CamelBak Skyline 10 LR – Reviewed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Do you still wear a pack?