CamelBak Baja LR hydration pack review£100.00

Instant-access water waistcoat

BikeRadar score4/5

The Baja LR isn't one of CamelBak's mountain bike packs. Instead, it was designed for Stand Up Paddling, the kayaking-meets-surfing craze taking California by (presumably wobbly) storm. SUP demands a close-fitting, lightweight and weatherproof pack where instant access to essential gear is crucial. Pretty similar to fast, keep-the-flow, technical trail rides then…

The two big chest pockets are useful for items such as gels, bars, Buffs, phones and multi-tools. Big hip pockets store more gear under Velcro-closed flaps. There’s even a splashproof Neoprene stash at the back. The mesh back is great for inner tubes, a stashed jacket or extra bladder, while two tunnel pockets turn out to be perfect for pump storage. You never know when the safety whistle might come in handy and you’ll probably even find a bike-related use for the elasticated paddle loop, too. A stash of quick-release pastries, perhaps.

The baffled 2-litre lumbar reservoir keeps water weight low down, while the upwardly-routed drinks pipe is perfect for instant sipping and CamelBak’s lockable bite valve is still the best in the business by far. The sliding-buckle elastic sternum straps keep it body hugging on the steepest descents and drops, when most packs would be flopping around or trying to escape over your lid. The downside is the sweaty Neoprene belt and back panels, but there’s an almost identical Ultra LR pack for runners that’s all breathable fabric. 

CamelBak baja lr:
CamelBak baja lr:

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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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