The Highwire is one of the new generation of ultra-light CamelBaks. We’ve been impressed with the bike-speciﬁc models so even though this is designed for all-round outdoor adventure (with features such as trekking pole and ice axe loops), we were interested to see how it would measure up.
The answer is, extremely well. The back looks long, but delivers a slender pack that in conjunction with the light back panel follows the shape of your spine. Add in the harness system, which we found easy to adjust to give the perfect load balance, and you have a pack that even when full moves with you and doesn’t creep up your back, even when you hit the descents.
The wedge shape that positions the bulk of your kit at the base, tapering towards the top, helps that stable quality. As well as the stability, it keeps the back of your neck clear and there’s none of that annoying ‘nudging’ feel of the back of your helmet when descending either.
The one main compartment is easy to ﬁll, with the zip opening one side of the top third for easy access. The lid has a separate mesh compartment for keys and valuables, there’s a smaller top pocket, which we found worked well for tools, and zipped hip belt compartments plus stretchy side pockets.
There’s plenty of space to satisfy even the most organisational obsessives. The reservoir is the new Antidote, which is easy to ﬁll and clean. We liked the positive feel of the closure on the lid, and the lack of new bladder taste means no break-in period of sucking up ‘plastic’ water.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.