a Weekend Warrior
from Eugene, OR
Date Reviewed: January 29, 2012
Strengths: This review is for the HAWG model without the NV system. (purchased during the transition year when both models were made)
The best part about this pack is straps used to tighten down the pack. Most of the time I used the pack with just water and don't worry about the pack moving about, but when the pack is half full of gear it will flop around when the straps aren't tightened. The durability is also a MAJOR strength to this pack.
Weaknesses: The number of pockets, for a pack this small the shape and number of the pockets make some of them less than usable. It appears they have changed the pack slightly to accommodate for this but on my pack the side pockets take up space inside the main compartment meaning my multi-tool and tubes that I store in them plus a windbreaker fills up the entire pack.
The loops on the shoulder straps for the hydration tube are a bit hard to use, I am not sure what was wrong with the old weebing style rather than the elastic straps they use now.
This is a very durable pack. I have had it for two and a half years now during this time I have ran it into trees, dropped it off of cliffs, taken thirty mile an hour tumbles on ice, dirt and rocks after all of this it looks the same as the day I bought it except for the dirt I haven't washed off yet.
As a previous reviewer mentioned the the NV system is not as refined as it should be. The year I bought my pack the pack was made with both styles of back. I chose the non-NV back because even in the store the NV system was not comfortable, although I believe there is a way too bend the pack so that it fits you better I did not explore this.
Favorite Trail: anything dirt that points downhill
Duration Product Used: 2 Years
Similar Products Used: An earlier HAWG model
from Fort Collins, CO
Date Reviewed: October 22, 2011
Strengths: Very well designed
Very versatile storage compartments
Weaknesses: Hose is just a little bit short
I bought this pack on a whim because it was a great price, and I am really happy that I did. I really thought I was pretty happy with my Deuter pack, but after using this one I would have a really hard time going back to it. It fits so well that I almost forget I'm wearing it. It even comes with a built in rain cover that zips out of the bottom and covers the pack very well. With this pack you can utilize every cubic inch of storage very efficiently - the pockets and compartmentalization are well thought out. The quality is top notch, and it even looks cool. I would definitely recommend this.
Similar Products Used: Camelbak M.U.L.E.
Deuter Race X Air
Bike Setup: Most of the time..
a Cross Country Rider
from Ashland, OR, USA
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2011
Strengths: Plenty of space for everything winter, spring, summer and fall. Light enough to use year round. Great air flow between back and pack.
Weaknesses: None found yet
I bought this pack for guiding MTB rides. I needed enough room to carry food, spares and repairs for a large group. I find myself using this pack on my daily rides over my older Mule. It is simply cooler on my back. Weight is good for this big hauler.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 22, 2010
Strengths: it has soo many pockets. was used to carry camera,tools, water bladder,lite rain jacket,back fender, and a change of clothes. seems pretty stable and balance is not altered when riding.
Weaknesses: i remember one year they had straps that clipped close. wish they would of done that with this. if you have to grab something in a flash , you shouldn't even bother trying
buy this product if you want a good bag with deep pockets. search around for a cheaper price. try froogle.com. overall i am very happy with this bag. buy this bag if you carry a good amount of stuff on the trail. i even used it to hike aound san francisco for a couple days.
Strengths: Granted, the H.A.W.G. NV holds a LOT of gear, comfortably. I had it loaded with a full 100oz bladder, along with various tools and a full water bottle, and didn't feel the weight. I loved the small compartment for my phone, and the seemingly bottomless void of the main compartment. I like knowing that if I need 2 bladders, there are 2 hooks for them. It looks good and isn't bulky for the amount of crap you can carry (with tools & water, spare derailleur, shock pump, etc., I've managed to hit 25 pounds with my old C-bak Blowfish), and I anticipate this will get loaded with even more stuff (another full bladder, water filter, etc.). IF I keep it. Fortunately, I bought it at REI where I can return it for a no-questions-asked refund. We'll see how it goes. At this point, I don't even want to take it out on a trail anymore, knowing what niggling little annoyances are in store for me.
Weaknesses: Wow, so many rave reviews. I checked out these reviews & others, and had having several Camelbaks before this one, decided it would meet my needs. Not this time. This thing has issues.
Where to start?
You ever buy a product and after a couple of uses, wonder if the company ever took it outside & actually USED it? That's how I feel about the H.A.W.G. NV. Envy is what I felt when following a rider wearing a Camelbak whose pack stayed directly on the center of his back, no skin exposed. My H.A.W.G. loved to raise my shirt up & push my shorts down, until my back was rubbed almost raw from the pack jouncing up and down when the trails got rough. I tried cinching it up with the upper strap, but this constricted my chest and made breathing a little difficult. The H.A.W.G. tended to stray from side-to-side on my back as well, and I had to jab it with my elbow to knock it back into place many times. This is with both sets of straps fastened.
Small pockets on the side. You can't reach these when you're riding, if you wanted to have instant access to a bar or a Gu. I only mention this because I think someone else said you could in an earlier review.
On its first ride, I lost one of the elastic bands that holds the excess strap that billows out when you tighten the stomach strap. As it wasn't doing its job anyway, I figured I'd find a better solution when I got home. Note: I have an average of 9.5" of excess strap on each side. How fat do they think mountain bikers are?
The hose is too short! I had to wrench my neck to the side, taking my eyes off the trail to take a drink.
It won't hold a helmet in the front compartment. Less than half of the helmet is covered by fabric so it seems like it would spit out like a grapefruit seed as soon as the trail got rough.
Straps everywhere. No zipper can be undone in one fluid motion. You have to unzip to a point where you reach a strap, then reach your hand under the strap to grab the zipper to continue. The 2 straps holding the front 'helmet' pocket don't have buckles- you can only loosen or tighten them. So, to get into the 2 main compartments, you have to loosen/tighten these straps every time. How many times have you taken off your pack to get something out of it, then zip it back up, only to realize you forgot something else? Set it down, loosen the 2 straps, unzip the main compartment reaching under to grab the zipper, open the compartment, rummage around, zip, reach, zip, cinch. Arrrrgh!
A lot of small issues, building in annoyance as the day went along. Makes me want to grab any of my other packs instead of this one when I go for a ride.
Fortunately, I bought it at REI where I can return it for a no-questions-asked refund. We'll see how it goes. At this point, I don't even want to take it out on a trail anymore, knowing what niggling little annoyances are in store for me.
Going to look for something else. Might have to go for another brand, as the size was perfect. :^(
Similar Products Used: C-bak Ventoux and several other models
a Cross Country Rider
from Harker Heights, Texas
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2009
I bought this pack knowing that I would need something for long ride and light hiking. Wow, this thing works out perfectly. I usually only have to fill the bladder 1/3 to 1/2 full and keep my shock pump and some bike tools in there along with my phone, keys, and MP3. Even with the load listed above, the pack looks almost empty! When I know I have a big ride then I load it up with water and food. Man I have crashed with this on a few times and nothing....nada...not one tear. Great job Camel Back! I actually liked it so much I purchased an ACU military version for work at my local clothing and sales. My Soldiers love it!
a Weekend Warrior
from Irmo, SC
Date Reviewed: September 26, 2009
Strengths: Room for everything, ability to hold a second huge water bladder (dont ride for long enough to warrant one though). The fit is stable and secure even as I dont use the waist strap. I use it to keep all of my trail tools and supplies together as well as my helmet and gloves when Im not riding. The IPOD holder works as a great way to secure my phone and still have easy access to it.
Weaknesses: It has so much room, you can unintentionally pack way more than you need, which makes it a little heavy...but thats up to the user :)
This thing ROCKS!!! I have no need for any other bike bags or fancy gadget to hold supplies with this. It holds up in spills (even ones that send you over the bars on your back). I weigh 240 lbs and it fits me perfect. I will use this until it wears out and will happily buy another one. The only thing that I dont like is the Suggested price, I got mine on sale so I didnt pay a lot for it but over a $100 is a little bit of a push I think even for how awesome it is
a Cross Country Rider
from Corona, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: August 8, 2009
Strengths: Provides me with more space for a longer day trip. This model is the H.V. (new back plate, and air flow). Very stable wearing with or without waist strap.
Okay, this is a marked improvement over my older MULE. My back stays cooler with the new designed NV. Also, the plate adds greater protection for your back (which has paid for its self several times). I now carry my pump and tools in the pack (not the bike). The pack is physically larger than the my MULE, but you don't notice while riding. For the longer rides I like packing more food, and this pack fits the requirement.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 18, 2009
Strengths: Even after six years, my H.A.W.G. is still performing like new. Crashed many times on my MTB with this thing on my back and it takes the punishment in stride. Took a serious MC Dirtbike crash with it on last year. Body damaged but the H.A.W.G. looks as good as new, but for the dirt.
Great storage capacity and very versatile. It is just the right size for a MTB or a Motorcyle (enduro, dirtbike, etc). One of my better purchases for sure.
Similar Products Used: Older model caelbacks, they always got the job done.
Bike Setup: Specialized Pitch Pro.
a Weekend Warrior
from Perkiomenville, Pa USA
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2008
Strengths: The HAWG has been an awesome bag like my Camelbak prior. Tough, durable and ergonomic. Holds all my tools, clothing layers I might take on the ride for cooling temps or layers I shed as the temp rises. I change the standard bladder for the Camelbak Unbottle with anti-bacteria lining and insulation. My bag is super dirty but not worn and looks like I will get many more years of use. Built Well!
would buy another Camelbak but don't think I will need to
Strengths: Proven Camelbak hydration system, good amount of storage, airflow system actually works and keeps back cool.
Weaknesses: Material seems slightly thin.
I had thought the chances of finding a hydration pack that was actually of reasonable storage capacity was unlikely until I came across a hawg. It's a very nice bag, fits well, and its the first bag that hasn't left a big nasty sweat spot on my back after a day out. Rocommended.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2008
Strengths: Lots, most of them already mentioned.
Weaknesses: None that I can see.
The thing that actually surprised me is that it can use 2 100oz bladders, one in the regular compartment, the other on the general compartment. It has the strap to fix the second bladder and a hole to pass the tube to the regular compartment and from there to the outside. Since I already have a bladder from the MULE, this is an awesome feature.
Similar Products Used: Camelbak MULE (good for 3-4 hours rides) and an el cheapo one.
from Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2007
Strengths: Extremely durable, good size, strong zippers, comfortable on the back
Weaknesses: ugly neon green fabric on the inside
This backpack is super durable and what else is better then having a backpack for over 3 years without any wear and tear. I use this backpack all the time for commuting and when riding trails and it has held up even better then I anticipated. The size is good for carrying the essentials for a day ride. Buy this backpack and you can be assured years of loyal service.