Camelbak Octane XC backpack£49.99

Lightweight hydration pack

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Octane XC is part of CamelBak’s outdoor range aimed at trail runners, but it’s a great lightweight pack for fast and thirsty bike riders too.

You can slip a pump in with the reservoir, but otherwise you’ll need to use the bungee to lash on tubes, jackets and so on.

Zipped pockets in the top flap and either side of the waist belt give enough room for tools, phone, keys, food and other essentials. The lightweight construction certainly means you’re not carrying any more weight than you need.

The hose can be routed to either side and there’s still no better way to drink fast and drip-free than CamelBak’s lockable Ergo bite valve. Given that the two-litre Omega reservoir costs £23.99 on its own, the whole bag is excellent value.

The only potential downside is that it needs to ride high and tight to stop it flopping all over the place, so if you’re into a loose and low bag fit, it’s not for you.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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