User Review: CamelBak Vantage 30
Design: Internal Frame
Number of Pockets: 5 (excluding the water puch)
Max. Load Carried: ~30lbs
Height of Owner: 6ft
Price Paid: $125
Attention Mountain Bikers! Looking for a pack that will stay tight to you, can carry a large load, fit comfortably, and look awesome?
I'm an avid biker, and am always worried that when I go on long treks by myself that I will either carry a large and uncomfortable bag, or not have what I need in a small bag. I bought this in June 08 for a trip to Moab, Utah. Let me tell you...this bag ROCKS!
Twenty mile days in 100+ heat...you need to carry a ton of water. On this trip, I carried 8 liters of water with no problem! I used the 3 liter pouch it came with, another 3 liter pouch in the main compartment, and two 1 liter bottles on either side.
On top of that, I carried enough food and supplies to last me 3 days alone in the Moab desert. Overall, I had more than 30 lbs of gear in this pack. Most bikers out there are reading this and thinking to themselves, "That has to be uncomfortable, there's no way you can bomb the downhills and crank the uphills with a pack that heavy on!" Well...I can, and I did!
First of all, there is a nicely padded hip belt, and a breast strap to hold the shoulder straps together. But that's not the best part: there are also 4 tightening straps on the bag to cinch everything down tight to the plastic frame (which by the way is extremely strong and flexible).
When tightened right, this bag WILL NOT MOVE! It feels like it's glued to my back. Whether I'm carrying 30lbs in it, or just a couple pounds, you can tighten it enough so it feels like it's part of you! No matter what you put in it, you can bomb downhill as fast as you want and it will not move an inch! And forget about lateral movements cranking uphill! It won't happen!
On side notes, this bag is equally great for day hikes and short overnight trips. Lightweight and comfortable. I don't go on any trip without it!
There's only one downside of this pack that I could find, and that was the waterproof zippers. They're a bit small, and when the pack is tightly packed, they get hard to pull and I think I'm going to break them. Not a big problem, this is a solid pack and has surely taken a beating for me and has held up great!
In a nutshell, mountain bikers and hikers...It's well worth the price!