CamelBak M.U.L.E. receives Low Rider treatment

Hydration pack maker commits 100 percent to lumbar packs

Hydration Sea Otter Classic

2017 Sea Otter Classic

CamelBak M.U.L.E.

CamelBak’s venerable M.U.L.E. hydration pack has been in its range since 1996. In 2017, it receives an update with a lumbar reservoir and improved ventilation features.

CamelBak has produced its Low Rider category of packs (think low slung horizontal lumbar reservoirs), for a couple years now. But new at Sea Otter was a redesign of the company’s top-selling M.U.L.E. model. First launched in 1996, the reboot of the M.U.L.E. LR 15 has CamelBak doubling down on lumbar packs, with 100 percent of its high-end mountain bike packs now featuring the lower reservoir orientation, which is designed to keep your center of gravity lower on the bike.

Learn more about the CamelBak Low Rider concept and how it can enhance your ride.

CamelBak M.U.L.E.

A flexible foam mesh is used in the waist belt and a perforated back panel promotes air flow.

Selling for $150, the new M.U.L.E. LR 15 also receives the new Crux LR 3-liter reservoir that delivers 20 percent more liquid per sip at the valve.

CamelBak M.U.L.E.

Like several packs in the CamelBak line, the M.U.L.E. includes a tool roll.

As you’d expect there are a number of internal organizing pockets, but CamelBak ups the ante a bit by including a small tool roll (something the company has done on other recent models). A fleece-lined pocket is great for your phone or small camera. An external helmet storage system allows you to still access the contents of your pack without removing the helmet. Two sets of compression straps on the outside of the pack make carrying pads or extra layers a cinch.

CamelBak M.U.L.E.

Unique to the M.U.L.E. is an arched upper back support that promotes airflow, keeping you cooler while wearing one of CamelBak’s larger cycling specific packs.

The magnetic TubeTrap keeps your hydration hose at the ready. As you empty the reservoir two compression straps keep the pack stable and snug against your back. Lastly, a rain cover keeps your snacks, spares, and electronics dry in case of inclement weather.

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This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2017 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.

About the author: Nick Legan

Nick Legan is happiest with some grease under his nails and a long dirt climb ahead. As a former WorldTour team mechanic, Legan plied his trade at all the Grand Tours, Spring Classics, World Championships and even the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In recent years, gravel and ultra-distance racing has a firm grip on Legan’s attention, but his love of mountain biking and long road rides hasn’t diminished. Originally a Hoosier, Legan settled in Boulder, Colorado, 14 years ago after finishing his time at Indiana University studying French and journalism. He served as the technical editor at VeloNews for two years and now contributes to Adventure Cyclist, Mtbr and RoadBikeReview. To follow along on Legan’s cycling adventures, find him on Instagram at @nlegan and be sure to check out his new book Gravel Cycling: The Complete Guide to Gravel Racing and Adventure Bikepacking.

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  • Joe C says:

    I fractured my L3 during an MTB race 8 weeks ago, when I went OTB. I wonder if my low rider Camelback had anything to do with that, or kept it from being worse. Love having my CG lower though, I hated hydration packs before that.

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