Thursday, July 15

Because I had the time: A mini unprofessional review

Now with less autoplay Don Henley (sorry about that)

The Pie has been outta town for the last coupla days leaving me unattended. The good news is that last night I was able to start messing with my new Camelbak. I wanted to elaborate on yesterday's post since it was quite lacking and a bit scatter brained without much imagery (aside from the product shot I got in an email). The bad news was that she took the good camera with her leaving me with the POS old one. My documentation of last night's playtime suffered slightly.

An you may ask yourself "How did I end up with a new Camelbak? What have I done to deserve this?"

This is a photo from Dirt Rag's website taken at the Downieville Classic.

On the right is Maurice, my virtual boss at Dirt Rag. On the left is Seth from Camelbak helping Maurice enjoy margaritas out of his 400 oz Margaritabak.

Maurice gets to go to Downieville and drink Margaritas served by industry folk like Seth, and I get to stay home and play with the Camelbak Seth sent me as an obvious consolation prize. Consolation Victory!!

I let Seth know before he sent me anything that I am very fickle, especially when it comes to hydration packs, and not to expect me to like it. The pack I've been wanting for quite some time (say since around 2004) would be more or less like an adventure pack... made with lightweight cloth having a big cargo area, a 100 oz bladder, and some minor compartmentalization. Simple and lightweight, just like me.

This photo was taken with just water in the bladder, nothing in the pack, and everything cinched down tight... very low profile.

Sorry about the poor quality image. It was taken by the same guy who shot this photo:

I sent him home and took the rest of the photos myself.

One of my biggest complaints about my old Blowfish was that if it was loaded with gear it was damn near impossible to put the full bladder in the pack without removing all my shit. That is no longer an issue.

A big zipper accessed compartment and two rentention'esque devices to keep the bladder from sinking down to the bottom of the pack. Take that gravity!

There is a soft pocket at the top where I guess iPeople would put their iThings to keep them iSafe. My little pink Shuffle needs no such fancy compartment, so I'm gonna keep my expensive broaches and lockets in there instead.

The pack obscures my jersey pockets, but luckily it has two built in mustard holsters on each side of the waist belt.

I wanted a big, vacuous compartment. Most of the times that I wear a pack it's cold outside so I end up wearing lotsa extra clothes at the start of the ride that I don't really need, take them off five minutes into the ride, and then need a big, vacuous compartment to stuff them in.


I do like a little compartmentalization for the little things... Mountain Pipe, CO2's, tube, lube, tools, toilet paper (for use where there is no toilet so it's more like untoilet paper), patch kit with pads, chainring bolts, zip ties, and various whatnot.

There's also a huge compartment on the outside of the bag for big things... like a helmet.

I've never actually had a need to put my helmet on my back while I'm out in the woods, but I've seen a similar product shot somewhere before so I figured WTF. Notice that the pack is emblazoned with CHARGE 360? My pack is a pre-production model and the actual pack name is the CHARGE 450. Why 450? I guess it was ninety better than they originally thought it would be during the graphic design phase. It has a cargo capacity of 754 cubic inches, but calling it the CHARGE 754 would have just sounded stupid.

Here's the CHARGE 450 jammed to the gills with everything I could fit in it... all my gear, my helmet, 100oz of water, some mustard, and a bulky baja I bought in college stuffed in the big, vacuous compartment.

Notice that the helmet doesn't fit as well in the outside pocket thing with the baja stuffed in the main compartment so I'll either have to wear the baja or the helmet while riding or perhaps leave one of them at home.

I'll actually ride with this thing rather than just wear it around the house over the weekend and review it in a slightly more professional manner next week.

Tomorrow I'm thinking it's the time on Sprockets when we talk about the most important race on the international cycling calender, ORAMM.


Anonymous said...

Rich, You just described a Wingnut! "The pack I've been wanting for quite some time (say since around 2004) would be more or less like an adventure pack... made with lightweight cloth having a big cargo area, a 100 oz bladder, and some minor compartmentalization. Simple and lightweight, just like me."

Seriously, the Hyper weighs 17oz empty and fit a 100oz bladder perfectly with room for a 2nd.. far more comfortable than any CB. Incredibly easy to access while riding..

dicky said...

I have a Wingnut, and I've had some issues with it (of course I have issues). I'm commenting from my phone, so no details for you.

Anonymous said...

That is what you get for buying the non-details phone.

Anonymous said...

Looks flexy.

Cellarrat said...

does Mike pizza fit in there?

dicky said...

I'll ask him.

Karen said...

Yesterday I was gonna chime in on how awesome your latest column was (really your last two - things I wish I wrote), but instead I clicked frantically around to figure out where the annoying, skipping Don Henley was coming from and MAKE IT STOP.

zod said...

Water is for children.....

Kirk said...

Now that it's been a billion.5 degrees w/ six brazilian percent humidity for some time now here in the Southeast, how's the Charge doing in terms of combatting sweaty back compaired to other packs? Does it provide descent ventilation and is it elevated enough off your back? Thanks!

dicky said...

I like it better than my older packs, but the Octane LR is the bees knees when it comes to keeping the heat off your back, and Camelbak is coming out with a larger capacity Charge LR next year.