Camelbak The Don Review

Hydration Pro Reviews

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Bottom Line
The Don is a comfortable pack, that is durable (tough material), fairly light, and has a host of features. The wide waist strap was greatly appreciated, and it kept the pack from flopping around, and along with the sternum and shoulders straps helped carry the load and distribute its weight. The ability to attach a full face helmet easily, and securely with no flopping around was obviously the highlight of the pack. The plethora of straps, allows the carrying of body armor, jackets and about anything else, in addition the load could be cinched down for stability. On days, I didn’t use a full face helmet, its storage flap was handy for carrying many items, from a garden lopper (trail maintenance), to jackets, clothes, normal helmets, etc. The pack has plenty of useful pockets, though I wish there was an extra one in the main compartment I really enjoyed the sealed top pocket for my camera, since it was easy to grab it without having to resort to unstrapping anything nor maneuvering in the main compartment to grab it. The pack did flop around somewhat, unless cinched down tightly, which made it tough to balance oneself in rough terrain.

I enjoyed my time with the Don, and its many features made it a very useful and functional hydration pack. The new Antidote reservoir is a real winner, and put’s Camelbak back in the race! Thank goodness you no longer need hands of steel to open the fill port screw cap.

Strengths
- Tough: durable materials and stitching
- Antidote reservoir: quick connect, dryer arms, 1/4 turn cap, reduced stack height
- Full face helmet carrying ability
- Lots of pockets
- Multiple armor strapping placements
- Full face helmet flap compartment handy for sundry items

Weaknesses
- Eyeglass pocket zipper and opening bunches up
- Pack flops around on rough terrain
- Need an additional pocket in main compartment

MSRP: $120.00

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

2010 The Don Specs
Size: 20 ” x 12.25″ x 9.5″
Weight: 1.73 lbs (.79 kg)
Reservoir Capacity: 100 oz (3 L)
Cargo Capacity: 1070 cu in (17.53 L)
Designed to Carry – Full-face Helmet, Body Armor, Goggles, Extra Layers, Lunch, Tools, Pumps, Spare Tubes, Electronics
Back Panel: Air Director
Harness: Independent Suspension Yoke
Belt: 38mm/1.5″ Compression/Stability Belt
4 colors
MSRP (US only): $120.00

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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  • jack says:

    What is the asking price?

  • Matt says:

    I like the bag itself, but I’d probably put in a Hydrapak reservoir. As long as Camelbak uses that horrible screw-off lid I’m sticking with the simple Hydrapak bags. I had an earlier hydrapak (sorry for saying the name so much… I feel like I’m in a commercial now) and couldn’t stand their valve or the horrible taste that the tube added. After it started leaking, I switched to a camelback– while I liked the bite valve, I hated the small opening on the reservoir and the screw on/off lid. After I had to use a wrench to open it after using it last time, I went back to hydrapak and was happily surprised at their advancements (bite valve, detachable tube) and how they kept their basic bag opening.

    I really do like camelback’s bag, though! This thing looks tough!

  • Brian Mullin says:

    The new Antidote reservoir is a vast improvement over the old one, the opening is 20-25% bigger, has a quick release tube (easier than the hydrapak), and the 1/4 turn cap doesn’t lock up and is easy to turn, plus the drying arms are pretty sweet. I also have plenty of hydrapak reservoirs, and the new Antidote certainly levels the field, and I wouldn’t swap out bags, the Antidote is just fine.

  • Disco says:

    Seems they have finally noticed what the competition (Dakine and even Jan-Sport) have been up to all along but the core of their business has been military and not recreational sales for years. The bladder is a properly evolutionary step, mimicking Nalgene’s original thoughts and apparently smoothing out the flaws.

    Ride on.

  • Harrys says:

    this site is great,you found anything

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