Camelbak M.U.L.E

I’ve had my eye on a new camelbak for months.  I kept telling myself that I had one that was given to my I couldn’t justify the expense etc.  But the more things I had to leave behind because of space the more I was pushed toward buying a new one.  Taking up Geocahing with the boys was probably the nail in the coffin so to speak.

First thing’s first…what you are reading is my personal opinion of a product.  I am not in any way affiliated with Camelbak and they are not compensating me to write this review.  When considering a purchase keep in mind your own needs and limits. 

Yesterday we went out hiking with 3 kids and 2 adults.  We needed to carry enough water for everyone, trinkets to leave in the caches as well as food.  Add this to my wallet, keys and cell phone and I had to get creative on how to carry it.  I was the only one who had pockets in their pack.  Normally one would just take a larger backpack for all the things you need.  This wasn’t a viable option because I couldn’t get one of the kids to carry it and I couldn’t carry it.  I have to be careful to keep things light and ergonomic on the trail because of my fibromyalgia.  My trapezius muscles just hate me in general. 

So, after yesterday’s hike I headed over to the PX, to look at the other packs they have available other than what the army hands out.  I knew I wanted 3 liter capacity without question.  I normally consume 3 liters on my own without sharing.  When I arrived at the PX I found that the selection was very limited for a pack with 3 liter capacity without getting into something very large.  So I took in what they had and then did my own research at home.  I wound up finding that the M.U.L.E was the best fit for my budget and my needs. 

The M.U.L.E is light weight and offers quite a bit of space.  There are a total of 4 pockets in the pack and it can hold easily triple what the other one could.  So now I won’t have to leave behind things I need. 

One thing I liked about camelbak vs the competition is that they warranty the pack for life.  So I should never need to replace it.  I know from my other packs that I can put it in the washing machine and clean the bladder with soap and water. 

The M.U.L.E has a newer bladder called an “antidote” reservoir that has plastic pieces that prop the bladder open for drying.  That’s a definite plus since I like to be sure that my bladder is dry after each use to prevent mold.  The bladder is hooked into the pack differently than the other one I had too.  It can be removed for filling and then, instead of having to wrestle it back down into the back and hang it, it can be clipped back in place simply and quickly with the bulk of the bladder fully exposed.  This makes life easier. 

The front pocket on the pack has the usual mesh pockets and places to put keys, iPod etc and is large enough to hold a little first aid kit, which I previously didn’t have room for.  There is also room for a small multi-tool, another thing I never had room for.  There are a few different clips and pockets and I’m unsure of all their uses but they are there if they are needed later. 

The center pocket is not zippered and is almost like an expansion if needed since it’s held snug by 3 quick-release clips.  It’s relatively deep and when sandwiched between the front and the back looks to me like a great place for a rolled up towel.  At least that’s what I will be using it for when needed.  The only thing about this space is that it’s not protected because it’s not closable.  I suppose this could the where they say you can carry a helmet.  It’s plenty deep enough but you need to be sure that you secure whatever you put in there by pulling it snug. 

The last pocket opens just the a standard backpack and runs the full length of the pack.  It’s deep enough to hold my binoculars, camera or whatever else I might need.  There is plenty of room for snacks and trinkets in there!  There is also a small pocket that can be accessed just on the outside of that for a cell phone or something small. 

This pack has endless possibilities and is versatile enough to suit most people’s needs.  It’s also light weight and ergonomic with a back pad that’s supposed to allow for air flow.  Idk about that, I still sweat back there with it sitting on my back.  But these things are pretty much worth their weight in gold on the trail.  Keeps my hands free and is small enough that it doesn’t mess with my center of balance.  I’m excited to try out my new pack this weekend and I’m pleased with my purchase.  The other pack will be passed to my oldest son and should be plenty of room for him to carry is own “crap” lol.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. cravesadventure
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 14:59:54

    I love my Camelbak and have found I carry it with me as much off the trail as on. Thanks for sharing & Have a Great Weekend!


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