CamelBak 2012 hydration packs — First look

By Matt Pacocha, US editor, in Boulder, USA | Monday, July 11, 2011 1.45pm

The key new products in CamelBak's 2012 hydration pack line sit at opposite ends of the riding spectrum: lightweight endurance and all-mountain freeride. For the weight weenies, there's the new lightweight Charge LR, with a lumbar positioned reservoir. The ‘earn your turns’ gravity set get two new options for 2012, the Agent and Asset, which are built durable and completely color matched.

Charge LR, a new bike-specific lumbar reservoir pack

For the 2011 season CamelBak offered the Charge 450, a 450g bike-specific pack with a standard reservoir, and the Octane LR, technically a multi-sport trail pack, with a lumbar reservoir. The new Charge LR is the evolution of these two packs. It combines the materials and construction of the Charge with a lumbar reservoir that’s specifically designed for bike use.

The lightweight octane lr costs $100: the lightweight octane lr costs $100

The Octane LR is light, but minimalist in design, with just three pockets

The Charge LR (US$100) weighs 460g with a reinforced, generously padded back panel. It comes with a 70oz Antidote reservoir — introduced last year — which sports an easy-open top, quick-release drink tube and internal baffles, but in the lumbar pack shape. The bladder is housed in a special compartment which can be compressed while riding. This keeps the pack tightly secured as the reservoir empties and, according to CamelBak, also helps the water flow more easily.

Agent and Asset, CamelBak’s all-mountain answers

CamelBak’s new all-mountain offerings share three colors between them – purple, orange and black. The packs are style-minded and the colors run throughout, from fabric to zipper, buckles and pulls. Both models offer full clamshell openings, solutions for carrying body armor and a helmet, insulated drink tubes and Antidote reservoirs.

The top-of-the-line agent packs cost $140: the top-of-the-line agent packs cost $140

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The top-of-the-line Agent pack costs $140

The Agent is CamelBak’s premier long-haul all-mountain option. The $140 pack features a 100oz reservoir and 671cu in of cargo space segmented into two pockets, which are equipped with compartments (with overflow baffles) for all of your tools and gear. Additionally, the pack has two fleece-lined pockets for camera, goggles, cell phone or even a camcorder.

The Asset is the pared down version, without overflow and with a smaller 70oz reservoir. Despite its more minimalist design it, too, features two fleece-lined pockets for a camera or goggles. The Asset has a 518 cu in capacity and costs $115.

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