Sunday, October 12, 2008

The CamelBak Blowfish (sans Hootie)

Review originally submitted at REI

Mountain bikers and hikers alike crave the flexibility of Blowfish--it offers a performance fit, expandable cargo space and a voluminous reservoir.

Perfect for Mountain Biking and More

5out of 5

Pros: Stable, Highly Adjustable, Large Capacity, Good Water Flow, Easy To Refill, Comfortable

Best Uses: Mountain biking, Day Trips

I went in to my local REI to buy the MULE based on all its good reviews. Once there, however, I debated between the Blowfish, the MULE, and the HAWG since all three were on sale. I decided on the Blowfish because of my intended purpose (mountain biking) and because of its sleeker styling and more minimalist design.

Even though another customer tried to talk me into the MULE (and almost had me convinced), I'm glad I went with the Blowfish. The Blowfish doesn't have all the various outer pockets like the MULE; instead, it keeps gear inside and away from possible snags. As such, the pack sits on the back in a more streamline fashion than the MULE.

I appreciate the expandable main compartment, which has plenty of room for things like a mini-pump (built-in sleeve is great), an extra tube, a basic first-aid kit, and a camera. With the expansion deployed, there's also room for rain gear and a few other items. The two smaller front compartments offer plenty of space for items like bike tools, wallet, keys, cell phone, etc.

The pack is very adjustable. The sliding sternum strap is a big plus. The bottom waist strap (more like a belly strap) was unnecessary, but I like the fact that it can be easily removed and stored in the pack should you ever need it.

The 3L reservoir holds plenty of water for even longer rides. And it offers CamelBak's well-functioning bite valve and quality guarantee.


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