The good folk at CamelBak have just sent us some updated packs to try out. The Mule NV and Volt 13LR both sport bright new colourways and all the storage and water capacity you need for all-day rides.
The Volt has 10 litres of load carrying spread throughout three main compartments, each with specific pockets for tools etc and a stretch 'overflow' compartment in the middle, where you could stuff a jacket or gloves or anything else you might not fit inside. There are also pump loops, helmet hooks and a fleece-lined media pocket for your phone or MP3.
The pack is very lightweight with nice wide straps and well padded back panel, with a ventilation channel down the middle to keep the air flowing to your back.
Water is carried down low on the hips and lower back, and the reservoir is accessed through the inside back panel.
A 3 litre Antidote reservoir nestles inside, and hooks to the pack to keep it from moving around. The easy to use 1/4 turn opening and best bite valve around are still there.
If you need to haul even more gear, then the Mule NV is the pack to get, with 12 litres of storage. More of the same huge compartments as the Volt, with heaps of zips, hooks and loops for everything in its right place.
The back panel is a bit more ventilated than the Volt, with these articulated pods to distribute the load better and channel air. A rain cover hides in the bottom.
A more conventionally shaped Antidote 3 litre bladder for the Mule, and like the Volt's reservoir the hose disconnects for easy cleaning.
We'll be giving the packs a good workout in the Wellington winter and Colorado summer, and will bring you reviews online and in the December issue.