Camelbak Consigliere vs. Camelbak M.U.L.E- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Camelbak Consigliere vs. Camelbak M.U.L.E

    I can't decide which pack to get, the 70 or 100 oz. doesnt really matter much to me. I just want a nice pack that I can take for 2-3 hour all mountain ride. Some days I ride xc and others I do shuttle and lift service.

    Looking for opinions from ppl who have had one of either of the packs.

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
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    I went from a 70 to a 100, still don't drink it all. Really it isn't the water size I was looking for, just a few more pockets that I could put tools and gels in. The 100 would be good for like a all day epic or something though, but it isn't necessary for a 2hr ride as you would be sucking down a lot of water and you would probably hurl.

    I would just get the 100 though unless it is more like a hiking bag/back pack I can't imagine those would be fun to ride and would throw you off balance pretty easy.
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  3. #3
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    I have a mule and its great, want to upgrade to the new antidote bladder with detachable hose so it can be cleaned better. I have always had a problem getting the hose clean even with the cleaner kit. Detaching from the bag would help a ton.
    I am now looking into Camelbak The Don because it is one of the few that has a full face helmet carrier spot.
    Anyways my mule is 5ish years old and going strong just a few bladder replacements since then.

  4. #4
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    I have the consiglere and has fitted my perfect. 2lt is enough for 2-3 hours ride, it can carry the essential (knee/elbow pads + a couple of sandwiches and spare tubes). It can also carry a full face helmet without a problem.
    (I also wear it when snowboarding (and I can barely fit the shovel + probe).
    I think the mule can fit more stuff, but in my case it was not the main concern.
    The new bladder with the easy detachable hose is a very welcomed feature though...
    For me:
    consigliere: 3 maybe 4 hours max of ride, with the essential stuff
    mule: 4+ hours of ride and more stuff

    hope it helps.

  5. #5
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    I would suggest the 100oz. On a hot lift day I feel like I want to suck down more water then riding trail sometimes. Besides if you don't need as much water just don't fill it up as much for a shorter ride!

    I would also suggest a different pack.

    http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_d...product_id=116

    The lower placement of weight is a huge difference. You don't get the pack riding up your shoulders affecting your center of gravity or smacking your helmet if you are bouncing around. These are great quality packs, just need to buy a bladder of choice. The 3.0 pack is my choice of size. It compacts much nicer than other packs when not full of stuff and is lighter than Camel backs. I have even commuted to work with this pack filled with food and clothes. Other sizes available too.

    Sorry to hijack and change subject, just wanted to share my pack experiences since this product really changed my thoughts on design/function/preferences for hydration packs.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mns
    I have the consiglere and has fitted my perfect. 2lt is enough for 2-3 hours ride, it can carry the essential (knee/elbow pads + a couple of sandwiches and spare tubes). It can also carry a full face helmet without a problem.
    (I also wear it when snowboarding (and I can barely fit the shovel + probe).
    I think the mule can fit more stuff, but in my case it was not the main concern.
    The new bladder with the easy detachable hose is a very welcomed feature though...
    For me:
    consigliere: 3 maybe 4 hours max of ride, with the essential stuff
    mule: 4+ hours of ride and more stuff

    hope it helps.
    Thank you, solid and simple write up. I actually picked up a mule at LBS today and I'm thinking about returning it. The ability to carry a full face helmet is pretty sweet for shuttle runs and long rides up.

    Tough Decision

  7. #7
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    I have a MULE and routinely strap my non FF helmet to it. Great pack. 100oz is the way to go, because you don't have to fill it up if you don't want to. Its true. MULE has stood the test of time and will not let you down. The Wingnut is intriguing, but costs at least 2x as much as what I paid for my MULE.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    I have a MULE and routinely strap my non FF helmet to it. Great pack. 100oz is the way to go, because you don't have to fill it up if you don't want to. Its true. MULE has stood the test of time and will not let you down. The Wingnut is intriguing, but costs at least 2x as much as what I paid for my MULE.
    Agreed, and I'd rather have a narrow pack to keep cool in the summer. I'm not going to be carrying a heavy load either.

  9. #9
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    Ordered a Consigliere after deciding that the ability to carry a full face helmet is a necessity. Thank you for everyone's help.

  10. #10
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    I am very disappointed with my MULE pack, I find that when the bladder is all filled up (100 or so oz.) that it limits what i can carry by a ton. It also causes a monster round bulge in your back when you have it full with a days worth of food and jacket, map, first aid kit tube, pump and such. I find the water to take up most storage room in the main pocket.

    Other problems are the is no outside cinch straps to strap leg and forearm armor on the outside. It is designed to skinny so it packs out ( away from back) instead of being a bit wider resulting in a thinner pack that does not pull out on shoulders and pitch side to side during riding. Just some food for thought, for anyone looking for a all day AM/ Free ride pack when armor is involved.

    I found looking for new packs that i ended up pulling the "stuffing" out of one or two of the show packs on the rack and stuffing the pack im looking at to the zippers fight to close and then throw it on and see how it fits and feels cause they feel very different full, even with just stuffing. The employees might look at you odd, but hey after all its your money in the end.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck
    I am very disappointed with my MULE pack, I find that when the bladder is all filled up (100 or so oz.) that it limits what i can carry by a ton. It also causes a monster round bulge in your back when you have it full with a days worth of food and jacket, map, first aid kit tube, pump and such. I find the water to take up most storage room in the main pocket.

    Other problems are the is no outside cinch straps to strap leg and forearm armor on the outside. It is designed to skinny so it packs out ( away from back) instead of being a bit wider resulting in a thinner pack that does not pull out on shoulders and pitch side to side during riding. Just some food for thought, for anyone looking for a all day AM/ Free ride pack when armor is involved.

    I found looking for new packs that i ended up pulling the "stuffing" out of one or two of the show packs on the rack and stuffing the pack im looking at to the zippers fight to close and then throw it on and see how it fits and feels cause they feel very different full, even with just stuffing. The employees might look at you odd, but hey after all its your money in the end.
    Thank you, I am going with the Consigliere and will post a review once I get the pack later this week.

  12. #12
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    i have the capo and woudl reccomend it. I use it for 2-4 hr rides all the time and love it

    cell phone storage perfect amount of space looks cool and great quality no leaks etc

    very nice bag

  13. #13
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    The consilgiere just arrived today and it looks like the perfect pack for what im looking for. I holds the bare essentials: pumps, tube, tools and lunch internally. on the outside it carries your full face helmet and armor nicely. Here are a couple pics (sry for cell phone quality):




  14. #14
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    Camelbak Consigliere: ventilation

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisP125 View Post
    The consilgiere just arrived today and it looks like the perfect pack for what im looking for. I holds the bare essentials: pumps, tube, tools and lunch internally. on the outside it carries your full face helmet and armor nicely.
    I'm interested in the Consigliere too. My only doubt is ventilation. The back panel doesn't have a longitudinal channel for air flow:

    Camelbak Consigliere vs. Camelbak M.U.L.E-back-consigliere-sml.gif

    Instead, the MULE has this channel. Looking at the back, it seems to me that the MULE might allow a better air flow--especially the NV version:

    Camelbak Consigliere vs. Camelbak M.U.L.E-camelbak_mule_nv_back_3_600.jpg

    Could you please tell me how is the Consigliere on this point? Does it make you sweat your back? How does it compare with the MULE and the MULE NV?

  15. #15
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    I love my MULE NV. I can carry knee/arm pads with my Giro FF strapped, bladder about half-full, tools and some food.
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    I just order a Osprey Raptor 14 today,,

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaelin View Post
    I love my MULE NV. I can carry knee/arm pads with my Giro FF strapped, bladder about half-full, tools and some food.
    How do you carry your knee and arm pads? Do you strap them as well as your full face helmet?

    I'd rather have a pack the size of Consigliere. I usually carry a multi-tool, a tube, a cereal bar. 2 litres of water would be enough. I have an extra tube and a small pump strapped on my bike, as well as 2 bottles of water--1 extra litre overall. So the Mule seems a bit oversized, also because I don't like to carry too much load on my back.

    However I like the Mule NV for its back panel. Besides, i defenitely prefer how it looks.

    Do you also reckon it's too big for my needs?

  18. #18
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    Got the mule 100oz with detachable hose and I'm amazed at what it can carry. I used to carry bottles on the bike be lost a couple whilst bouncing on rougher rides. Never looked back. Also I use five powder mixed with my water which I think replaces the need for energy bars and therefore storage of them.

  19. #19
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    I've been rocking the same MULE for 9 years. I use it for everything outdoors. Best piece of equipment I own.
    Last edited by curtboroff; 07-11-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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  20. #20
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    I havent had any issues with the Consigliere and breath ability. I think what it boils down to is whether you want to be able to carry a full face helmet and if you need the 100 oz. resivoir. its a great pack and carry's everything you need and more.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisP125 View Post
    I havent had any issues with the Consigliere and breath ability. I think what it boils down to is whether you want to be able to carry a full face helmet and if you need the 100 oz. resivoir. its a great pack and carry's everything you need and more.
    I got the Mule NV last year and it can also carry a FF strapped to the back. In saying that, I picked up a Dakine Drafter so I can carry my armor on the bottom straps.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisP125 View Post
    I havent had any issues with the Consigliere and breath ability. I think what it boils down to is whether you want to be able to carry a full face helmet and if you need the 100 oz. resivoir. its a great pack and carry's everything you need and more.
    I think I'll take the Consigliere. The MULE NV weighs 800 grams. To me it's too much.

  23. #23
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    I'll try the mule, but in the military version;

    Less fashion, but more practical in my opinion, their military gear are looking more tougher. I have currently 2 camelbaks, a thermobak and an ambush in 3 liters version. I'm very satisfied. On the mule you have molle attachments points so you can put pouches on it to satisfy your needs.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    How do you carry your knee and arm pads? Do you strap them as well as your full face helmet?

    I'd rather have a pack the size of Consigliere. I usually carry a multi-tool, a tube, a cereal bar. 2 litres of water would be enough. I have an extra tube and a small pump strapped on my bike, as well as 2 bottles of water--1 extra litre overall. So the Mule seems a bit oversized, also because I don't like to carry too much load on my back.

    However I like the Mule NV for its back panel. Besides, i defenitely prefer how it looks.

    Do you also reckon it's too big for my needs?
    I wrap the arm/elbow guards with the knee/shin guards and put them into the 'open' pocket.. then I stick the lower half of my FF into the top of the pocket and clip the straps around the cinches. Then cinch down tightly, and viola. Safe and secure.

    The Mule NV IS kind of big though for something like a XC ride.. I have a Rogue for those occasions.

    You can certainly cinch down everything on your relatively empty Mule and it won't occupy THAT much real estate on your back, but that defeats the purpose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    I'll try the mule, but in the military version;

    Less fashion, but more practical in my opinion, their military gear are looking more tougher. I have currently 2 camelbaks, a thermobak and an ambush in 3 liters version. I'm very satisfied. On the mule you have molle attachments points so you can put pouches on it to satisfy your needs.
    You can also attach it to your gassmask, in case of chemical warfare attacks.
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  26. #26
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    Camelbak Charge 450

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisP125 View Post
    I havent had any issues with the Consigliere and breath ability. I think what it boils down to is whether you want to be able to carry a full face helmet and if you need the 100 oz. resivoir. its a great pack and carry's everything you need and more.
    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    I think I'll take the Consigliere. The MULE NV weighs 800 grams. To me it's too much.
    Yesterday I saw the MULE and the Consigliere in a shop. I thought the Consigliere was smaller, but actually it appears similar to the MULE. It's narrower but longer. Both appear a bit heavy and I wonder how they feel during hot summer days here in Italy.

    The MULE NV instead is bulkier and heavier and I exclude it.

    Regarding what you can carry, i think with the Consigliere you can also carry knee and elbow guards. Instead as other people said you can carry a full face helmet with the MULE or Charge 450 (see below) as well.

    I also saw the new Charge 450. Again, very similar size to the MULE, with a 100 oz bladder. But it is much lighter. This would be an advantage during short runs, when I don't take much things apart from the bladder itself, documents and keys and a small multi-tool. I heard ventilation is just ok though, because its pads are not very thick, in order not to add too much weight. But I don't know, looking at it it seems more appropriate for cycling during very hot days.. Anyone has tried it?
    Last edited by solitone; 07-17-2011 at 01:45 AM.

  27. #27
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    Wingnut packs

    Quote Originally Posted by lew s lugnut View Post
    I would also suggest a different pack.

    http://www.wingnutgear.com/product_d...product_id=116

    The lower placement of weight is a huge difference. You don't get the pack riding up your shoulders affecting your center of gravity or smacking your helmet if you are bouncing around. These are great quality packs, just need to buy a bladder of choice. The 3.0 pack is my choice of size. It compacts much nicer than other packs when not full of stuff and is lighter than Camel backs. I have even commuted to work with this pack filled with food and clothes. Other sizes available too.
    Didn't know Wingnut packs and they do seem very interesting. They are not cheap though!

    What bladder did you choose? Is it true that every 3 liter bladder would fit into the hyper 3.0?

    The most crucial thing for me is transpiration and back panel ventilation. I live in Italy and often it's very hot here. So this point is very important to me. How are Wingnut packs in this respect?

    Also I'd like a pack not too bulcky or heavy. Often I just have a 2 hours ride and so I just take the bladder, my documents and keys as well as a small multi-tool. So I'd appreciate a lightweight pack that compacts. From what you say the Hyper packs have this feature, but I'd like to hear your experiance regarding ventilation.

    I'd be more interested in the hyper 2.5, which best fits my needs. Can you attach a full face helmet to it. Can you also attach knee and elbow pads?

    Finally, do you know whether they have added some inside pockets in recent models? I gather organizing stuff inside is sort of an issue. Considering cost I would expect them to allow good organization but apparently this is not the case..
    Last edited by solitone; 07-17-2011 at 01:59 AM. Reason: Added some points

  28. #28
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    i vote for the Mule. Plenty space for a 3-5 hours riding

  29. #29
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    I have the MULE military version. Has served Afghanistan and Iraq for 3 years, and is now 5 years old and still going. Maybe not the lightest, but very durable. Also, I'd always go with as much water as you can. I live in the desert and water is life, especially if you're stranded in the heat.

  30. #30
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    Also remember the Mule NV is heavier because it has a hard backplate that 1) keeps things rigid enough to allow for more airflow between the pack and your back and 2) acts like a DH backplate for protection.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by vaelin View Post
    Also remember the Mule NV is heavier because it has a hard backplate that 1) keeps things rigid enough to allow for more airflow between the pack and your back and 2) acts like a DH backplate for protection.
    Yes, that's right. But I mostly have 2-3 hours rides. I only have 3-5 hours during the holidays. Therefore I don't know whether the NV is worth it--for 2 hours rides I'd rather have a lightweight pack.

    Therefore at the moment I'm considering the Camelbak Charge 450 and the Octane LR:
    http://reviews.mtbr.com/camelbak-octane-lr-review

    But I wonder if their back panels are ventilated enough. I know I can't have the same air flow that the MULE NV allows for, however I'd like to have at least a decent ventilation.

  32. #32
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    Got Consigliere, riding with it almost every ride since it is small.

    Ventilation is sufficient, there is no need for vertical groove, as the backpack is small enough not to cause dramatic sweating.

    The bladder holds 2 liters, and that is enough for some serious ride time. Unless it is FREAKING hot, 2 liters will hold you for more than just 2-3 hours. This crap about "you must drink all the time, drink drink driiiiink" is ridiculous. If I drank enough water prior to ride, I can ride almost whole day sucking on 2 liters on my back, and I will not get dehydration headaches etc. Actually, after the ride, even if I sweated, I need to pee - meaning there was enough fluid in me.

    Consigliere is big enough to hold sandwiches, 2 bananas, some spare parts, mobile phone, small camera, extra shirt, gloves, socks. And you can attach fullface on the outside.

    I see people with big packs, and they usually make a mistake of overpacking. They bloody take with them some stuff I would not even dream of taking. Know what you need - small pack is enough.
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  33. #33
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    I have a MULE... The extra liter came in handy yesterday. Took a 2hr ride in 100F temps and finished the last drop just as I got home...

    I carry two tubes, a pump, some maps, two Cliff Bars, keys, cell phone, derailleur hanger. Schrade Cliphanger knife, and my cigs (yes I smoke)...

    I think all packs will make your back sweaty... But its better than carrying your water in bottles on the frame!
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  34. #34
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    i bought the capo, the one size up from the consigliere.. perfect size IMHO. not big at all, but not too small. can fit all my tools, pump, tubes, food, change of clothes, etc and 100oz of liquid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staticuxo View Post
    i bought the capo, the one size up from the consigliere.. perfect size IMHO. not big at all, but not too small. can fit all my tools, pump, tubes, food, change of clothes, etc and 100oz of liquid.
    I love my CAPO too!!! 3Litres is perfect for the tropics!!! and the compartments are aweome along with the FF helmet clips. Above all the size is perfect!!!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I am very disappointed with my MULE pack, I find that when the bladder is all filled up (100 or so oz.) that it limits what i can carry by a ton. It also causes a monster round bulge in your back when you have it full with a days worth of food and jacket, map, first aid kit tube, pump and such. I find the water to take up most storage room in the main pocket.
    Spot on, the above is, especially that bit abuot the "monster round bulge" from the water bag. Plus, that NV back-panel is worthless. All it did for me was to make the pack more unstable by moving the weight further away from my pack. Thankfully, you can remove that panel, which helps some.

  37. #37
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    I have the Consigliere, It's a perfect size for my rides. Not to big and lots of cool features. It's got a cool compartment on top where I can slip my iphone in and listen to music without headphones if I want. I think the only complaint I have with it is the bite valve has come off a few times when it gets caught on things, a zip tie would fix that..

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by racrdan View Post
    I think the only complaint I have with it is the bite valve has come off a few times when it gets caught on things, a zip tie would fix that..
    Mine comes off too easily as well. I thought I was just unlucky, but I guess I'm not the only one. I've been intending to buy a metal hose clamp to hold it in place. Mine's loose enough that I've had it come off while I was sucking down water. Usually it stays on, but it's worrisome that it's such a loose fit.

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