CamelBak Skyline 10 LR – Reviewed

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Kaz Yamamura
Date Jun 15, 2016

CamelBak recently released a couple of new riding backpacks aimed at lowering the weight on your back. The idea being that you can take more weight off your shoulders, put more weight on your hips, the resulting low center of gravity should give you more stability on bumpy trails. I like bumpy trails, so I figured I’d try out the CamelBak Skyline 10 LR.

Image 1

The CamelBak Skyline 10 LR all loaded up and ready for a ride

CamelBak has designed the Skyline 10 LR to suit a more aggressive rider. Enough space for the things you need to carry on a 3 hour-ish ride, nothing more. The Skyline 10 LR is designed to carry a helmet, armor, multi-tool, pump, spare tube, extra layer, energy bar, phone, keys and 3 litres of water. This covers the items I need on the vast majority of rides. The Skyline 10 LR weighs in at 0.98 kg (2.15 lbs) and will set you back $130 USD. This makes the Skyline 10 LR a bit porkier than other 10 litre packs, and a hair on the expensive side of hydration packs.

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The Camelbak Skyline 10LR fits most of the normal gear I’d take on a ride.

The main feature of the Skyline 10 LR is the lumbar water bladder. It sits low and wide across the back, which immediately felt comfortable and natural on the first ride. There is an adjustable strap inside the waist belt that provides tension around the bladder, holding it more effectively to your lower back. The bladder is well made to CamelBak’s normally high standards. The bite valve is excellent, and the removable hose from the bladder is useful when filling.

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The red strap you can see running across the inside of the yellow opening allows you to tension the bladder against your back separately to the main pack.

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Tighten the low-slung bladder with your thumbs.

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The Skyline 10LR comes with a handy tool pouch that can be rolled out to aid trail side fixes.

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There is, of course, a great smartphone pouch – for the connected endurobro or sis.

I did, however, notice a couple of niggles right off the bat with the Skyline. There are two bright orange straps that wrap around the bottom of the pack. I think these are intended for strapping knee pads to the Skyline. When not in use there is no mechanism included for rolling the tails up, so they just dangle in the breeze. I fixed this with some velcro, but an integrated solution like the shoulder straps would have been appreciated.

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The straps I used for my knee pads had no means for keeping the tails in check. Also on a muddy ride the knee pads wound up eating rear tire spray. A slightly more expandable front pouch would be a great improvement, allowing knee pad relocation to the more covered area.

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The eyewear pouch is too small for a pair of goggles, which I think is a miss considering the intended market of endurbros. However, there was room in the main pouch for my goggles.

The biggest frustration though was all the straps seem to loosen off at an alarming rate. I wouldn’t notice it during a single descent, but I found myself readjusting the straps on almost every ride.

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Another miss is that it is difficult to carry a full face helmet on your back. The helmet hooks work great with an open face style strap, but doesn’t jive well with a double-D-ring style strap that is common on many full face helmets.

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The Skyline 10 LR was comfortable to ride in and had minimal movement when adjusted correctly.

Ultimately I like the concept of the Skyline 10 LR, but I can’t say the lower center of gravity made a huge difference in my rides. Certainly the advantage of the lumbar bladder isn’t enough to offset the other shortcomings of the Skyline 10 LR like the non-ideal armour carrying straps, the eyewear pocket that is too small, the loosening straps, the inability to carry a full face helmet, and the porky weight. 

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Ummmmm …. Happy place.

On the upside, I like the way the Skyline 10 LR looks, it was comfortable to ride in, and the quality of construction is excellent. The Skyline 10 LR is a good hydration pack for aggressive riders. However based on the niggles I found using the Skyline 10 LR, the cost, and the weight, I think there are better hydration packs on the market.

Here is Rémy ripping with his Skyline.

Check out the Skyline 10LR here…


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Comments

Vikb
0
Vik Banerjee  - July 14, 2016, 7:36 a.m.

I got one of these packs. The review above agrees with my experiences pretty well. I like carrying the weight low. It holds enough to be dangerous for a long day ride, but not much more. It's well made with lots of "features".

My grips are:

  • too heavy for a small pack
  • I don't need all the features and would rather have a lighter pack
  • waist belt does work loose by itself and needs re-tightening every few runs

One other more significant issue I have with this pack is the weight sits behind me in a big lump. I'd like the pack to wrap around me more if that makes sense.

All in all not a bad pack. However, not as good as I had hoped for. I'll keep using it until I find a lumar pack that is better.

Reply

fl3tch
0
Fl3tch  - June 17, 2016, 11:11 a.m.

I have this pack and it is great for those with a long torso and/or mid back issues. I recommend setting up like a fanny pack that has straps. Loosen up the shoulder straps completely and cinch up the waist strap so 2 to 3 L of water is held comfortably by your hip bones (think really low). Then tighten the shoulder straps just so it holds the pack against your back but doesn’t hold much weight. When standing the weight will sit crazy low and it feels strange, but when on a bike it feels balanced. Cinching tightly around the hips bones keeps the weight low and very stable.

Reply

Captain-Snappy
0
Merwinn  - June 16, 2016, 9:34 a.m.

Like the lumbar bladder location. Not as squishy around the shoulder blades.

Little chilly out there Tim? 😉

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - June 16, 2016, 4:25 p.m.

Hahaha, it was quite chilly in that parking lot!

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - June 16, 2016, 9:02 p.m.

Sounds to me like someone is hoping for a few Kaz Yamamura shots of Tim modelling an 'Enduro Tank Top'. Didn't get enough from the nipple shot above eh? 🙂

Reply

sospeedy
0
sospeedy  - June 16, 2016, 4:15 a.m.

Great take on the pack Tim, thanks! There appears to be quite a bit of coverage over the back (from the shoulder straps and pack itself) and waist (wide hip belt). Would you say that this pack rides warmer/sweatier than a "normal" Camelbak, such as the Mule?

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - June 16, 2016, 4:34 p.m.

I don't think it rides any warmer / sweatier than a similar size pack. I don't think the bottom of the back is any lower than a normal pack, its just more square than most other packs, dropping the weight lower on the back.

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