CamelBak HAWG Deluxe hydration pack review£120.00

Lightweight and well proportioned bag

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As good as recent packs from CamelBak have been, there have been rumbles from some riders that the new NVIS system and heavier duty materials have made bags stronger, but at the expense of weight and load flexibility.

CamelBak have listened to this feedback, and the HAWG Deluxe is the result. The new pack weighs 950g (without bladder) and does away with the semi-rigid NV back system for a 31 percent weight saving, instead using a standard padded back with raised pad pods.

Inside, the lightly padded insulation board is removable, allowing you to tune the feel of the 18.9-litre pack. The three-litre Omega reservoir comes with ‘quick disconnect’ tubing and the standard Ergo bite valve – still the best available, we think.

Despite its lightweight construction, we prefer the fit and feel of the Deluxe over the more structured NV version: we can stuff it with loads of odd shapes, stability is good (not that we ever had an issue with it before NV) and the lighter, flatter vented straps – borrowed from the adventure racing CamelBak Octane – further decrease bulk and weight without harming fit or stability.

The insides of the bag are compartmentalised and the zips and webbing compression straps are smooth and easy to use even one-handed. It also comes with the new CamelBak Flow Meter (£25 separately), which lets you measure and adjust your fluid intake during a ride to ensure optimum hydration.

Niggles? We don’t really have any, bar the fact that we’d love a bungee helmet lock (like the Osprey Raptor) and a small pocket on the strap for stashing gel wrappers.

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