More and more we are hearing about bicycle designs that result in a lower center of gravity. Having the weight closer to the ground results in better stability and balance. Along those same lines, Camelbak has been creating packs with the weight as low as possible under the Lumbar collection.
With the introduction of the Skyline hydration pack, Camelbak is renaming the Lumbar collection the Lowrider Collection to better illustrate what it does – getting your gear as low as possible. Allowing plenty of water and storage for most rides, the Skyline joins the new Palos fanny pack in an attempt to lower your center of gravity…
Technically the design of the Lowrider packs is two fold – getting the weight low is important, but it also allows Camelbak to allow more ventilation for the upper section of your back. That should result in less sweaty back syndrome and more comfort on long, hot rides.
Using contoured shoulder straps with sternum strap along with a heavily padded waist belt, the Skyline 10L hugs tight as illustrated by Camelbak’s willing model, Seth Beiden.
Storing all the water in the lower section of the pack, the 3L/100oz lumbar reservoir is easily accessed through a zipper around the XV back panel. The semi trapezoidal shaped bladder tucks into the small space and uses the standard wide mouth quarter turn screw cap and quick disconnect hose which can be run over either shoulder.
One key feature of the Lowrider packs is the reservoir compression system which utilizes two pull cords on either side of the waist belt. In this case, the bright yellow pull tabs above cinch down behind the bladder keeping everything snug and firmly in place. Up top you’ll find Camelbak’s magnetic hose clip which allows mutiple ways of use. Able to be used just like a normal hose clip, you can also unlock the magnetic clip from the base for quick and easy drinking and storing. The magnetic mount also rotates while still clipped in which means you can just pull up on the hose to drink without the hose kinking.
Along with the reservoir compression straps, the waist belt features easy access to food with one zippered pocket, and one a stash pouch.
To add the ability to carry a half shell helmet without adding too much complexity, the Skyline uses two small hooks on the side of the bag. Simply slip the straps from your helmet into the hooks and it should stay in place for transport.
Inside the 7 liter bag you’ll find a tool roll for easy organization of your ride saving devices in its own pouch, a large main compartment, and another zippered pocket on the front. A large valuable pocket sits on the top of the bag which is big enough for most modern smartphones. Also sold as the women’s Solstice 10L, the ladies’ model gets more contoured shoulder straps with soft touch accents for improved comfort on bare skin. Otherwise, all of the features between the Skyline and the Solstice are the identical.
Both the Skyline and the Solstice will retail for $130 with the Skyline coming in 3 color options and the Solstice in 2.
If you want even less pack covering your back, Camelbak is taking the fanny pack to the next level with the Palos hydration hip pack. Instead of providing storage for water bottles, the Palos uses a specially made 1.5L reservoir that tucks inside the 2.5L storage compartment. Features include a large quarter turn reservoir cap, and ergo bite valve. Note that the production bladder will not include a quick disconnect hose – the bag above uses a custom set up for Seth’s liking.
Rather than including a separate tool roll, on the Palos the tool wrap is basically built into the outside of the pack. In the event of a mechanical you can take off the pack, place it on the ground and open it up to easily access all of your gear. The velcro flap with a buckle closure also acts as a way to secure clothing items like a small jacket or pair of kneepads.
Additional storage is found on the waist belt like the Skyline with two large pockets for easy feeding. Due to the lack of shoulder straps, the hydration hose runs across your waist and clips into the other side with the magnetic tube trap which can be run on either side. The blue pull cords above are part of the reservoir compression system as mentioned on the Skyline.
Providing a true hydration option for those looking for a fanny pack, the Palos looks like it has been well thought out for riding. Available in two colors, the Palos will sell for $75. All of the packs above will be available starting in January 2016.
Over on the Podium water bottle side of Camelbak, since their last major update, the only changes come in the form of new colors and graphics. Still using the newer giant removable nozzle, the caps are easier to clean and offer easy flow. Offered in 21 and 24oz standard bottles and 21 and 25oz insulated bottles, all models come in classy new colors to add a little style to your hydration.