The CamelBak Charge LR is an incredibly comfortable, light and conformable hydration pack, which features their lumbar Antidote reservoir, which is situated at the bottom of the pack. The design places the water lower on hips and back for stability and comfort. The pack becomes part of your back, at least figuratively, as it conforms to the shape and oddities of your body, and it doesn’t bounce around much, especially compared to conventional designs. The Charge LR uses lightweight ripstop fabric, has great organizational pockets, a softly padded back panel and hip belt, and uses their 70 oz (2 L) Antidote Reservoir.
CamelBak Charge LR
The Charge LR (Lumbar) weighs in at a svelte 460 grams, and has padded back, hip, and shoulders (minimally), and is constructed with their Ultra-light materials, using a combination of ripstop and stretchy nylon. The wraparound body uses their Lightweight Exoskeleton back panel, and Ultra-light 3-D Mesh Independent Suspension with Slider Sternum Strap. The upper portion of the pack has a long and narrow zippered main compartment, which opens in clam shell style for easy access. It has three meshed organizational pockets, one large and two smaller ones, and each has a small Velcro closure tab. There is an overflow storage sleeve on the back on the unit, which extends down the bottom two-thirds of the pack, and closes off with a cinch strap. The sleeve uses very stretchy fabric, so it can expand to hold various apparel or other items as required. The padded hip belt uses 1-inch webbing, and does a side cinch, and have zippered cargo pockets on each side. In addition, the pack is equipped with lumbar compression straps, which draws the bottom of the pack into the back as the reservoir’s water volume decreases, keeping things stabilized, with the weight in tight with the body. All the pockets and compartments combine together to give 427 cu in or 7L of storage space, although the outer sleeve adds quite a bit of additional volume. The 70 oz. or 2L Antidote reservoir with the Quick Link connector, sits in a dual zippered pouch at the bottom, wrapping backwards around the hips and the lumbar. The pack will come in two colors, Blue and Gray with Black accents, and will be released in February 2012 with a retail price of $100.
Antidote LR Reservoir
The Antidote lumbar reservoir (70 oz/2 liters) sits horizontal in contrast to the typical vertical layout, and it includes mini baffles (the small cutouts) to keep the water from sloshing around and keep the shape from getting too fat (flatter bladder), and it makes it bend easier at the wings. The bite valve worked quite nicely, and was easy to draw, and didn’t leak. The screw cap for the fill port takes only a quarter turn to open or close, and it does not get stuck and require brute force to open. Just line up the arrow on the cap with the circle icon ‘O’ (with arrows pointing in tightening direction), and turn it a quarter turn clockwise until it lines up with the solid circle icon by the top hanging hook. It only takes a light touch to close the cap, and its water tight and snug. The fill port has a wider diameter hole for easier filling, cleaning and drying, and has a handle which hooks onto the drop slot of the packs zippered pouch, helping to keep it stable and secure, and makes it handier to hold the cumbersome wide reservoir. They added an auto shutoff quick disconnect, named the Quick Link, which allows you to disconnect the reservoir from the drink hose, which facilitates cleaning, filling and drying.