If you’re not put off by the Skyline LR’s bulging appearance, then it performs superbly.
It’s effectively a hybrid of a backpack and a bumbag, with the load supported on the hips, pulled in tight by a wide waist belt and prevented from bouncing about by a lightweight shoulder harness.
As well as being absolutely steadfast and leaving your upper body uninhibited, the design means you stay cooler too because there’s less back coverage. The small contact area is split with a large central cut-out between the back pads. Combined with minimal mesh straps, this means airflow is excellent.
Water is carried in CamelBak’s wide and low 3l CRUX lumbar reservoir, which keeps the centre of gravity of the pack low. This uncouples from the drinking tube via a quick-release clip and the reservoir has a big screw cap and integrated handle for easy filling and cleaning.
The hose clip on the shoulder strap is easy to use and there’s routing so it can be positioned on either side. Camelbak’s ‘Tube Trap’ magnetic hose clip can also be clipped to either side and is strong enough to prevent the hose from coming loose. The lever-operated Big Bite valve is easy to use on the go too.
Filling the reservoir only leaves 7l of storage remaining, but I found this sufficient for most outings, with two big zip pockets on the wing-like waist belt and two main compartments – one contains a removable tool-roll while the other zips right the way open for easy access to the water bladder. There’s a small valuables pocket at the top of the pack too.
A helmet can be carried via loops on the shoulder harness, which is effective but doesn’t offer the protection a designated carrier would.
Because of the pack’s shape, I found that when fully loaded, longer items such as pumps could be awkward to stow, but this is a trade-off for the better weight distribution.
If you’re looking for a bag that’s optimised for carrying big loads this isn’t it, but if you want one that’ll take what you need without hindering your riding in the slightest, then this is our pick, especially considering how much water it can hold.