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  1. #1
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    Camel Back MULE vs MULE N.V. vs Vaude Hyper Air

    Getting a new Camelback for longer rides / hotter days and was considering the Mule.
    The NV has an improved ventilation system but weighs more and costs more than the standard Mule
    Anyone been able to feel an improvement in ventilation with the NV? e.g. a cooler back?
    Thanks!
    Dan

    UPDATE 2013
    Update: I bought the Vaude Hyper Air 14+3 Pack Black/Grey, 14 plus 3. Almost 2 years later I am still loving it. Very cool vent system in the back that. I have yet to find anything better.
    I rotate through different bladders. Slight preference to the camelback bladder due to mouthpiece flowing better.
    Last edited by Old ROMPer; 06-25-2013 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
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    I just got the NV and I think it does help the ventilation somewhat....i would recommend it.

  3. #3
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Old ROMPer, I have a Hawg NV that I am looking to sell. It's in great shape and I have a brand new 100oz bladder (never used) that I'll sell with it. PM me if you're interested.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    Looks like the Mule N V is twice the weight. 1lb versus 2.4lbs according the REI website.

    FYI the Hawg NV is 2.9lbs

  5. #5
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    Also take a look at the Vaude packs. The packs that say "air" like the Hyper "Air" have a mesh back panel and they actually have airflow behind the back that does work. They also have a fairly substantial waste belt. Downsides are the bladder is not insulated, and no phone/MP3 pocket, but one of the cooler packs in hot weather.

    I also tried some of the Deuter packs that have a similar design, but their waste belts were thin afterthoughts, and they had pressure spots.

  6. #6
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    Performance has the MULE on sale for 39.99. Smokin deal.

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._1025137_-1___

  7. #7
    Get Some!
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    i have the mule. i have no complaints. for 39.99... id jump on it in a heart beat

  8. #8
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    Great input so far!!!

    Thanks for market research as well.

    I noticed on the clearance priced Mules they have the older 100oz OMEGA HydroTanium reservoir. The newer ones have the
    100 fl. oz. Antidote™ reservoir equipped with the Quick Link™ connection system for hassle-free removal of the drinking tube

    Is the new bladder that big of a deal? REI has the new ones on sale for $60ish
    Last edited by Old ROMPer; 05-23-2011 at 04:14 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelsdown2002
    Also take a look at the Vaude packs. The packs that say "air" like the Hyper "Air" have a mesh back panel and they actually have airflow behind the back that does work. They also have a fairly substantial waste belt. Downsides are the bladder is not insulated, and no phone/MP3 pocket, but one of the cooler packs in hot weather.

    I also tried some of the Deuter packs that have a similar design, but their waste belts were thin afterthoughts, and they had pressure spots.

    Thanks- I like the price of these. Do you know if anyone stocks them locally?

  10. #10
    Bloodied but Unbowed
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old ROMPer
    Great input so far!!!

    Thanks for market research as well.

    I noticed on the clearance priced Mules they have the older 100oz OMEGA HydroTanium reservoir. The newer ones have the
    100 fl. oz. Antidote™ reservoir equipped with the Quick Link™ connection system for hassle-free removal of the drinking tube

    Is the new bladder that big of a deal?
    The newer bladders are nce but not $40 worth of nice. I realize that is an individual value judgement but it is coming from someone who has one of each. A Mule at $40 is a great deal on a great pack. I may order one as a spare.

  11. #11
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    NV has better strap system, sealed electronics pocket and the ventilation makes a huge difference. Worth the $$ IMO.

  12. #12
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    Here's an alternative, its made in salt lake city, Utah.

    http://www.lonepeakpacks.com/

  13. #13
    Meatbomb
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    hard to fit a spare tube, pump, 100oz bladder and an oil can in one of those.

  14. #14
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    DepartmentofGoods.com has the Vaude Hyper Air and Deuter Race X Air for $37.58. I own a new Hyper Air and an older Deuter, MUCH cooler than a Camelbak, lighter but not as many pockets. I like both but the Vaude is the perfect cycling pack as it's 14 liters that expand to 17 liters. The Deuter I have is larger (AC lite 20 Liter) than the Race X so I use it in winter.
    The only thing I use that's Camelbak is their bite valves. Mule is a 14 liter pack.
    agmtb

  15. #15
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    Thanks for everyones feedback!!!
    I decided to try the Vaude. Ordered thru Amazon from Department of Goods.com.

    I did buy a Camelback mule at the Bass Pro sale for $59 last week but got looking at it and realized it had the old bladder so it going back. So that and the REI sale started this whole rethink... If I don't like the Vaude I don't know which way I will go next....

  16. #16
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    If you don't like the Vaude you could try the Ergon BC2. I haven't tried it or even seen it on the trail but they are feature rich and Competative Cyclist has the best price seen at $69. Usually well over $140. They swivel with your body. Weight unknown, cadillac pack.
    agmtb

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by abegold
    If you don't like the Vaude you could try the Ergon BC2. I haven't tried it or even seen it on the trail but they are feature rich and Competative Cyclist has the best price seen at $69. Usually well over $140. They swivel with your body. Weight unknown, cadillac pack.
    I had an Ergon BC2 before the Vaude. I did not like how it swung around.

    You could make adjustments to the Ergon to set how far off the back it carried. But with a full bladder in it, it would contact my back(and therefore make me sweat) If I adjusted it so it had air space with a full bladder, then it felt akward. It felt like you had a plank stuck 2 feet behind you with a bowling ball sitting on the end of it, so when you moved around you could really feel the weight out away from your body.

    The Vaude keeps it's air space even with a full bladder, but the weight feels like it is much closer to the body than the Ergon. The Ergon felt really weird in technical terrain where you use a lot of body english. Not so with the Vaude.

  18. #18
    jimfab
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    Also look into the osprey talon series packs. You can get a 6L MSR bladder in most of them. In my experience, the mule is a great pack for smaller guys on short rides ( <3 hrs). I find the mule sits up way to high on my back and caused back pains. It is also limited on space if you ever plan to pack a lunch or something. I also found that the shoulder straps cut off blood flow to my arms. Osprey and wingnut are good packs to look at if you have the same issues i have had. I have since threw in the towel and started making my own packs.

  19. #19
    Meatbomb
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    H.A.W.G. ... does not weigh much more and you are not limited

  20. #20
    Closekids.com
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    I own both

    Bought a NV to replace my old CB. I didn't realize the weight difference. Loaded up, I bet it weighs 10-14 lbs anyway. But you can definitely tell the difference with the air circulation around your back. I believe the lack of circulation from previous models contributed to bonking, which led them to make improvements.
    I could be wrong and am sure there are other great packs out there.
    Me to my riding buddy, "Want to ride this afternoon?"
    Him, "I can't. I have to chop this guys foot off at 2".

  21. #21
    Meatbomb
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    wow.. a 14lb MULE must have a lot of stuff in it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    wow.. a 14lb MULE must have a lot of stuff in it.
    Well I didn't weigh it, but 6.5 lbs of water plus 2 lbs for the bag was my starting point. Didn't seem to have far to go.
    Me to my riding buddy, "Want to ride this afternoon?"
    Him, "I can't. I have to chop this guys foot off at 2".

  23. #23
    Tucson, AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimfab View Post
    Also look into the osprey talon series packs. You can get a 6L MSR bladder in most of them. In my experience, the mule is a great pack for smaller guys on short rides ( <3 hrs). I find the mule sits up way to high on my back and caused back pains. It is also limited on space if you ever plan to pack a lunch or something. I also found that the shoulder straps cut off blood flow to my arms. Osprey and wingnut are good packs to look at if you have the same issues i have had. I have since threw in the towel and started making my own packs.
    +1 Osprey packs are the best.

  24. #24
    Rhino
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimfab View Post
    Also look into the osprey talon series packs. You can get a 6L MSR bladder in most of them. In my experience, the mule is a great pack for smaller guys on short rides ( <3 hrs). I find the mule sits up way to high on my back and caused back pains. It is also limited on space if you ever plan to pack a lunch or something. I also found that the shoulder straps cut off blood flow to my arms. Osprey and wingnut are good packs to look at if you have the same issues i have had. I have since threw in the towel and started making my own packs.

    Osprey (manta series) gets my vote. Love my Osprey. I carry it nearly empty and packed full and it's the most versatile pack I own.

  25. #25
    Wait, what!?
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    I know this thread is probably close to dyeing out, but I wanted to ad this. Its awesome, and I use it with my Mule NV

    http://www.camelbak.com/Sports-Recre...rsion-Kit.aspx

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