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  1. #1
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    Vintage vs. latest Camelbak packs?

    My current Camelbak MULE is a 1999 or 2000 model year. It has served me well but is pretty beat up and the original/older design really had the pack laying with maximum contact to your back. It really makes me hot and sweaty on a ride and the water in the bladder gets warm fast.

    I notice the newer packs have ribs/pads for promoting air flow. Does this really help keep you more comfortable or is it just marketing?

    I'm looking at the Camelbak Lobo as it appears to be about the same size as the old MULE. The current MULE seems way too big for my riding needs.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanq View Post
    My current Camelbak MULE is a 1999 or 2000 model year. It has served me well but is pretty beat up and the original/older design really had the pack laying with maximum contact to your back. It really makes me hot and sweaty on a ride and the water in the bladder gets warm fast.

    I notice the newer packs have ribs/pads for promoting air flow. Does this really help keep you more comfortable or is it just marketing?

    I'm looking at the Camelbak Lobo as it appears to be about the same size as the old MULE. The current MULE seems way too big for my riding needs.

    Thanks!
    Ha that's funny I'm running a Camelbak Mule from 2000' as well. The damn thing won't give up and surrender. It's as good as the day I bought it. I've noticed as did you that the newer versions have that vent system to keep it off your back for less of a sweaty feel. And I would say it's got to be better than the old design we've been using. That really is the only bad part of the older design. I say if you've got the extra coin to spend get a new one. The only reason I haven't is because of the well built original just keeps on going.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Ha that's funny I'm running a Camelbak Mule from 2000' as well. The damn thing won't give up and surrender. It's as good as the day I bought it. I've noticed as did you that the newer versions have that vent system to keep it off your back for less of a sweaty feel. And I would say it's got to be better than the old design we've been using. That really is the only bad part of the older design. I say if you've got the extra coin to spend get a new one. The only reason I haven't is because of the well built original just keeps on going.
    I wore mine on a trip to Moab that was pretty rough on it. One fall I rolled onto my back as I was sliding to limit the loss of skin on other parts of my body. The pack took the brunt of it. There is nothing slick about slick rock! A nearly perfect hole was cut where my phone was pressed against the outside the pack. I suppose it has character now! It is serviceable but I could easily justify putting one on my b-day or Christmas list.
    Ventana El Rey
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    Schwinn High Plains

    Project - Surly Ogre

  4. #4
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanq View Post
    I wore mine on a trip to Moab that was pretty rough on it. One fall I rolled onto my back as I was sliding to limit the loss of skin on other parts of my body. The pack took the brunt of it. There is nothing slick about slick rock! A nearly perfect hole was cut where my phone was pressed against the outside the pack. I suppose it has character now! It is serviceable but I could easily justify putting one on my b-day or Christmas list.
    Yeah I've ridden Slick Rock in Moab and I could see that being the Mules final demise. Although I've crashed numerous times with the Mule saving me from more pain. There's nothing wrong with buying a new one for an advanced design.
    --------- __o
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  5. #5
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    I have a Mule-NV, about three years old, that has the removable back insert that lifts the pack away from your back and allows air to flow through the channels and mesh built into the insert and pack. It works well enough that if I do not remove the insert on cooler winter days my back gets really cold from all the air movement. During the warmer summer days (Sacramento, CA....+95 degrees typical daily through July-August) it does it's job well. I understand the latest packs do an even better job at airflow.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  6. #6
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    Re: Vintage vs. latest Camelbak packs?

    I have a lobo that's about a year old and I love it. Don't have any experience with the older ones tho, my old one was a cheapo knockoff one

  7. #7
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    IME, each new version of the model it replaces has been an improvement.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  8. #8
    Neg reppers r my biatches
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    water has changed a lot since 2002 when i got my current camelback so yeah...i should probably "upgrade"

  9. #9
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    Vintage vs. latest Camelbak packs?

    I love my 2013 Mule NV. Great pack. It's been my favorite one yet. I wear it daily for commuting and while on the mtn bike.
    Its all Shits and Giggles until somebody Giggles and Shits

  10. #10
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    If you have problems with your water getting warm put some
    ice in it. On the real hot days I'll fill my bladder half way with
    ice.

  11. #11
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    I have a lobo that's about a year old and I love it.

  12. #12
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    About to find out for myself, just got a new camelback agent. It is a little big for my needs but , the next one down seems a little small.

  13. #13
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    I also have a Mule from 2000 or 2001. I also have a newer one... maybe 2010.

    Have you noticed the 2000 Mule has a small label that says "Made in USA", and the newer ones say "Made in China"?

    But what's concerning is, and I'm going OT, is the quality and workmanship seems just as good, with the newer models. So I imagine, Camelback is providing all specs, right down to the type of thread to use and exactly how to build them.
    If you're as old as I am, you remember how people used to view anything made in Japan as pure JUNK. That changed. Although of late they are having problems. But my point is, the same thing will happen with China. If they can put out a quality Camelback product there is no limit. Think of ANY top quality, Made in the USA product. China can make that! Manufacturing in the US is seriously screwed. And I don't know what the solution is. We will never be able to "make stuff" as cheaply as China. And I don't believe we will ever block imports of products to China. It doesn't paint a very good picture. Sorry for the rant.

  14. #14
    Warrior's Society
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    I have run one of the original Camelbaks that was nothing more than a sleeve with narrow straps on it to hold the bladder, to early MULES & HAWGS, to a MULE like model from 3 years ago.

    The newer packs definately fit better, flow air better, and have a better layout/organization of pockets than packs of old.

    I still have a HAWG from 2000 that just won't die....but it has been retired to trail work days.

    Can't really comment on how long the newer generation of packs will last...I rarely wear one these days.

    Keep an eye out for last years models on closeout....very much worth the cost over the "older" models.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  15. #15
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    I have a 5 year old lobo, no problems. Kinda smells though My back gets sweaty as hell even with the little channels.

  16. #16
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    I was a die hard Camelback user until recently. After years of use the reservoir simply wore out and was leaking. I went online and was surprised at how much just the bladder cost. I ended up buying a Platypus AM 12. It has a 100oz bladder that is way easier to fill and clean than any of my Camelback reservoirs. The feed hose has a quick disconnect at the reservoir end which makes removing it from the pack much easier. The bite valve has taken some getting used to though. The pack has compartments for tubes and my old school (long) pump fits great in the pump sleeve. The no sweaty back spacers help a ton... they work as advertised. I picked it up on closeout at SierraTradingPost for about twice the price of a basic replacement reservoir by itself. I still like my Camelbacks but don't let brand loyalty blind you to other options.

    Aloha

  17. #17
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by alohajeff View Post
    I was a die hard Camelback user until recently. After years of use the reservoir simply wore out and was leaking. I went online and was surprised at how much just the bladder cost. I ended up buying a Platypus AM 12. It has a 100oz bladder that is way easier to fill and clean than any of my Camelback reservoirs. The feed hose has a quick disconnect at the reservoir end which makes removing it from the pack much easier. The bite valve has taken some getting used to though. The pack has compartments for tubes and my old school (long) pump fits great in the pump sleeve. The no sweaty back spacers help a ton... they work as advertised. I picked it up on closeout at SierraTradingPost for about twice the price of a basic replacement reservoir by itself. I still like my Camelbacks but don't let brand loyalty blind you to other options.

    Aloha
    Hmmm this was your first post. You don't happen to have a connection to SierraTradingPost or Platypus.
    --------- __o
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    ************^^^^^^^^^Rock Garden

  18. #18
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    Nope. Zero affiliation with any manufacturer. No family or friends in the industry either. Just bored at work and was scrolling through posts. If you like I'll post up pictures of each pack and give you a rundown of why I think my newest pack is the best I have ever owned.

    Aloha

  19. #19
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by alohajeff View Post
    Nope. Zero affiliation with any manufacturer. No family or friends in the industry either. Just bored at work and was scrolling through posts. If you like I'll post up pictures of each pack and give you a rundown of why I think my newest pack is the best I have ever owned.

    Aloha
    Sure give us the run down I'm on the edge of my seat.
    --------- __o
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  20. #20
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    I will take that as a sarcastic No Thanks to the offer.

    Aloha

  21. #21
    Front Range, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by alohajeff View Post
    I will take that as a sarcastic No Thanks to the offer.

    Aloha
    Yeah pretty much but a comparison with photos may send the OP into a frenzy of confusion. Either that or make his decision simpler and faster.
    --------- __o
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    ************^^^^^^^^^Rock Garden

  22. #22
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    I just looked at their (Platypus) website. I find it odd that they don't show any photos of the side of the pack that is against your back. I was curious if they have something - venting, like the camelback, to keep it off your back.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    IME, each new version of the model it replaces has been an improvement.
    This. I've been "collecting" Camelbaks for about 15 years now either to get new sizes or just upgrade to the newer designs. They keep iteratively improving.

  24. #24
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    Re: Vintage vs. latest Camelbak packs?

    The thickness of the outer portion exceeds the center portion of the pack by approximately 5/8" to 3/4". The material that rests against your body is a padded mesh. The pack is also far less bulky than the bloated pictures on the Cascade Design website would suggest.

    Vintage vs. latest Camelbak packs?-uploadfromtaptalk1406172160471.jpg

    Vintage vs. latest Camelbak packs?-uploadfromtaptalk1406172174235.jpg

    With a well ventilated jersey I don't get swamp back in 90* heat with this pack. Any hotter than 90* and I save riding for another day.


    Aloha

  25. #25
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    I bought a mule nv this spring with the "ribs" on the back.......they provide a little more ventilation than my dieter pack did, but you still get a sweaty back....but it beats the alternative of being thirsty

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