When I first started throwing around the idea of hiking I consulted my outdoorsy exercising coworkers. I needed gear. Mostly shoes. I got some great recs (well, I work in shoes, duh) but I was also told that I don’t want to be in the great Missouri outdoors without a Camelbak for long periods of time. How long was I going to hike? How far was I going to go? I don’t know. I had really only been running around the neighbourhood and I could hydrate at home. I didn’t think about it.
I had a few choices. I could get a smaller pack to do light hikes and possibly running (not on the agenda with my knees hurting), or I could get one that held more water and stuff. I opted for the more water and was recommended to buy the Camelbak L.U.X.E. (which I got off of ebags, but they don’t have it anymore so they lose the link, sorry!).
Of course the packs come in a range of sizes and the bladders come in different sizes too. This is the larger 100 oz or 3 liter. That is 3 liters of water people, and believe me, in the heat of the summer I drink a lot of it. The pack fits like a dream. It is made for women, and Camelbak understands that backpacks aren’t necessarily unisex.
This pack is super comfy. I wasn’t sure about the top strap or even the waist strap but it works out great. The only thing is that I think it may bunk out my heart rate monitor at times. I’m not sure if it is the sports bra, the shirt or the pack, but something is making it sad. I doubt I would give up my Camelbak for a few weird readings mind you. Sometimes I feel way over geared and a bit self conscious but I was complemented on my pack on my last hike by a horseback rider. I am definitely investing in another one, probably a smaller 50oz one in the near future, even with the problems I’ve had.
Yeah, problems. After a hike I was tugging my pack out of the car and the valve stem snapped. It figured, it was a day where I didn’t drain it so there was water everywhere. I’m just glad it didn’t break on my way in to my hike! I live pretty close to an REI and got some great customer service and a replacement part. They were so friendly and helpful and even asked if I needed help fixing it. (yeah, that made me by a membership, plus the sale that was coming up). It was super easy to replace, and most of the other parts I believe have a crazy good warranty. The biggest problem I have had with it is all the darn sunscreen I get all over the straps. Hah!
I love this so much, I highly recommend a hydration pack for anyone who does outdoor workouts. I never have to stop for water so it keeps my heart rate up, I never have to have an unbalanced pack because I drank some of my water out of one water bottle on one side. It fits my curves really well. I have easy places to stow my phone/mp3 player and camera. I have a handy place for my bug spray and first aid kit for when I fall down hills 😉