CamelBak Charge 10 LR Review

Hydration

Bottom Line
The CamelBak Charge 10 LR is a superb pack, and synergy of the lumbar design, low slung reservoir, conformable back panel and hip belt, and functional suspension system makes for a fantastically stable and comfortable entity. The pack adheres to your back, like its attached with Velcro, and it carries the weight centered properly on your hips, lower back and lumbar. It seems to all but disappears, and during any type of extreme riding it didn’t flop or bounce around. The lumbar compression straps helped pull the bottom of the pack into the back when the reservoir started to shrink in size, and it was useful for doing customized load and fit trimming. Besides the exceptional load carrying and stability characteristics, the pack had some other excellent features, including helmet hooks, the main compartments clam shell opening and mesh pockets, the roomy side cargo pockets, and the stretchy back overflow sleeve. The 70 oz (2 L) of water is fine for short rides, and the storage space works adequately, especially when adding in the rear sleeve.

The Antidote lumbar reservoir was easy to clean, and install in the pack, but it was cumbersome to fill (especially re-filling) and difficult to dry properly, and the Quick Link’s button got stiff with age. I would have liked a keychain hook in the hip cargo pockets for convenience.

The Charge 10 LR’s innovative design, lightweight materials, soft padding, and its highly flexible nature, create a plush and comfortable pack, and it becomes one with the back, and has just enough space for moderate rides.

Strengths

  • Antidote bladder system
  • Comfortable, conformable and nicely padded
  • Weight and pack disappear
  • No flopping and bouncing around
  • Clam shell opening
  • Lumbar compression straps
  • Main compartments mesh pockets
  • Overflow sleeve
  • Helmet hooks

Weaknesses

  • Cargo pockets need a keychain hook
  • Reservoir difficult to dry
  • Reservoir cumbersome to fill/re-fill
  • Quick connect button gets stiff with age

MSRP: $110

Overall Rating: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Charge 10 LR Specs:

  • MSRP $110
  • Ultralight lumbar reservoir pack for light and fast rides.
  • Antidote Reservoir with Quick Link System
  • Capacity: 10L (8L + 2L Reservoir)
  • Pack weight: 0.45kg
  • Pack dimensions: 50 x 58 x 15cm
  • Back panel: LV
  • Harness: Ultralight 3-D Mesh Independent Suspension™
  • Belt: Fixed 25mm with cargo pockets
  • Features: Ultralight materials, Bike tool organizer pocket, Helmet hook, Stretch overflow storage, Lumbar compression, Media pocket
  • Fabric: 40D Diamond Ripstop, 230D Taffeta & 210D Nylon with DWR + 1000 mm PU + Silicon


CamelBak Charge 10 LR Review Gallery
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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Colors

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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Reservoir

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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Helmet Holder

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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Back

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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Straps

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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Pockets

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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Hydration

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Camelbak Charge LR 10 Side

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Camelbak Charge LR 10

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Joe says:

    Hey Brian, great review! I can see your Spot II GPS unit stuffed in the pack; did you have to take the Spot out of the pack to receive/transmit, or where you able to get a signal by leaving it in the pack in tracking mode and broadcast through the light weight material of the pack? If not, is there a good place to attach the Spot to the outside of the pack so you don’t have to take it out to broadcast?

  • Eric says:

    Wingnut Gear has been making incredible mtn bike posts for quite a while. They have an awesome 100 oz pack that all the weight is carried on your hips. I have been using one for 3.5 years and it beats anything on the market. Camelback is really late to the game but their mass marketing budget is hard to compete with. I use a Deuter bladder and insulated sleeve and a camelback hose sleeve so my water stays cold even in hot ol’ Redding, CA… It is a sweet set up!

    • Brian Mullin says:

      Eric – I haven’t ever used any of the Wingnut Gear, so I can’t really comment on them, I think their Splitback is the closest in size to the Charge 10 LR. The Charge 10 LR is brand new, while the predecessors, the Charge LR, and the Octane have been around for 1 and 2 years respectively. What I do like about the LR reservoir is the the shape with the wings, as it rolls the weight out over your hips, plus the packs lumbar compression straps, the overflow sleeve and hip pockets are great features. FYI: Deuter doesn’t make bladders, they use the Israeli company named Source (which does military hydration packs like CamelBak).

  • nora says:

    Hi Brian

    I’m newbie in outdoor sport but i want to equip myself well. i don’t mountain bike or ride, i only do sport climbing and jungle trekking.

    I’d like to get your expert advice for CamelBak Charge 10LR redesigned, i bought this model for my outdoor activities. is this model suitable for such activities? or even cross country running?

    Your expert advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    NORA

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