For 2011 CamelBak has added a new member to the Octane family. The run friendly pack is called the CamelBak Octane LR. I first checked out this pack last November at The Running Event down in Austin, Texas. The biggest feature that caught my attention at first glance was the non-typical fluid reservoir. Instead of the IV bag-like reservoir, the Octane LR uses a reservoir that is positioned along the lower back and is appropriately called the Lumbar Antidote Reservoir.
The folks at CamelBak were kind enough to provide a pack to test and review. After nearly three months of dirt, rocks, roots, races, and a few diggers, it was time to share my thoughts on this pack and also provide some comparison with a favorite pack of mine from the Octane family – the CamelBak Octane XCT.
Most Groovy Features
What aspects of the newest member of the Octane family caught my attention like a revolving disco ball on a Saturday night?
Full figured shape
This pack isn’t a 70 ounce water bottle attached to your back. The pack has a handful of storage options to fill a variety of possible needs and adventure while still supporting your ability to run.
Junk in the trunk…and the front
How much storage? The Octane LR has 549 cubic inches of available storage space. I would consider it a moderate amount of room and contains over double the space available on the more minimalist Octane XCT (200 cubic inches).
Where can you store nutrition, clothing, lights, maps, a soprano ukulele, and other adventure goodies?
I did mention there were some storage options, right?
The Lumbar Antidote Reservoir has as its own unique style. The hydration bladder sits low in the pack along your hips/waist which allows you to pack a bit more up-top.
The final most notable feature of the Antidote reservoirs is the Quick-Link System. Simple click-in connectivity allows you to swap out tubes if desired (ex – insulated tube for cold weather).
Keepin’ it real
The Octane LR has all your standard feature you would expect from a run pack:
- multiple points of adjustability
- A dash of reflective safety
We cannot forgot one of my favorite cool points feature…the key clip. The Octane LR has it (in a waist pocket)!
The Groovin’ and Movin’ Experience – Plus Share and Compare versus the Octane XCT
I have worn the Octane LR pack on many trail adventures including a fun race down in Bandera. As is typical with other CamelBak packs I have worn, comfort is not an issue. I am a huge fan of the waist pockets and similarly to the Octane XCT, they are positioned more towards your back-side and require a bit of access-by-feel or an extremely twisty upper body. Not a big deal (to me), plus my arms are able to swing freely near my body without having to arc around the pockets.
The most notable pack observations revolve around the Lumbar Antidote reservoir.
The first is pack pressure. When the reservoir is filled, the majority of pack pressure is around your waist/lower back along the reservoir. The typical CamelBak reservoir pack pressure runs along your mid-back/spine. The waist pressure isn’t uncomfortable, just noticeable. Of course, as you drink the pressure dissipates as well.
The second observation is the art of the fill (when out of the pack). Compared to the standard reservoir, it requires a bit more elegance and grace to fill up the Lumbar Antidote Reservoir due to those fillable wings on each side of the cap. It is even more of a challenge to completely fill the reservoir when it is in the pack due to the pack pressure on the wings of the reservoir. The pack fabric and any items you may have in your waist pockets will reduce the ability to fill the reservoir up completely. I would recommend taking the bladder out of the pack completely if looking for a full fill.
For those interested in the Octane LR and the Octane XCT, here are the big diffs.
- Octane LR has quite a bit more storage space. (549 cubic inches versus 200 cubic inches – significant)
- The LR has 70 ounce reservoir, the XCT (2011) 100 ounce.
- In a race environment, the standard XCT bladder is easier to fill.
- The LR reservoir does push out some into the waist pockets especially when the reservoir is full.
- Pack pressure with full reservoir: LR – waist/lower-back, XCT – mid-back/spine.
I really dig the CamelBak Octane LR’s flexibility to support both basic and more complex running adventures. As with the XCT, I am a big fan of the waist pockets. The x-factor for some will be the reservoir system which can be awkward and slow(er) to refill under certain situations.
Trail runners that would be most interested in the Octane LR pack:
- Desire 70 ounce reservoir capacity.
- Desire a moderate amount of storage possibilities in a wide range of configurations.
- Is OK with pack pressure alone the waist/lower-back when the reservoir is full.
- Don’t require quick on-the-fly reservoir refills.
Anyone else use this pack? What are your thoughts?
You can purchase the CamelBak Octane LR and receive a 10% Endurance Buzz visitor discount at Running Warehouse.
- Click Running Warehouse
- Submit the displayed Endurance Buzz visitor discount code. You will see the discount noted in your shopping cart.
- The review above was based on the 2011 model. 2012 is now out. Here is the 2012 Octane LR pack.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
[The pack was provided by CamelBak but the review is purely my own. ]
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