CamelBak has a massive raneg of well-designed bike bags in its brochure, but we look through the other pages too. This year we spotted the SUP bags. That's not a clever version of 'supping'. It stands for Stand Up Paddling, the kayaking-meets-surfing craze talking California by (presumably wobbly) storm. SUP demands a close-fitting leightweight 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 pockets are useful for items such as gels, bars, Buffs, phones and multitools. 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 baldder, while two tunnel pockets turn out to be perfect for pump storage. You never know when your safety whistle might come in handy and you'll probably even find a bike related use for the elasticated paddle loop, too. A stash for quick-release pastries, perhaps.
The baffles 2-litre lumbar reserviore keeps water weight down, while the upwardly-routed drinks pipe is perfect for instant sipping in CamelBak's lockable bike 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.
4/5 - WMB - June 2012
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