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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious how many others are using water bottles and a saddle bag vs a Camelbak? I have been using a Camelbak when mtn-biking for the past 20 years but my neck and shoulders can't really take it anymore. I ordered and just received some bottle cages/bottles and a saddle bag and am going to give that a go. I'll save the Camelbak for long rides which are becoming fewer and fewer anyways these days.

Anyone else in the same boat? I am a typical weekend warrior hardtail XC rider if that even matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Water Bottle for me. I used to use a Saddle bag, however my Dropper Post and SWAT box made it impossible and unnecessary.
Yea I am not sure on the saddle bag but am not really sure how else I would carry the spare tube and tools

EDIT: Had no idea that SWAT box thing existed, maybe I'll look into that eventually
 

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Depends on the length/time spent on a given ride.

For a 5-10 mile quickie from home, I have a saddle bag and a bottle in a cage.

For 15-20 miles, I use a hip pack with one bottle, and another bottle in a cage.

For rides any longer than that, I will wear a full pack with a bladder or 2-3 bottles of water plus one in the cage.
 

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As others pointed out, it's relative to the ride for most. For me, I utilize all 3 on both my bikes. Camelbak as bulk of the water, plus food, medical/emergency/supplies. Saddle bag has tools, tube, and parts. And then I have backup water in the form of a bottle. This allows me to use a small pack and saddle bag (one bike has SWAT system, but same difference).
 

· Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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I rode a Camelbak for years. Great way to go but in recent years there's so many better options. Saddlebags are nice but they interfere with a dropper. Frame bags and frame straps are nice but in my opinion a hip pack is the way to go which I recently opted for. Best thing I ever did. I chose the Evoc Pro 3L. Plenty of room to carry all essential tools / food / windbreaker with hydration bladder and two water bottle holders. It has a cooling ventilation system where the pack meets your lower back. We all know how hot this summer has been in most places. I rode in high 90° temps and had no issue of sweat building up there. The cooling system works.

I knew I wanted hip pack and did my research. There were two hip pack shootouts: One from Pink Bike and one from Gear Lab. Both shootouts named the Evoc Pro 3L bladder pack as the best. It's a little more than the rest and I'm sure some of the other ones are worthy but I wanted quality and a pack that was thoughtfully executed to fit a riders needs. This pack is it, watch the video at the bottom of this post for all the features. It's pricey at $130 with bladder or $100 without bladder. But with of season sales going on right now I'm sure it could be found cheaper. Well worth the price in my opinion.

And no I have no affiliation with Evoc. When I find a product that fits all my needs I give credit where credit is due.

First Shootout:

Bicycle Bicycle helmet Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Plant Sports equipment


_
Second Shootout:

Bicycle Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Sky

Luggage and bags Sky Plant People in nature Bag


This review nails it.
 

· high pivot witchcraft
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Over the years, I tried countless packs. Then, in my next hydration phase, I moved into fully packless. I'm now into hip bags.

I have tried a whack but the best by far has been the Bontrager Rapid Pack. It literally disappears within 10 seconds, to the point that I am constantly checking for the remainder of the ride to see if it is still there. Only restriction is that it's on the small side, and only holds one bottle.

Enter the Rapid Pack Hydro. I picked one up late yesterday but have not yet given it a full trail test due to rain. I am very hopeful though, given the initial comments:


 

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I've always worn a Camalbak and always will. I've tried hip packs and they suck. Plus too much horse **** for water bottles. Unless you like a little horse **** with your water. Oh and there is plenty of dog **** on the trails if that's more to your taste.
 

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An mtb frame with two bottle mounts is a requirement for me. I run 2 bottles for most rides up to 3 hours but if I'm going to be out longer, I carry another 1 or 2 in my jersey pockets. I've got tube, lever & plugs strapped under the seat & a small Lezyne pump mounted on the downtube by one of my bottle cages.
 

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Too hot and sweaty to use a Camelbak most of the time around here in Alabama. So much more comfortable to use a hip pack or go packless. I have my bike set up to go packless but my frame limits me to a 21oz bottle and that's just not enough hydration around here for summer months. So I supplement with a double bottle pack for long 2+ hour days (OspreySavu 5) for or single bottle pack (Camelbak Podium Flow) for ~1 hour rides. I love my Camelbak Chase and Chase 8 bike vest for days I want a pack. The smaller Chase is a far superior design between the two. For every day riding I prefer the ease of cleaning and maintenance of a bottle v a bladder.
 

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I have been using camelbaks since generation 1 which was just some straps sewn on a tube like bag cover that went over the blue bag. I tried a few different bag types and found that the low rider bag was the one I liked the most. The Skyline version is what i gravitated to: Buy Skyline™ LR 10 Hydration Pack And More | CamelBak

Has characteristics like the hip pack but has support across the shoulders which gives good stability and a place to sling the hose so you can drink a little easier.

The hip wrap has little pouches for cameras or other small things.

Before camelbaks and I used seat bags and it as just the worst. You would end a ride and realize the zipper came open, or the bag fell of. It would get in the way if you slid over the back of the saddle for descending and rattled a lot. Tools + tubes would mean you would get wear holes in your tubes and only realize it when you needed the tube.

If you are definitely more of the water bottle person there are all kinds of straps that let you mount your gear to your bike directly, away from the seatpost, which is probably the best option.
 

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It depends.
Here's another thread on the subject:
 

· since 4/10/2009
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the old style saddle bags suck. stuff always rattles in there. There are better ways to carry your stuff on the bike now than a zippered bag dangling under the saddle.

I use a mixture of on-bike and on-body carriage. I'm not a particular fan of drinking from water bottles, but for especially big rides I'll have one that has a drink mix in it. I probably ought to get a smaller hip bag that can carry water for shorter summer rides. I had a lot of short rides this year where my pack was mostly empty and I had maybe 1.5L of water at most. Now that fall is setting in, though, I put things like an extra jacket and such into my regular pack, so a hip pack wouldn't be enough.
 

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I use a Osprey Raptor 12 pack. The pack is great with airflow and I don't sweat anymore from my back as I do if i didn't have it on.

I sweat so much I have to carry alteast 3L of water. My water bottle is filled with Pocari Sweat (Japanese version of Gatorade). If i didn't have to carry so much water I would be all about having a hip pack.
 

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Almost every mountain bike I've owned over the past 35 years has had 2 bottle cage mounts and I do everything I can to avoid carrying stuff on my body during rides, even for multi-day bikepacking trips. I have several hydration packs and hip packs for patrolling, leading a group, or for big desert days when I need extra water or other back country supplies. However, most rides under 4 hours are setup like below with 2 bottles, a pump along the down tube, and a seat bag that doesn't interfere with the dropper travel containing the basic repair items. A snack or two, phone and the Garmin InReach mini go in my shorts or jersey pocket.

Bicycle Cloud Tire Sky Wheel
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Almost every mountain bike I've owned over the past 35 years has had 2 bottle cage mounts and I do everything I can to avoid carrying stuff on my body during rides, even for multi-day bikepacking trips. I have several hydration packs and hip packs for patrolling, leading a group, or for big desert days when I need extra water or other back country supplies. However, most rides under 4 hours are setup like below with 2 bottles, a pump along the down tube, and a seat bag that doesn't interfere with the dropper travel containing the basic repair items. A snack or two, phone and the Garmin InReach mini go in my shorts or jersey pocket.

View attachment 1948161
Ughh, I am jealous of your bike. When I started riding in 1998 I always wanted to get either a Seven Sola or one of those Moots soft-tails. Such an awesome bike. I don't ride enough now to justify it but maybe if I start riding more I'll treat myself one day to one of those two, in a 29er. Until then my Trek Paragon 29er will have to suffice :)
 

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Just curious how many others are using water bottles and a saddle bag vs a Camelbak? I have been using a Camelbak when mtn-biking for the past 20 years but my neck and shoulders can't really take it anymore.

Anyone else in the same boat?
Same here... used CamelBak (and other traditional hydration packs) since they were invented. I just accepted them since that's all there was. I tried, very briefly, hip packs. No go for me, especially on rough rowdy jumpy rides. Tried bottles, but not enough for my rides and not easy to take a swig as I ride. Then I finally tried USWE. Haven't looked back since. They sit high and tight on your back, so there's no weight felt on your neck or back. I hardly know it's there. No sloshing with half full bladders either. And absolutely zero bouncing! That's the best part. My daily use pack is their Airborne 3. For longer adventures, the Airborne 9 is prefect. Basically the same pack with different sized removable pouches. They do make smaller packs, like the Outlander, that I thought would be great for shorter rides. But honestly, the Airborne is so unnoticeable, I never got the smaller Outlander.
 
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