I haven’t had a new CamelBak in years. I remember 10 years ago when I had to have one, because they were the cool thing to have when you’re out hiking around. They weren’t just the cool thing though, they made sense. It became so easy to stay hydrated when you’re outside doing the things you love. It also became easier to pack for a day trip. Now that I’ve had a chance to try out a couple of the newer design CamelBak’s I’m thoroughly impressed and will soon find myself using nothing but them when I’m hiking or biking. Usually when I’m in the backcountry on my skis I’m wearing an Avalanche Airbag backpack. Taking a day trip to a hut secluded in the Southwestern Colorado mountains, I found myself using the Phantom (coming Fall of 2014). It was the perfect pack for the day.
I really like the new packs for a couple of reasons. The first thing, and it may seem minute and ridiculous, is the fact that for every strap, CamelBak has provided you with an elastic containment strap. Once tightened and adjusted correctly, tuck the straps through the elastic and they are out of the way the rest of the day. So simple, but will make or break how much I love a pack! Another amazing feature is the fact that the largest pocket zips down almost the entire length of the pack. No more losing stuff in the pack or forgetting what you brought on your trip. It makes for very organized packing and unpacking.
This particular pack includes a 3 liter water reservoir that is housed in an all new designed lumbar compartment. Overall, the pack’s size is right at 20 liters which is large enough to fit daily necessities, extra layers, food, etc. but not so big that you will have empty space or a load too heavy.
The Lumbar reservoir is absolutely amazing! I’ve always loved having the majority of the weight on my hips, who doesn’t, and now with the lumbar reservoir I can ensure the water weight will be supported by my strong hips and not my weak, easily tired shoulders. Plus, the release system and the ease of getting in and out of the storage pouch makes it that much better. The easy release system is brilliant because now you just unlatch your reservoir, fill it up, latch it back in, zip the pocket back up and you’re ready to go. No more hose and reservoir hassle!
I talked in the video about ways in which you can assemble your skis or snowboard to the pack, and it’s great that CamelBak decided to give you options. Choose a-frame or diagonal for your skis or vertical for your snowboard. Also, the front snowboard straps are great for an extra layer or extra gear.
Going from this pack and then back to my Avy pack is really depressing for me. These packs have so many useful and beneficial options for the ski/snowboard enthusiast. My Avy pack was built around the airbag, without much thought in the pack itself. It is a bummer because I could really use some of CamelBak’s features when I’m high in the backcountry. Whether you’re in the sidecountry or backcountry, this pack is the perfect solution to carrying all of your daily necessities and more. It’s comfortable and so very logical. Thanks CamelBak!
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