure side pocket access). At this point I use the 2.5 for most rides under 2.5 hours or so (unless it’s hot and humid). I use the 3.0 when I need to carry more liquid.