The Velobak is a development of CamelBak’s RaceBak wearable hydration system. It’s a three-pocket road cycling jersey with a sleeve on the rear that takes a 2.1l bladder.
In theory it’s a great idea – a system that does away with the bag and gives you the drink-carrying capacity of three bottles is neat – and as with all CamelBak products, the hydration system works well.
The Big Bite valve hangs unobtrusively in most riding positions, is easy to use in the saddle and feels more convenient than reaching for a bottle.
However, you’re always conscious that you’ve got extra weight on your back in an ungainly hump, and in hot weather your back gets clammy and your drink warms to body temperature.
The jersey wicks well but the material isn’t as pleasant next to the skin as many other jerseys on the market, and with the bladder full, pulling the VeloBak on and off is a graceless affair.
To be honest, we’re not entirely convinced, but if you drink a lot on your rides it’s worth a look. If possible try it on with liquid in the bladder before you buy – you’ll likely want to go up a size.