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2020 Trek Fuel EX8
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

After a relatively long (for me) ride last weekend with a far more fit friend), I found myself parched and out of water after an hour of riding, I only have 1 bottle mount on my bike, and have no desire to add the universal clamp on variety.

Now before this turns into a bottle vs. bag thread, I have ZERO interest in continuing the use of a bottle (unless I'm doing a sub 45 min lunch ride or something), it's time for a hydration pack.

I've been looking at a few, but the one that stands out to me is the Camelbak MULE LR 15.

I like a few things about this pack:

1. Water bladder lower on my back.

2. Tons of storage pockets/pouches

3. According to Camelbak the waist/hip straps can accommodate 30-50" waists. (I'm not tiny ;))

The only negative I've read about is that some people really seem to struggle with inserting the bladder, as it rides way down in the pack.

Does anyone here have any direct experience with this pack? If so I'd love to hear about it.

Are there other packs that offer similar size/storage/function etc...?

Thanks!
 

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I've got an older model Camelbak Hawg NV. It's slightly larger than a Mule but a great pack all around.

I don't have any issues installing the bladder unless I've got it packed full of food or rain gear. If you'll be packing a ton of gear in it, install the bladder 1st. I also find it helpful to flip the bladder upside down & suck out any air bubbles to decrease the volume of the bladder.

The NV system you might want to look into, not sure what or if they still use it. But it allows for a little more air circulation between the pack & your back. Helps to keep the sweat to a minimum.

I would buy the best cambelbak you can afford, assume it'll last 5- 10 years easy.
 

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Depending on your size, the camelbak may fit like [email protected] I had a Skyline years ago that had a "50 inch" waist belt that would barely buckle up (I wear 38 pants) and didn't have enough shoulder adjustment either.

I gave up on Camelbak products and bought a Wingnut. It was a game changer for me, weight carried low with enough adjustments to fit a Sasquatch. The Hyper 2.5 is about the same storage as the Mule and will take a 3 litre bladder (I use the Crux reservoir). The wing pockets seem gimmicky at first but you'll love them, easy access to lots of gear without taking the pack off. These packs are handmade in the USA using waterproof sail cloth. These packs are surprisingly light weight and tough, worth the money.

I'd you don't like the looks of the 2.5 and want something more "traditional" looking, the Hyper 3.0 is great with a bit more storage than the 2.5. I currently own three Wingnut packs (the 3.0, 2.5, and the new 1.8) and will never go back to a Hello Kitty Camelbak.

Just my $0.02

http://www.wingnutgear.com/

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I'm a 6'3" 300lb dude with a 40" waist, and I have the MULE LR 15. It was the only one I tried on that fit, and I tried on many different packs from many different brands. Not only does it fit, but it fits great. I don't even have all the straps set at "full fat guy lengths" -- I have room to spare with this thing. If I had any gripes at all about the fit, it would be that with my barrel chest, the shoulder straps dig into the front of my armpits once in a while, a minor annoyance. I've read about issues others have had with inserting the bladder and I have no idea what they're talking about. It's simple. I don't get it lol.

I love the MULE so much that I bought one for my wife last week on clearance from Jenson for $70. Get 'em while you can! https://www.jensonusa.com/Camelbak-MULE-LR-15-Pack
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm a 6'3" 300lb dude with a 40" waist, and I have the MULE LR 15. It was the only one I tried on that fit, and I tried on many different packs from many different brands. Not only does it fit, but it fits great. I don't even have all the straps set at "full fat guy lengths" -- I have room to spare with this thing. If I had any gripes at all about the fit, it would be that with my barrel chest, the shoulder straps dig into the front of my armpits once in a while, a minor annoyance. I've read about issues others have had with inserting the bladder and I have no idea what they're talking about. It's simple. I don't get it lol.

I love the MULE so much that I bought one for my wife last week on clearance from Jenson for $70. Get 'em while you can! https://www.jensonusa.com/Camelbak-MULE-LR-15-Pack
Thanks for the real world experience! I bought the MULE LR 15 last night (From JensonUSA...tough to beat that price, and I dig the color too), and your comments make me feel better about my decision! As "larger" guys it sure is hard finding gear that works for us.

I found my bike, my saddle, and now I think I found my hydration pack.....now if I could only find some comfy (chamois lined) MTB shorts that weren't designed for short skinny dudes.....
 

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Just wanted to add that I have it and like it too. I thought the LR thing was a gimmick but I actually like it! And I love the tool kit roll-up. I don't struggle placing the bladder. Used it on an 11 day Moab vacation - so it must be good.

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