The space is pretty minimal if you’re used to having a lot of room available, so you can’t carry the kitchen sink with this one. I had to become a weight and size weenie, and only carry small short items, so I changed to a little first aid kit, tire pump, CO2 cartridge, etc. I ended up putting things in Ziploc bags for organizational purposes, which also worked well since sometimes you had to pull most of the pocket contents out to grab an item. The two main pockets measured at roughly 10″ x 6″, so nothing too tall, large or fat works. The hip belt has two cargo ones, which I used for my cell phone and camera, tools or keys on occasion.
The reservoir came with a LR specific hose, and it is seemingly designed to be routed from the bottom (according to CamelBak it can be run bottom or top), and up along the lower section of the shoulder straps. I found it too short at 29″ for proper functionality, and I didn’t like the routing arrangement, so I borrowed a longer 35″ one from my other CamelBak pack’s, and routed it over the shoulder in the normal fashion, and it has worked just fine. They need to rethink the length and routing, and in addition add a hose loop around the mid back to enhance its placement. Inside the hydration pouch, there are two holes to route the hose through, so you could do either a right or left side set up, although only the right shoulder strap had a hard plastic hose clip. One of the main pocket’s ended up with a small hole that tore through into the hydration pouch near the hose egress (though never got bigger than a pinkie), so the complex stitching in that area seems to be done haphazardly, and they need to do some more QC?
The hip/waist belt, shoulder pads and back panel were minimally padded, though highly flexible, so it conformed extremely well to the contours of your back, and it carried the weight (what little there is), in a balanced and unnoticeable manner. The pack is feathery light, and I never felt the weight, even with the full 2 liters of water. Of course, since you can’t carry many items, it doesn’t weigh much anyway, but with the weight carried low on your lumbar and not on your shoulders, it does seem to disappear, and offers excellent stability. What I really like about this pack more than anything, is when I get into rough terrain, going of drop offs, ramps, ledges, etc., the pack never flops up towards your head, so I think it’s an ideal gravity pack for that reason, though it’s missing some back protection for rolling crashes. The LR’s waist belt seems to sit snugger and up higher on the stomach, and didn’t catch on your saddle when making severe sitting on the rear tire moves that happen on uber steep terrain. Between the weight seemingly disappearing, the lack of the pack doing a head flop nor bouncing around on your back, and no saddle catching, the LR becomes near invisible when wearing! It felt very much like a mountain runner wearable hydration belt instead of a cycling pack.
The Antidote reservoir system works extremely well, and the new screw closure only takes a quarter turn to open and close, and the wide mount is easy to pour into and clean, though to fill to capacity you do need to hold it with the handle at a slight angle to facilitate. When the bladder gets low, sometimes you don’t get the last vestiges of water due to the width of its shape. The Quick Link is pretty sweet, and facilitated clipping and in a leak-free manner for the bladder removal, though on occasion the hose would dribble some water, so I would blow the hose clean beforehand. Inserting the reservoir is an easy task, route the hose through the back hole, and place it into the pouch, push its tails into the waist belt, clip the hanging hook onto the upper yellow loop, and then flip the handle out over the flap, and finally zip it shut.
I would like to see a version with slightly more capacities, since it was a bit small for rides in inclement weather in the Colorado mountains, and you needed to be quite the minimalist to pack the sucker.
- Octane LR pack – 342.5 grams / 12.1 oz
- Antidote Reservoir (with hose) – 179.2 grams / 6.3 oz
- Total Weight – 521.7 grams / 18.4 oz
- Pocket sizes (trapezoid shape) – Right: (8″ x 4″) wide x 10″ tall x (.5″ to 3″) thick, Left (9″ x 7″) wide x 10″ tall x (.5″ to 3″) thick
- Pack size – 19″ tall x 9″ wide, 22″ wide by hip
The CamelBak Octane LR is a superb pack, that is comfortable, light and stable, due in a great part to the lumbar design which keeps the Antidote reservoir weight down low. The pack just sits so nicely, and carries the weight well on your hips, back and lumbar that it all but disappears, and during any type of riding, that I put it through, and it never seemed to flop or bounce around, especially on steep terrain (no head slap). The design, materials, and minimal padding create a highly conformable entity, and it becomes one with the back. The 70 oz (2 L) of water is fine if you’re not a guzzler, and the 549 cu in (9 L) of storage space works if you’re careful with what you carry.
The hose is too short for a properly functioning setup, and a small hole tore through the stitching in one pocket, and I would love to see a version with additional capacity.
The excellent Octane LR is a low slung and sleek pack which work extremely well, with just enough space for moderate rides, and is ideal for biking, hiking and running.
- Antidote bladder system
- Comfortable and conformable
- Weight and pack disappear
- No flopping and bouncing around
- Hose is too short – additional tube is $9
- Hole in the upper pocket
- Need a tad more space (maybe an up sized model)
Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
Rating w/ longer tube: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
CamelBak Octane LR Company Specs:
- Visit the website at http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recreation/Packs/2011-Octane-LR.aspx
- Back panel: Air channel
- Harness: Ultra-light 3D mesh
- Belt: 1 in / 25 mm 840D lightweight tape with cargo pocket
- Additional Features: Lumbar Reservoir (LR) provides superb stability, External Fill, Harness pockets, Front and back reflectivity
- Designed to Carry: Extra layers, ultra-light weather protection, energy bars, head lamp, trail maps, compass
- Hydration Capacity: 70 oz (2 L) – Quick Link™ System, quick-seal cap, lightweight fillport, dryer arms, patented Big Bite™ Valve, HydroGuard™ technology, PureFlow™ tube, easy-to-clean wide-mouth opening
- Total Capacity: 549 CU IN (9 L)
- Pack Weight: 12.6 oz (360 g)
- Fabric Specs: 70D mini ripstop, 230D taffeta & 420D Nylon with DWR + 1000mm PU Coating
- Torso Length: 16 in (41 cm)
- Colors: Mirage and Frost Gray or Lime Punch and Graphite.
Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com/