Dear Lovely People at Camelbak,
Judging by your company’s name, it’s obvious you have a fabulous relationship with the Camel Gods, but I had no idea you were besties with the Hydration Gods, too. For my 21st birthday, my boyfriend bought me the Camelbak L.U.X.E 100 oz. Hydration Pack, and to be honest, both of them are now competing for my love. There are so many things I love about this product that this might be quite a lengthy letter. Sorry about that.
For starters, this thing is versatile. I’ve taken it on a few day hikes (my primary reason for wanting this pack), but I’ve also taken it to the beach, Block Island, and even considered wearing it to spin class. Not only does it hold a glorious 3 liters of water, but its storage space is much greater than I anticipated—even when the reservoir is full (by the way, people should probably stop calling the reservoir a “bladder.” It makes me feel dirty when I use it). This lightweight pack easily fits all my essentials, like my wallet, phone, and car keys. With its 732 cubic inch cargo capacity, it also can hold everything I need for a day hike. I’ve stuffed this thing with bug spray, a bajillion power bars, sandwiches, maps and guidebooks, a camera, Captain Feathersword (of course, because he’s too lazy to hike on his own), a full roll of toilet paper, and sunglasses for when I’m feeling sassy. And I still had room for more.
I think the woman-specific fit is genius, and I’m generally wishy-washy when it comes to the idea of gendered products. Let’s get real for a second–I was concerned that the top front straps of the pack would awkwardly constrict my boobs, since Colin’s pack’s straps go straight across his pecs. However, once I strapped the pack on for the first time, I found that the straps linked comfortably just a little below my collarbone. With its adjustable straps on both the top and waist, I would imagine this pack would fit most body shapes if customized to the individual’s proportions. Also, the light blue color is pretty. Bravo, Camelbak.
As much as I love mostly everything about this pack, there were a few things that made me sad. First, I ran out of water before I was done with my hike! This could be explained by the fact that I’m a water-fiend when I’m climbing mountains, but my reservoir was dry on the last two miles of our hike on the Osceolas. The product description states that I should be good for “3+ hours of trail riding action,” but in reality, I was good for maybe 5 hours. And although the L.U.X.E does a good job of keeping the water cold in the reservoir, the first few sips of every drink are mostly warm and kind of gross because of the hose sitting in the sun and against my shoulder. I’m not sure if there’s a solution to this, but I know it’s a common criticism at least amongst me and some other hiker friends.
Final consensus: Highly recommended, especially for a first pack. This is a great, lightweight, and durable pack that is fantastic for day hikes, among many other uses (going to the beach, bike riding, etc.). It’s functional and spacious, allowing tons of room for everything a hiker could need. The woman-specific fit is a huge advantage for those with slimmer torsos (for both men and women), or those who don’t feel like having their boobs squished by the strap. Even with the warm first sips and small-ish reservoir size for heavy drinkers (WATER drinkers, kids) I love the L.U.X.E to death, and I will continue to use the crap out of it for the remainder of my 4,000 footer adventures.
P.S. Say hi to the camels for me!
P.P.S. A disclaimer: I am not being compensated by Camelbak for this blog post. All opinions are my own. Although if Camelbak ever wants to send us stuff, I totally wouldn’t be opposed.