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When thinking of a mule most people picture an animal that can carry a lot of cargo a short or long distance. The CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV ® is no different. With 100oz of liquid storage and tons of gear storage you can carry everything but the kitchen sink with you on your next ride, and keep hydrated too.
Built to rock the single-track, the CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV ® is 20% lighter than previous models due to its innovative and supportive NVIS back panel system. CamelBak‘s NV® back panel features custom articulating pods that provide airflow between the back and hydration pack while also providing a superior fit. Unlike some packs that move and slosh around with vigorous riding, CamelBak‘s D -Fit straps combined with the sternum and waist straps make you and the pack become one.
The M.U.L.E. acronym stands for “Medium to Ultra Long Endeavors”. Designed for use of 3+ hours, the M.U.L.E. NV ® has the user’s comfort, storage, and hydration covered. Total capacity of the M.U.L.E. NV ® is 732 cu in / 12 liters + a 3L hydration reservoir. A few highlights include a media pocket, four point compression, helmet storage complete with helmet hooks, and a built in removable rain cover. CamelBak upped the ante by including their Antidote™reservoir on this pack. Notable features of the reservoir include a ¼ turn easy open cap, Quick Link release system, patented Big Bite™Valve, and a PureFlow™tube providing enough water flow for even the thirstiest mountain biker. CamelBak also stands behind its products with the CamelBak® Got Your Bak™Guarantee: If we built it, we’ll Bak it™
Instructions are simple – load it up with your gear, fill up the reservoir, cinch down the straps, and hit the trail. With my smaller CamelBak Classic I was limited on what I could bring along between my jersey pockets, seat bag, and smaller cargo area. With CamelBak‘s M.U.L.E. NV ® that is no longer a problem. I actually find that I try to bring too much and have to limit myself on what I pack. I‘ve found the helmet storage really works well for holding adult beverages for the end of the ride, or a couple water bottles if I need a separate electrolyte drink, while the media pocket fits my phone, keys, and wallet perfectly. The side pockets on the waist belt are easy access for gels and CLIF bars on the go.
I traded packs with a friend whom was using an older CamelBak design and he really liked how the NV ™system distributed the weight, even though my pack was a bit heavier than his. We both also really liked how the extra strap length was retained by elastic holding straps.
My only gripe is that after adjusting the sternum and waist straps to my body, the hydration hose isn‘t readily accessible on its mounting point. Sure it stays secure, but unlike my CamelBak Classic it‘s not real easy to use. It did take a few rides to get everything dialed in, and while I would like to make a few suggestions and changes I wouldn‘t chose another pack to ride with. The CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV ® hauls all my gear and liquid with ease and as long as you don‘t load it down like you’re leaving the house and never coming back, it‘s quite comfortable. The MSRP of $135.00 meets a market of users whom are shopping for a larger hydration packs for longer rides and more storage capacity to accompany that need. CamelBak also offers hydration packs in larger and smaller sizes for a many other sports too – see them at www.camelbak.com
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the CamelBak M.U.L.E. NV free from CamelBak in consideration for review publication.