Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Light, stable, easier to fill than running hydration packs with waist bladders.
Best Uses: Long day runs.
This is one of the lightest hydration packs we tested. It uses a light backpack design with no waist strap. It comes with a 90 degree Hi-Flow bite valve with lock, two chest pockets and a safety whistle. It stands out for its innovative bladder, which goes the full length of back (many other running packs fill at the waist). This makes the bladder easy to remove for filling and replacement. The bladder lid and locking mechanism uses the same technology as the other CamelBak packs (which are reliably water tight) but this model is prone to leaking for some reason. While running, this pack stays put; minimal movement at comfortable adjustment. That said, the bladder is prone to vertical bouncing inside the pack.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Padding and straps are adequate. No hotspots or loose fitting areas. Fits well despite having no waist belt.
Ease of Drinking
As with all CB packs, water delivery is very good, with high flow from minimal effort.
Ease of Filling
Not the easiest of the packs to fill, but not the worst. Reservoir comes out fairly easily and requires some Velcro adjustment to get back in.
This pack was among the lightest of the bunch. Practically speaking, the only heavy part is the water in the bladder.
The bladder lid and locking mechanism use the same technology as the other CamelBak packs (which are reliably water tight) but this one is prone to leaking for some reason.
Ease of Cleaning
As with most CB packs, cleaning is accomplished more easily than with most bladders once removed from the pack. Hoses disconnect easily and bladders are simple to prop open for drying. Pulling the bladder in and out is not as simple as with some others like the Osprey or Geigerrig.
All of these packs compress down to minimal volumes and are generally comparable to one and other. The CB running packs are the lightest and most compressible.
Other Versions and Accessories
The CamelBak Octane LR combines the weight distribution of a fanny pack with the added stability and comfort of a backpack. It is very similar to the CamelBack Ultra LR but is a little lighter, less stable, and more breathable. The Ultra LR is designed for long distance runs and scored pretty high in our tests.
The CamelBak Cleaning Brush Kit provides easy access to a kit that is designed to clean your Camelbak reservoir.
— Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 26, 2012
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