Doing a big drop roller in Moab, the Skyline keeps it low and doesn't shift up the shoulders to upset the critical balance point. Photo by Lear Miller

Doing a big drop roller in Moab, the Skyline keeps it low and doesn't shift up the shoulders to upset the critical balance point. Photo by Lear Miller​

Editor's Note: This article is part of the Mtbr Guide to hydration packs, featuring the new CamelBak Low Rider line. To see all the articles, head over to the Low Rider hydration pack hub page.

Lowdown: CamelBak Skyline 10 LR Hydration Pack

Mountain bikers need to carry water and an assortment of tools and supplies for medium to long rides. The hydration pack is a great solution for this, but not all are thrilled with the concept of having a bag which sits high on the back, shifts around, and affects ventilation. CamelBak aimed to address these issues with the Skyline 10 LR. Have they succeeded? Read on to find out.

The unique design moves weight lower down your back.

The unique design moves weight lower down your back (click to enlarge).​

Pack capacity: 7L (610 cu in) + 100oz bladderBelt: Fixed 38mm / 1.5" w/ cargo pockets
Bladder capacity: 100ozFabric: 70D / 210D diamond ripstop nylon
Weight: 2 lbs 3 oz / 0.98 kg (pack only)Colors: Three options. See photo gallery
Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 15" / 20 x 20 x 39cmOptions: Women's Solstice model also available
Torso length: 16" / 40cmPrice: $130
Back Panel: XV multi-layer EVA foamRating:
4.5 Flamin' Chili Peppers
4.5 out of 5
Stat Box


Pluses

Minuses
  • Sits low on back with weight on hips
  • Lower back area can get sweaty
  • Stays in place, no ride interference
  • Side pockets could be larger
  • Fun color selection
  • Tough fit on Clydesdale crowd
  • Multiple internal pockets, plus tool pouch
  • Can fill up quickly, lacks expandability
  • Fleece lined media pocket
  • Not inexpensive
  • Magnetic hose clip
  • Easy-open bladder cap
  • Helmet/armor carrying straps
  • Ventilated back panel
  • Side pockets allow one-handed access
  • Ample water carrying capacity
  • Unique bladder cinching mechanism

The Skyline LR is low and does not move around back there to interfere with a techy trail ride. Photo by Lear Miller

The Skyline LR is low and does not move around back there to interfere with a techy trail ride. Photo by Lear Miller​

Review: CamelBak Skyline 10 LR Hydration Pack

CamelBak set out to make the hydration pack more invisible during your ride by lowering the center of gravity. Have they succeeded? Our answer is a resounding, yes. They've also optimized the fit of the pack by placing the weight more on the rider's hips. The retention system keeps the pack snug and close to the back with very little movement even while jumping and aggressive descending. This video provides an in-depth look at the pack's unique functionality.

Jumping and pumping terrain is not hindered by this pack.

Jumping and pumping terrain is not hindered by this pack.​

The low rider design does comes with a price, though, as the pack is compact with no expandability. Cargo volume is 7 liters (in addition to the 3 liters of water capacity). So once packed with a jacket, spare tube, food, and tools, it's essentially full. And since it's worn tightly against the waist, the lower back can get sweaty (just like a lot of packs on the market).

Continue to page 2 for more of our CamelBak Skyline 10 LR hydration pack review »

Pack smartly and you'll have enough gear for big adventures.

Pack smartly and you'll have enough gear for big adventures (click to enlarge).​

Storage options are well thought out. There is a fleece-lined media pocket with its own top zipper that's big enough to fit an iPhone 6 with case. Inside the pack is a sleeve with removable tool pouch. And the flap of the zipped cover has pockets with a clear window for easy organization. Straps on the bottom of the pack hold knee pads or a helmet, and an outside pocket can store trash and other small items.

The 100oz bladder sits low inside the pack.

The 100oz bladder sits low inside the pack (click to enlarge).​

The reservoir is extremely easy to fill thanks to a zipper that opens to a separate cavity. It's surprising how much water the short reservoir holds; the 100oz capacity matches CamelBak's larger packs. It's also nice how the hose is secured on either side, while a powerful, notched magnet makes re-attaching the hose quick and simple.

The back panel is highly vented.

The back panel is highly vented (click to enlarge).​

We also loved the Skyline's side pockets for easy access while riding. One side has a zipper, while the other employs an elastic flap. The flapped pocket might be frowned upon by some who fear that their stored items are going to fall out while riding. But it's really designed to carry nutrition products that can be accessed with one hand while riding. And we never had problems losing a bar on the trail. Our only gripe is that it would be nice if these pockets were a little larger.

This removable tool roll helps you stay organized.

This removable tool roll helps you stay organized.​

It's not a big pack by any means. It has 4 liter of cargo capacity but the 3 liter reservoir seems to take a big chunk of that the more you fill up the capacity. Take note that while the reservoir looks like it's half the size of big, long one, it is full size and as big as any others Camelbak makes. Pack smartly and efficiently for big rides. Put the knee pads outside with the cinch straps but this is best for small pads since the Skyline hangs low enough back there already.

The hose is easy to access on the fly.

The hose is easy to access on the fly (click to enlarge).​

Indeed, while not a full freight expedition pack, the ample water-carrying capacity, smartly-conceived storage architecture, and lowered center of gravity do a great job of enhancing the riding experience. Pack judiciously and you'll have a versatile cargo carrier that will take great care of you on the trail.

For more info visit shop.camelbak.com.