Chase Bike Vest
At first glance, the CamelBak Chase bike vest looks like something that belongs on the back of an ultra-runner. It’s kind of dorky — until you put it on. Then, in my opinion, it becomes the most comfortable hydration pack you’ve ever worn.
It’s designed for maximum stability, so the front and rear loads are balanced. Unlike the running versions, this mountain bike specific pack uses tougher materials, more zippers, and larger storage pockets. As an added advantage, it’s short enough so you can still access your jersey pockets. Price is $100.
For 2018, CamelBak has completely redesigned the K.U.D.U. The new pack sells for less, while adding a number of new features. The removable tool roll, integrated rain cover, helmet/armor straps, and side pockets all carry over. Items such as the belt, sternum straps, and back protection have all been redesigned.
The new back protector now meets the more stringent CE2 motorcycle safety standard and is designed to be more flexible. This allows it to better conform to your back, making it more comfortable on long rides. The pad also receives additional perforation for improved airflow.
Perhaps the coolest feature is that the back protector can work without the cargo pack. If you want to go light weight, the entire back zips off to reveal a stand-alone back protector with jersey style pockets. The pack is available as either a 10L or 20L. Price is $200 and $230 respectively.
T.O.R.O. 8 and 14
Don’t want to drop two bills on a CE certified backpack you’ll only wear at the bike park or when required at races? CamelBak’s new T.O.R.O. features a CE2 certified back protector, but ditches some of the bells and whistles found on the K.U.D.U.
If you can live without the rain cover, zip off design, and removable tool roll, you can pick up the T.O.R.O. 8L for $160 or the T.O.R.O. 14L for $180.
Repack LR 4
If hydration packs aren’t your thing, then the new Repack might be more your style. Based loosely on the Palos waist pack, this new bum bag resolves many of the complaints Mtbr had with the previous design.
The key is the new compression system, which should keep the bag from flopping around. CamelBak also reconfigured the pockets, so the new pack is sleeker. It will still tote a 1.5-liter reservoir, plus 2.5L of gear (or 4L of stuff and no reservoir). Price is $75.
Podium Dirt Series
When you’re headed on a shorter ride, sometimes you don’t need to carry a pack. A water bottle on your frame and some basic tools are enough. The only downside with a water bottle is that the nozzle can get covered in gunk. Enter the new Dirt Series. It’s basically the bottle and bite valve we’ve come to love, but with a silicone dust cap. The water bottle is also a touch shorter, so it’s less likely to rub on your shock.
The Dirt Series is available in standard and insulated versions. Both hold 21 oz. Retail is $11 and $15. That’s a $2 up charge over the standard Podium, which does not come with a dust cap.
On a non-hydration related note, CamelBak was showcasing a new Sternum Protector with an integrated GoPro mount. This CEII level protector is made from the same material as the back protector in the K.U.D.O. and T.O.R.O. series and is cut to work in conjunction with a backpack. The Sternum Protector is available in one size (28-47” or 71-116 cm). Retail will be $100.
To learn more head to https://www.camelbak.com.