a Cross Country Rider
from Broomfield, CO
Date Reviewed: July 17, 2006
Strengths: no sweat, low center of gravity, right size, access to side pockets without removing pack
Weaknesses: bladders no longer available
This is an awesome hydration pack. Having weight down lower and further back is a big plus. Air passing over the back is another big plus. Storage and water capacity are not huge, but with two bottles on the bike it adds up to over 100 oz and there is enough storage for pump, a few tools, tube, phone, and a small rainshell. More stuff can be strapped in with the outer panel as well. My first bladder went out just before a trip so I had to buy another at retail while camelbak was sending me a free replacement. At this point I'm on my third bladder and still using the bandido. It will be a sad day when the bladder gives out, and I am very gentle with it.
Please, please hydration companies come out with something similar. Does anyone know why this style did not last in the marketplace?
Similar Products Used: Traditional hydration backpacks
Bike Setup: Yeti ASR SL
a Cross Country Rider
from Missoula, Mt USA
Date Reviewed: October 28, 2004
Strengths: I have used this for at least 5 years w/o even a leak in the bladder so it has definitely withstood the test of time. I've taken good care of it, but it hasn't been babied. The pouches that are on the sides of my hips have worked out great. I thought they might stick out too far, but they don't even while hiking. I really like the cinch straps to snug those pouches down, I can put my camera in there and it won't flop around. I have gotten some great shots because of the easy access to my camera. It holds all the gear I could ever fit in my "Mule" without putting my arms and hands to sleep.
I really hope that this pack holds together for about another 5 years, becuase I'll be heartbroken if it doesn't. The low center of gravity is a really noticable benefit compared to the Cloudwalker and Mule. Cinch straps all over the pack mean you don't have to cram it full of stuff to keep pack and gear from flying around. The pockets on the sides of the pack are incredibly useful for thing like cameras, shades, anything you want easy access to.
Who should buy it? Well you can't buy it anymore, too bad, but those who basically want to try something different will love this pack.
Who shouldn't? Anyone who likes to take a ton-o-gear on their rides. I'm not a minimalist, but I think most people take too much stuff (weight) with them trying to fill a big pack and get discouraged climbing hills and getting a sore butt.
Similar Products Used: Camelbak "Mule..." fits too tightly for me and I'm not a big guy. It puts my arms and hands to sleep, very uncomfortable. Camelbak "Cloudwalker," I really like this pack. It holds about the same amount of water as the Bandido, but holds much more gear for the occasional time I need it. Plus it's REALLY comfortable.
Bike Setup: Schwinn Moab 1 w/ SID Race, KORE elite skewers, sette race ti saddle. Love it.
a Cross Country Rider
from Toronto, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 5, 2001
Strengths: Low center of gravity, cool on the back, perfect size for most rides.
Weaknesses: Resevoirs no longer available. Hideous colours.
Awesome product. Five chillies if you could still buy the reservoirs.
a Weekend Warrior
from Southern CA
Date Reviewed: August 5, 1999
Strengths: Low center of gravity beats the back pack style anyday. Its cooler on my back than having a heavy pack. Fanny pack style fits nicely in small of your back, and is VERY comfortable with a wide enough belt. I had to search to find it since most local stores did not sell the fanny pack style Camelback.
Weaknesses: The tube has further to travel from pack to your mouth so unless you buy the insulation padding accessory, the water gets a bit hot in the tube for the first few sips. I have also seen ice packs for Camelbacks that you put next to the water bladder to keep your water cool, but I have not tried these accessories yet.
My new carbon frame bike doesnt fit a bottle cage except where I cannot reach at the bottom of the bike frame, so I had no more excuses not to get a Camelback. I'm used to wearing fanny packs as I like to carry my stuff at a lower center of gravity for balance, and it's not as hot on your back, so I was thrilled to find a fanny pack style Camelback. The water in the tube gets a little hot, but you can always spit out the first sip, or try the accessory options to keep the water cool. I give the Bandito CINCO habanero chiles because it's red hot!
Bike Setup: Schwinn S-10 carbon, Rock Shock Judy XC
Travis N. Sluiter
a Cross-Country Rider
from Richmond, Va
Date Reviewed: July 14, 1999
Strengths: ergonomic, comfortable, does not slosh around while pedaling
Weaknesses: have to tighten as you drink (that's unavoidable I'm sure), the velcro pump strap looks flimsey
I bought this last July in Moab for way too much ($105), but it was freaking hot, and my Rogue had just died. Besides, I don't like the backpack style water systems. This is very comfortable, and once it's on all I have to do is tug on the O-rings every so often as I drink. If you have large objects in the side pockets, these stick out, and on tight singletrack I scrape theme against trees a lot. Also, I'm always scared my pump won't be there, because the velcro strap is hard to wrap tightly. But in spite of these complaints, this is the best hydration system I have ever seen, and I love it. I usually carry this with water, and a bottle with an energy drink to keep the camelback clean. Five stars.
Similar Products Used: Rogue, dozens of water bottles
Bike Setup: '96 Nishiki 7005 al frame (it's classic) '99 Judy 100 esp 9.0sl spinergy xtralites, lots of kore stuff
a Weekend Warrior
from Mpls, MN
Date Reviewed: July 12, 1999
Strengths: Compact and Low Center of Gravity, yet stores alot of stuff.
Weaknesses: Although the pack keeps the water in the bladder cold, the water that is in the tube gets warm (almost hot). Therefore, the first couple of sips (after none for 5 minutes or so) is hot.
I just got the Bandito on Friday, and took it up to the Camba Trail system in Wisconsin for the weekend. Don't know how I lived without one. I'd always used fanny pack with 2 side water bottles that would bounce and slosh all over the place. The Bandido rides very nicely in the small of your back and stays put. It keeps your center of gravity lower and doesn't cover your back, therefore keeping your back from getting hot and sweaty. Lots of room for junk (tools, food, and even a jacket or sweat shirt - it has what they call a stuff-it panel.) Has many adjustments, (many which can be made while you are riding) to keep the unit in place, even as you continue to drink from it, thus changing its size.The only draw back I found was that the water that's in the tube gets almost hot from the sun heating up the water. Therefore you first couple of sips are hot, and you have to pull about 3 big sips to get to cold water. I noticed on their website that they use a insulated tube on their winter sports units. I'm going to see about getting one for mine. It would be nicer to have alittle more water storage. At 6' 3 220 lbs, I can go through alot of water in a short time, but add backup water bottle and make sure you are hydrated before you take off, and it's fine. I would recommend this to anyone who isn't crazy about the back pack style units. I give it 4 stars (it needs an insulated tube and more water to get a 5)
a Weekend Warrior
from NEW YORK CITY
Date Reviewed: June 12, 1999
Strengths: Looks good Well designed and constructedHolds everything you needSide pouches64oz capacity
Weaknesses: Shoulder strap for the tube comes loose every now and then.
It started getting hot and I was getting tired of reaching down for my damn bottle and drinking warm water. The pack is great, has room for all my gear and can firmly hold a mini pump in the back. You can adjust it on the fly as the bladder gets empty. I like wearing hip packs and this one is very comfortable. I hardly notice that it's there and with 64 oz of ice cold water, you will never get thirsty. This is a great product from Camel Back as I'm sure all of there other packs are. If you like to wear hip packs as opposed to back packs than the Bandido is the way to go.
a Cross-Country Rider
from Salem, MA
Date Reviewed: June 11, 1999
Strengths: Capacity, comfort
Weaknesses: Can't easily remove bladder to refrigerate
When comparing packs, it seemed sensible to keep the center of gravity low. I think this was a good choice. It has the added benefit of being able to reach into the side pockets without taking the pack off. I am able to carry a full load of water, spare tube, pump, multitool ect... and still have plenty of extra capacity. This is a great product.
a weekend warrior
Date Reviewed: December 22, 1998
I picked up my yellow and blue Bandido from Price Point. Since i was ordering other things, they matched bikeworld.com's low price of $69. it has been a month, and so far so good. my first ride took some time getting used to, (especially the shoulder strap) but once i found a proper fit, it felt great. more than enough water can be carried, and as far as the side pouches go, they are simply great. I hold a spare tube in one and an alein tool in the other, if i decide to take off a shirt during a warm ride, the large pounch holds it fine, even a thick, long sleeve tee. Just remember to buckle the back pouch up though. more than once i stopped becuase i forgot to snap the buckles. The pump holder is located the main pouch, inbetween the water pocket and the large pouch. A Blackburn Mammoth pump stayed put, even after some hard falls. This is my first water pack, and it is SO much better than having to carry water bottles. it looks great, functions great, and the girls love it. ¤peace¤
a cross-country rider
Date Reviewed: December 20, 1998
I have had one of these for about a year. The concept is great (waist mount not back mount). The pack is very good overall. It does have a shortcoming. The problem I had was with the side pockets (not available on the 99 model). I tried to carry a battery for my helmet light in the side pocket and the stitching came undone. I know that batteries a really heavy but this was a logical place to put the battery and should have been expected by Camelback. I sent it back to them (I eventually had both side pockets ripped) with a note explaining. They sent me a brand new one (with the same side pockets) in a short period of time. Kudos to their customer service. The only minor problem is the slot to stick your pump on doesnt hold a standard pump very securely. I recommend some sort of shorty pump. This works excellent with the pack. Ill shut up now.
from carlisle pa
Date Reviewed: September 21, 1998
I used to run 2 waterbottles on the frame and wear a small fanny pack for the bare necessities. Waterbottles being the pain in the ass that they are while racing, and loathing having something on my back, the Bandido seemed the obvious choice. First off, it's big, very big for a fanny pack, and takes some getting used to. I made it thru the honeymoon, and the advantages of this thing far outweigh any disadvantages. It's built very ruggedly, with one small exception...the stitching that attaches the pouch on the right side started to unravel, probably due to the fact that I carry my niterider battery there, which is fairly heavy. I simply stitched it back up myself with some super heavy duty nylon thread, and it's good to go. Other than that, the thing seems capable of dealing with whatever punishment it get. I was a little worried about the snap/clasp buckle at first, 'cause you really have to cinch the straps down hellishly tight with a full load of water to keep it from flopping around, but no problems yet. Plan on tightening the main strap at least once during your ride/race as the water is used up, even though it has those cool little strap-tightening pull rings. The bandoleer style strap that holds/guides the tubing over the shoulder takes some getting used to as well, but every strap is easily adjustable while riding. The placement of the storage areas at the sides of the pack is particularly helpful when dealing with a flat or mechanical during a race...you don't have to take the pack off or even loosen it...very convenient and fast. My left side compartment holds a superflate, 2 CO2 cartridges, tube, 2 tire levers, 3 allens, CPR-9 tool, and a film can w/ spare bolts and chain links. That leaves plenty of room elsewhere for lunch...
from Fair Oaks, CA
Date Reviewed: August 18, 1998
I waz usin the Performance Spinal Pack. I was generally satisfied with it except for those warmer days (like we get here in Northern CA) when ya sweat like crazy down yer back under that boat anchor on yer back...drip...drip. I saw the Bandito displayed at a club meeting and became quickly impressed. I bought on pronto. My storage area for stuff increased almost double with this pack. The weight is carried lower giving me more control whhile riding. The straps secure quite nicely and are easily adjustable as the bladder is emptied out. And oh yea, it carries plenty of water for the type of riding I do.. I especially like the two little side pouches for E-Z access. GREAT HYDRATION PACK!!! Five Chile's
a weekend warrior
Date Reviewed: August 3, 1998
I got a Bandito for XMAS. Great pack. Previously I had the GO-BE, I prefer to have a pack around my waist, its not as hot, its secure and keeps a low center of gravity. I have had one problem with the Bandito. Took a nasty fall, broke the clasp (buckle). Camelbak did warrantee the pack, however, it took three months to get it back. Part of the problem was for shop not sending immediatley, then Camelbak, lost the pack in the warehouse, took 3 weeks to find. After much complaining, the next searched and next day shipped to the shop.Overall - the pack holds plenty of water, has LOTS of storage, the additional tightening straps are a real plus over the GO-BE. I give it 5 chilis
Waist-style pack (lumbar); discontinued years ago. Am looking for new or used. If you can suggest other websites to check, I'd appreciate any help.
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