User Review: CamelBak M.U.L.E.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: about 100 $
Great little pack! Very versatile and surprisingly roomy. I've used mine for biking, running and festivals, and it works like a charm.
- Light and versatile
- nice subdued looks
- The overflow pocket is a godsend!
- Unstructured — a bit unweildly when stuffed full
- Not as roomy with a full water bladder
I bought this mainly for running and music festivals. I wanted something that was versatile, could keep me hydrated for hours, and above all unobtrusive.
This pack fit the bill perfectly. It cinches down really tight when you need it to, but holds most of the stuff you need for a day trip (or a day of outrageous dancing).
What this has over other hydration packs is mainly its subdued looks (I don't mind wearing my black one about town, unlike more "extreme sports" styled packs) — and its special overflow pocket.
My god, is that pocket useful. It's a mesh pocket between the two main compartments, held down by the compresison straps. If you need to shed layers in the heat, store your bike helmet, or keep your rain jacket handy — this pack has you covered. Just keep it rolled up or just stuffed into the overflow.
During festival nights this was perfect for shedding layers during upbeat sets, while still keeping them on hand and secure for when the crazyness died down and the cold crept back in. For running it allows you to start with more layers during the cold months, and then cinch them down once you've warmed up.
The pack holds a lot, especially with the overflow. But the bladder does take up quite a bit of space when full. I suggest not filling it all the way — 1,5-2 liters of water will last you a good while. This lets you bring more stuff if you need it. It also gets a bit unstable on your back if it's really crammed full — but selective packing will help prevent that. This isn't a heavy duty backpack, and I honestly kind of like how it forces me to pack smart.
The hydration works like a charm, but i suggest getting the hose cover from camelbak too, since the mouthpiece might get a bit grimy and nasty if you're not careful setting the pack down.