Pictures of these two new packs from Camelbak have been around the water cooler since Presscamp but yesterday a box from Camelbak in the States showed up containing one of each of the new packs, the Asset in yellow and the Agent in purple. These two colourful bad boys replace the current All Mountain Freeride packs the Don and the Capo.
Both these packs are designed for the all-mountain riders category and neither of them are super svelte or anything. The Agent boasts a 3L bladder and its 11L capacity makes it the largest in the new lineup. It features a bunch of armour straps and its overflow pocket is big enough to fit an XC lid, there's a fleece lined pocket for goggles and another for a pair of sunnies as well as all the usual internal slots for pumps etc. There is also an integrated cellphone pouch on one of the straps. The Agent also features Camelbak's NVIS super ventilated back panel, which has received rave reviews over the last year (although this will be the first time we have ridden with it) and both feature insulated hoses.
The Asset is pretty darn similar to the Agent but in a slightly scaled down package. It features a 2L bladder and has fewer pockets and it loses the NVIS ventilated back panel, but as you can see keeps the colour matched buckles zips and ties.
Also both packs feature the new Antidote bladder from Camelbak which has been around for a while now. It's a huge improvement for Camelbak and its most notable features would be the baffled main bladder construction, this baffle keeps the profile of the bladder flat instead of turning into a fat tube when filled. Also Camelbak has caught up to Dakine and now offers an auto shut-off hose valve on the pack for hose detachment and easy filling and finally the opening has been resigned. It takes just a quarter turn to open and the opening itself has been increased in size for ease of cleaning.
Both packs come in the purple and yellow and also the charcoal... no word yet on New Zealand prices and availability but I'm chasing them as we speak. Turns out Camelbak in New Zealand didn't order any of these packs cause they didn't think you'd pay for them... they would retail for $199. Would you pay it?