Camelbak Chaos 2009: Camelbak's clean, low-profile Chaos Hydration Pack gives you plenty of room for a shell, energy bars and two liters worth of liquid refreshment without cluttering up the load on your back.
Strengths: Simple, roomy, well laid out, TOUGH material, which is great because I'm hard on my geear. Straps to tie down just about anything externally.
Weaknesses: Heavier material makes it a little heavier, but worth it in my mind for the durability. Some newer packs have better ventilation, but my pack is 3 years old, and is great.
I have used this pack (coyote brown, tactical coolness) for 3 years now, and love it. It's perfect for rides of 2 hours +/- a bit. I carry a spare tube, pump, multi-tool, tire levers, 1st aid kit, and Blackburn 2 stage pump ALWAYS. In addition I still have room to carry a pack rain jacket, and some food when ride will be a little longer. Even a camera if I want. The small pocket has great organization for keys, tools, etc. The main compartment is big and open, so kinda stuff everything in, but just put some thought into the packing, and you're fine. there are some excessive straps on it, but I zip-tied them rolled up, and hasn't been an issue. I have never used them, maybe it's time to just cut them off. Otherwise, like I said, it can be a little warm compared to some new packs, but I have 3 years of HARD use out of this pack, and it is still going strong. For the $100 I spent back then, I think I've gotten my moneys worth. I switched to an updated reservoir, put a better valve, and valve cover on it to keep dirt to a minimum. A+ is in my book. I have only run out of water ONCE with this, but I wasn't expecting to ride 25 miles that day, and didn't expect it to be that hot, so not the packs fault. have several camelbak packs, this one gets used the most, the MULE gets used for all day epics. But this pack I use for my every day rides, shuttles, and Downhill.
I can already tell right away this pack is gonna last awhile. The material and zippers is made of high quality as is your typical Camelbak bladder. The shoulder straps are comfortable as is the air-flow system padded to your back. The compartments are very straight-forward and ergonomic. I just wish there was a specific place or strap to stow a hand pump. With a tough construction material it makes for heavier weight but I can live with it. This is the perfect pack since it is low profile and does not stick out so far! I would not race with it but definitely have it with me on epics or training rides. Darn good pack for the money!
Strengths: Perfect size that doesn't screw up your balance. Durable material and padded construction.
Weaknesses: Straight valve. The reservoir is only accessible from the back of the bag so it has to come off your back during refill.
It s very good size for short rides. Enough to take essentials It has a decent size (70 oz) reservoir. You can put a bottle on the bike if you need extra.
Unlike the new camelback valves, It comes with the old style straight valves. And it really doesn't fit well in a full-face helmet. But you can always purchase the 90 degree valve from Camelback.
a Cross Country Rider
from Perth, WA / Brisvegas QLD Australia
Date Reviewed: February 1, 2011
Strengths: Super strong, insulated bladder carrier, zips are extremely high quality and strong, extra straps and buckles come in handy. Minimalist 2x compartments (+ insulated bladder compartment) but that is all you need. Nice stiched skull motif.
Weaknesses: HD fabric and zips tradeoff in mass. Probably not for weight weenies.
Absolutely trashed and abused for years. Thrown about, muddied, in wet, crashed in and just used all the time. My favorite pack. Comfortable and cool. Enough space for everything you need. Zips have never failed. Very high quality overall. Highly recommended. Go the brown one, dont see any stains that way.
a Weekend Warrior
from PROVO UT
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2010
Strengths: Love this pack. Very durable material, great construction. It is large enough to hold all my tools, some energy bars and anything else I might need, but not so big that I would hesitate taking it anywhere.
It is soft and padded so it doubles as a spine protector :)
Weaknesses: Haven't found any.
Buy it! Okay, maybe not if you are a weight weenie xc rider, but for anyone who is not racing or anal about a few grams, this is and incredible pack.
a Weekend Warrior
from Oceanside, CA
Date Reviewed: May 26, 2009
Strengths: Heavy duty contruction and material, comfy straps, easy to fill, channels allow airflow to my back.
Weaknesses: Could use just a bit more compact storage*, wish it came with the 90 degree valve.
I like this Camelbak. It holds the tubes, pump, tools, bars, extra clothing layer & gloves, phone/camera/Spot devices I want to haul, and my truck keys. *I wish it had another compartment about the size of the outside pocket so I could use one for my tools and one for my stuff I don't want dirty (like trail snacks and keys). I looked at the Mayhem since it has a bit more storage, but its also got a bigger main body due to the 100 ounce bladder. The padded pocket at the top is a nice feature, as is the water resistant zipper it has. Camelbak makes good stuff and their bladders are tough. I've landed on this one with all my girth and it didn't rupture. The filler opening is big and it makes it easy to stuff with ice cubes then top off with water.
from San Francisco, CA
Date Reviewed: November 28, 2008
Strengths: First off, I have to explain how durable this pack is. The material feels far stonger than that of any other Camelbak I've ever tested (except for other members of the Outlaw Series). The zippers are oversized for durability as well. Camelbak rates this pack for freeride/downhill use, and not without good reason.
Weaknesses: For its size, a little on the heavy side. However, if it were lighter it'd be weaker. Also, it isn't a very large pack. This is good too, because it never gets in the way.
If you're looking for a durable, low-profile Camelbak and don-t need a whole lot of space, this is definitely the right choice.
Strengths: Nice and compact. Lots of straps to attach armor/helmet. Not too big, not too small.
Weaknesses: Waist strap is kinda small.
This is a great pack even for XC riding. Holds enough water, and all the stuff you need on a ride. Been very happy with is. The pockets are nice cause they keep your tools seperate from the stuff you want to keep clean.
Similar Products Used: MULE, a backpack with a a bladder
a Cross Country Rider
from Lubbock, Tx, USA
Date Reviewed: April 12, 2007
Strengths: Durable, it's built for downhill and freeride so you know it's tough. they say it has balistic material. I don't know but it makes it sound tough. It's not bulky, i used to put a hydration bladder in another bag that was twice the size, it threw off my balance, but the Chaos has enough room and is small enough not to throw off my balance. Havn't crashed yet .
Weaknesses: hydration bladder is located right on your back. Have to take it out of the bag to fill it. Not really as bad as it sounds.
It's worth the money, buy it. You won't be let down. If you've been riding with a big bag like i had you'll be suprised how much more balance you have. Has enough room for extra tubes, CO2 cartriges, tools. Holds 74 oz of water which is more than plenty for me. So far i've only filled it up to 32 oz.