The market for full-size hip bags is highly competitive. Could the successor of the outstanding Palos LR 4 be one of the hot candidates for our coveted Best in Test title? No, unfortunately not, but there’s one thing it is really good at – the clue is in the company name.
At € 80, the CamelBak Repack LR 4 is the second cheapest model with an integrated hydration bladder in test. With their Repack RL 4, Camelback did a lot of things right but also made a few choices we cannot really understand: the hydration bladder with the huge, heavy screw cap is total overshoot for a pack this size. On top of that it features a fixed hose that can’t be removed. The double zipper of the front compartment also left us scratching our heads: while this is meant to facilitate access, it actually reduces the usable space and could even cause the contents to fall out.
The same compartment has a zipped pocket to the front and two vertical partitions. Unfortunately, the double zipper doesn’t let you use the hollow space in between, as the lower partition might open and the contents fall out. However, there are two additional compartments on the hip belt, a flexible one with an elastic band on the right and a zipper compartment to the left. The main compartment has only one partition for the hydration bladder.
In terms of comfort, the CamelBak Repack LR 4 scores full points. The pack fits snug around the hips and the belt relies on a pulley-like system to compress all contents, preventing them from moving around inside the pack. With the Repack RL you can easily carry a full water bladder without feeling like the pack has developed a life of its own. A full water bladder, however, will significantly limit the volume inside the pack, which means you might be able to carry all your basic trail essentials but not a windstopper or spare jersey. By the way, the Repack LR 4 no longer features the practical external holder for spare clothing and kneepads the previous model had.
The Repack RL 4 provides excellent and comfortable fit, good stability and features a very robust drinking bladder. However, you’ll have to make a few compromises with its compartment layout and overall usability. Similar to the SOURCE Hipster 1.5L, the Repack LR 4 is a great option if you want to carry a drinking bladder but don’t want to compromise on comfort – provided you don’t need to carry around too much other stuff with you. In terms of the hydration bladder itself, the competition from SOURCE is clearly ahead of CamelBak though.
- Highest wearing comfort
- Stable fit
- Robust hydration bladder
- Rather warm
- Back padding absorbs sweat
- With the double zipper system you could risk to lose the contents
- The bladder hose can’t be removed
For more information head to camelbak.com
The test field
Click here for an overview of the best MTB hip pack in test
All hip packs in review: Bedrock Bags Greysill Hip Pack (Click for review) | Bontrager Rapid Pack (Click for review) | CamelBak Podium Flow (Click for review) | CamelBak Repack LR 4 | Dakine Hot Laps 5L (Click for review) | Dakine Hot Laps 2L (Click for review) | Dakine Hot Laps Stealth (Click for review) | Deuter Pulse 3 (Click for review) | Deuter Pulse 2 (Click for review) | EVOC HIP PACK PRO 3l (Click for review) | EVOC HIP PACK RACE 3l (Click for review) | EVOC HIP POUCH 1l (Click for review) | EVOC RACE BELT (Click for review) | High Above Cascadia (Click for review) | High Above Lookout (Click for review) | High Above Das Radpack (Click for review) | ION Hipbag Traze 3 (Click for review) | Leatt Hydration Core 2.0 (Click for review) | Mavic XA 3L Belt (Click for review) | Mavic Crossride Belt (Click for review) | Mavic Deemax Belt (Click for review) | Race Face Rip Strip (Click for review) | SOURCE Hipster 1.5L (Click for review) | SOURCE Hipster Ultra 5L (Click for review)
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Words: Photos: Andreas Maschke, Christoph Bayer