CamelBak Baja LR hydration pack review
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: Russell Burton
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.