First Look: CamelBak’s new Kudu hydration pack with built-in armor

Gear Hydration

CamelBak Kudu 12

CamelBak has announced a brand new hydration pack for 2015 called the Kudu that features built-in impact protection in the form of a foam back armor insert that should appeal to the enduro racer or park rider.

In this video, Seth Beiden from CamelBak shows us the highlights of the Kudu 12 and Kudu 18.

The protection insert is CE 1621-2 Level 2 certified protector, which means that it has been tested and approved for motorcycle use (CE 1621-2 Level 2 is a much higher impact protection than Level 1). The protector is lightweight and flexible and can withstand multiple hits. If you don’t need the armor, it is removable and can be cleaned and inspected.

CamelBak back protector

The Kudu is available in two sizes, the Kudu 12 holds 12 liters and the Kudu 18 holds 18 liters of cargo. Besides the cool armor, the Kudu also has a nice tool roll that is easily removable for having direct, easy access for your trail side repairs. If you ride in wet weather, their is a built-in (and removable) waterproof rain cover that deploys from the bottom of the pack.

CamelBak Kudu 12 CamelBak Kudu 12

The Kudu also has options for helmet carrying (including full face helmets) and the ability to carry knee and elbow armor via side and bottom straps. The Kudu 12 comes in two graphics red/yellow (officially called Barbados Cherry/Sulphur Springs) and blue/pink/grey (officially Charcoal/ Atomic Blue) and the Kudu 18 comes in three graphics ( Barbados Cherry/ Sulphur Springs – Black/ Andean Toucan – Silver/ Atomic Blue). The MSRP for the Kudu 12 with 100oz reservoir and back protector is $200 and the Kudu 18 is $225. Both models will be available January 2015.

Check out more photos of the Kudu and some photos of other new packs from CamelBak coming for 2015.

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.

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  • Andrew says:

    That pink and blue is amazing.

  • Daniel Messem says:

    How much more protection will this give than a regular CamelBack with water in?

    Isn’t the regular CamelBack pretty decent as back protection?

  • Karel says:

    I bought the Kudu12 and it works for me. Good weight distribution, nice big water reservoir, back protector so light you don’t really notice it. Main advantages in comparison with my normal (small) camelbak:
    – Easy to reach left pocket with enough space for 3 bars. Even an apple fits.
    – Back protector does not take much space and is very light weight.
    – Maybe too many pockets for me. Sometimes have to search for stuff.
    – Much better weight distribution. “Weight on waist”.
    – 3 buckles. No shaking of the bag or contents.
    – Used it on trails and downhill track. Forgot/ did not notice wearing it. Very comfortable.
    – All rides with: water, pump, multi tool, 1 spare tire, tire repair kit, set of break pads, 2 bars and occasionally 1 apple.

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