CamelBak Octane LR hydration pack review£70.00

Super lightweight slurp sack

BikeRadar score5/5

CamelBak’s all-new LR is their best lightweight pack ever, for a host of innovative reasons. It uses a two-litre transverse (rather than vertical) bladder that wraps around your hips to keep water weight low. Internal baffles stop it getting too fat, or sloshing about when you’re throwing your weight around on the bike.

It has the easy open, quarter turn filler cap of all the new Antidote reservoirs, so no more fighting with the top cap, and the Quick Link drinking hose now unclips leak-free, so you can whip out the bladder for refilling without having to unravel the drinking pipe from straps and bag holes. The hose routing brings it up under your mouth for easy drinking and there are filter, flow valve and insulated hose upgrades too.

As for the bag itself, it’s made in the usual Octane super-light style, but it still swallows an impressive amount of kit for epic riding/racing. Big Wingnut-style zipped hip pockets are great for gels, bars and other instant-grab gear.

A big, elasticated mesh cargo net on the back will hold tubes, jackets and the like, while mini pumps, wallets and phones slip into a two-layer zipped upper flap. There’s a small pocket on the front left strap too, so you needn’t worry about fighting through one big compartment when you’re in a hurry.

The unpadded back means hard objects can sometimes stick through if you don’t arrange them properly, but it keeps weight very low and means the pack stays close and stable in more mental moments. Wicking fabric across the back, deep wing sections and broad straps also remained remarkably dry and comfortable, even in 110°F desert heat.

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: 45
  • 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 than 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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