Price Paid: $80
I have used this pack extensively for the six months hiking hillsides and moderate distance trails. I find the pack has ample room for all needed equipment and enough water for a hot hike.
About the pack. I own both the military style and the civilian style of this pack. I use my civilian style, which is the Dark Cheddar and Charcoal color, when out on everyday hikes. Great visibility for trekking. I use the military version for work and hunting.
The pack has four compression straps that allow the pack to be snugged up if running only a full water bladder. The top two straps have a cinch buckle that fits into a receiver, which acts as a quick disconnect to allow easier access to the center mesh pocket and when loading the main compartment. I find this a handy feature.
Only thing I did was add a three foot piece of round shock cord with a press lock through the points where the compression straps attach to the outer part of the pack. This allows a quick cinch for placing light weight rain jackets or some extra gear. I find I can cinch trekking poles to the back of the pack with the shock cord.
The Camelbak website boasts a Dynamic Suspension™ Harness System for load stability with an adjustable sternum strap. I find the harness system does really work nice. The shoulder padding is wide enough that the straps don't cut into your shoulder with a full bladder and moderate load. I did find that the sternum strap is a must as I have wider shoulders and without the harness tends to slide outwards. Because I use the pack for hiking rather than biking I don't use the waist strap.
One thing I did find is if there is a need to drop the pack quickly there are no releases for the shoulder harness. On the Military version the shoulder straps can be unclipped and allowed to drop. I cut my harness and added buckle clips to the straps near the pack, which allows for a quick drop and still gives full adjustability.
The back panel of the pack has the "Air Direct" system. This is actually some moderately raised pads that allow great air flow between the pack and back. I find that there is little difference between this system and my other packs. My back still sweats to the same degree. The pack is comfortable on the back and you don't get the "lumpy" feel from your pack contents when the bladder is empty.
This is the primary pack I use for day hikes. Carries enough snacks and water and other gear for a day on the trail. I would recommend this pack.
Price Paid: $0
I had to constantly have this thing on my back, for hydration purposes, obviously, for Air Force Field Training, which I recently went to. Obviously, being in Alabama in the summer (I'm from Georgia) requires constant hydration. The Camelbak MULE provided effectively and well, and the amount of water it provided meant that you only had to fill up a few times a day. Now, wearing this thing for 16 hours at a time got old and often led to deltoid pain, the MULE is a great system.
I plan to now use mine for hunting, fishing, and camping, as this is a tried-and-true system which never gave me any problems through 35 days of rigorous training. I highly recommend it to anyone who partakes in the activities I do. Two thumbs up!
Size: 549 cu. in.
Number of Pockets: 5 main not including bladder pocket
Height of Owner: 5'11''
Price Paid: $80
I have way too many daypacks but this one’s a keeper.
Camelbak’s MULE was originally not what I was looking for in a daypack but I was gearing up for some summer hiking and camping sessions and bought this under a friend’s recommendation. When I went to the store to pick it up I was surprised on how “compact” it was. Originally this pack is made for mountain biking but I had been looking for something that would be fast, light and pretty durable. That means no “trashbag” texture.
I’ve had it long enough to test it in many conditions and here are my results. One Word: This MULE is lean and mean.OK, so that’s six words…But I can’t help but say a lot about this pack. For a long time I was taking a larger, bulkier pack and I ALWAYS ended up overfilling it or at least I ended up taking unnecessary things.I mean, who packs towels on a hiking trip?! Me. Or I did. Not anymore.
So, why this pack? This is not the “end-all-be-all” for lightweight packs. In fact the material that makes up the CamelBak MULE isn’t even considered lightweight material. It’s the size and functionality that sold me on this one. So if you are looking for a pack that forces you to pack smart, stores plenty of water and is pretty bomber, then you might check this one out.
I had two main reasons for getting this pack. More water storage and lighter packing options. I wanted something to take on day hikes without the bulkiness of my other day packs. Here are the stats for the pack:
Capacity: 100 oz. (3L)
Cargo: 549 cu.in. (9L)
The features include a weather-resistant MP3 pocket and the site claims that there is enough water storage for over 3 hours. The MULE also features a Dynamic Suspension™ Harness System for load stability. I found this to be pretty darn neat since we can get pretty active on the trail. The Air Director also proved to add some comfort once the trail got hot-and-heavy. It allows your back to breath just a little bit better which means a lot to me since I get pretty sweaty. Loading options include a pocket for the Camelbak bladder, a main compartment for storing raingear, snacks, small first aid, or extra gear. There is also a smaller secure cargo pocket for putting even more gear like a digital camera or GPS device. Inside has a small clip for your keys and organizer pockets for other essentials.
The pack features two overflow pockets for even more loading; a small one on the front of the pack and a larger overflow pocket in-between the zippered compartments. Overall, this pack makes a great daypack. It has showed me how to pack smart and therefore has made my outdoor excursions that much more enjoyable. Aside from taking it on day hikes, I got the opportunity to take it on a canoe trip in which I got a chance to really test its ruggedness on the river. It came home with sand, dirt, moisture, and sweat. After a good cleaning it looked like new. Not bad.
Now I know that I didn't say much about the bladder, but with 100 ounces of water to carry there’s not much you can say other than it’s plenty for a 3-5 hour hike. On the canoe trip it actually lasted all day with a few sips left over the next day. It’s a great pack with good loading options. My friend recommended it, and I also recommend it.
Number of Pockets: 4
Height of Owner: 6'0"
Price Paid: 61 pounds
What a great pack! I previously had the Camelbak Rogue and, whilst a good little hydration system to start off with (and for the predictably warm summer months), I soon found out that I really needed more room for a jacket and microfleece (not to mention my camera, pump, spare tubes and multi-tool.
I went for the limited edition 4-season model in coyote brown with four seasons cover for the tube and extra cap for the mouthpiece. I used it for the first time today and it is superb. I need to re-"borrow" my mp3 player from my girlfriend so I can try out the special pouch for it, but apart from that everything was great. Plenty of room (but not too much) and the pack felt very snug on my back, even without having used the optional (detachable) waist belt.
Buy it. It's an ideal size. I now can't wait for the autumn, when I start off in my fleece and can then just stow it away when I get too warm and not worry about it falling out from under the straps where it is wedged (that's what I had to do with my rogue).
Again, buy it :o) Top notch.
Bought this back in 2001. Has been through many hikes, bike rides and other adventures. I'm on my 3rd bladder with it. It has survived sliding down the highway under me at 20 mph with no holes.
Would buy another in a heartbeat, but the way this one is lasting I don't think I will need to.
Price Paid: $85
I absolutely love this pack! I own the military version of the M.U.L.E. Color is woodland camo and uses a 100 oz. bladder. It has two outside pockets...top and bottom. It has two rows of web gear lashing points on bottom pocket for attaching additional pockets or gear. I use this pack for mountain biking as well as a light day pack. This pack is used by U.S. troops around the world.
I've also owned the regular civilian version and have only great things to say about it as well. I used that one for mountain biking only.
The military thinks these packs are good enough for our troops...they are def. good enough for the average public.
Twas the night before my great hike, and all was amiss, when suddenly found myself all full of .... I reached over to grapple with my gear, when toward me came one great, black-eyed rodent, wigglin' its ears. I grabbed the M.U.L.E by the strap and, with one quick swing, had the rodent twitching its last moment. Truly love the pack. And I also use it on long cycling events.
Price Paid: $70
I love this thing. I wear it when I ride my bike to class whenver it's hot. Always performs well on the trail. Just enough space for the esentials. I can actually hold my Digital SLR in the "jacket" overflow for quick jaunts. Definitely go this with over a 2L, it is completly worth it.
This hydration pack is amazing. I used the bladder itself on my first AT trip. The pack is great for day hikes and biking. It's a great size as long as you are planning on bringing minimal extra things.
Height of Owner: 5ft 9"
Price Paid: £40 GBP
A great pack for mountain biking and fast light hiking or running. Carries up to 3 litres (problems fitting bladder in pack beyond 2.5 litres though) of water and will fit a jacket, spares and a camera with room to spare.
Height of Owner: 6'1"
Price Paid: $50
Overall a good product. Used it on a fourteener in CO. Has enough pack space for lunch, but not much else. Holds 2L which is definitely enough for a day hike.
Great for short hikes, size may be a problem if packing more than a lunch and jacket.
Used it all summer up to a 20 mile hike with no problems.
I use this hydration pack for Boy Scout summer camps, and it carries snacks, knives, lights, and not to mention the 2 liters of water!!!
Design: Front loading
Number of Pockets: 3?
Height of Owner: 6'0"
Price Paid: $80
I've only used this for mountain biking, for which this pack is perfect.
Height of Owner: 6 feet
Price Paid: 70 bucks at Big 5
Great pack, but it taste like plastic.
Where to Buy
Compare prices from 17 outdoor retailers: