Hydration pack icon Camelbak draws its attention to the all-mountain/freeride crowd for 2010 with three new heavy-duty packs for 2010 – the Don, the Capo and the Consigliare – all with rugged fabrics, bold new looks, and other special features designed specifically for gravity-inspired riding.
The US$120 Don is the largest of the three with an approximate 14-liter storage capacity and three-liter bladder. Specially designed flaps and compartments are included for easy fitment of full-faced helmets and armor and a plethora of other pockets easily swallow pumps, spare parts, food, and clothing. There's even a water-resistant compartment for sensitive electronics and a fleece-lined interior pocket for scratch-prone eyewear.
An easy-access pocket on one side is also on hand for more readily accessible items like a mini-tool and a dedicated lift pass sleeve on the other side while a shaped and padded back panel helps keep things comfortable and reasonably dry.
The midsized US$100 Capo can be thought of as a gravity-oriented M.U.L.E. with roughly the same storage and reservoir capacities as Camelbak's top-selling bicycle pack. As with the Don, there's a large external flap for strapping a full-faced helmet and lower straps for securing armor, special compartments for electronics and eyewear, plus a slew of smaller interior and exterior pockets for the rest of your gear and a shaped a padded back.
The smallest pack in the new range is the US$90 Consigliare with a smaller two-liter bladder and reduced storage capacity for when you just need to bring a few essentials. There are still strap-on points for your full-faced helmet and pads – just less room for other gear.
All of the packs should be hitting stores right about now, just in time for prime fall riding.
Camelbak also showed off a novel flow meter add-on, designed to work with any of its existing hydration systems. The inline electronic widget uses a tiny impeller with an integrated magnet plus an external digital LCD display to measure fluid flow – think of it as a wireless computer for your hydration pack.
Why bother, you ask? Fair question for sure. More casual riders will likely see the new US$30 flow meter as a mere novelty but hardcore endurance athletes could well find use in some of the more advanced features. In addition to displaying the amount of fluid ingested and remaining capacity (both in terms of volume and time based on current drink rates), programmable alarms can help users maintain a preset hydration schedule – a key to peak performance in longer events, especially for those who tend to forget to hydrate in the heat of competition.
Camelbak will add a few new bottles to its range, too. To complement last year's US$12 Podium Chill, a new US$20 Podium Ice will offer even more insulative ability thanks to a new aerogel liner in place of the Chill's more conventional foam sleeve. More casual users, on the other hand, can grab Camelbak's stainless steel Unbottles with a vacuum-sealed, double-walled construction that can keep liquids cold – or hot – for the better part of an entire day.