I was recently asked to review a pack from CamelBak’s new MTB Impact Protection range. As a long term devotee of CamelBak’s products, I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on their new range first – not least because my current, well-used pack was starting to show signs of it’s very well-travelled life and I was definitely in the market for an upgrade.
The new Solstice Camelback is quite a bit bigger than what I was previously used but also, happily, not too much heavier. And, considering what it has to offer, the Solstice has great bang for it’s size-buck.
Made of tough, durable weather-proof fabric, this pack was built to withstand the rigours of mountain biking’s harshest conditions. As a mountain biking instructor, I often need to carry lots of extra items, including a first aid kit, spare tubes, rain jackets and extra snacks, so having a pack that can take the load as well as supports me in carrying it is so important. The back of the pack is reinforced and padded to help distribute and support the weight that you can potentially load it up with. The shoulder, chest and waist straps are most definitely designed with women in mind, fitting snuggly without cutting in or chafing. Additionally, if you’re like me and like to be a bit organised, there are plenty of pockets and compartments to help keep your pack organised and your stuff easily accessible. The quick access front pocket is a favourite for my phone, and lip balm can go in the waist pocket, zipped up nice and safe. Something for everything!
The Solstice also has capacity to carry a 3L water bladder, which itself is top quality in terms of design and being free of BPAs, BPS’, and BPF’s. The large screw top cap on the bladder makes it nice and easy to open and close, as well as easy to keep clean and dry when not in use. I love the mouth piece – once again, it is user friendly with an easy open/close lever, and sits nicely over your shoulder for easy access.
I wouldn’t normally comment on aesthetics, but as someone who usually opts for black accessories to avoid overlyfeminised products, the bright jade colour scheme was refreshingly appealing without being “girly”.
All in all, CamelBak have done it again with a winning combination of functionality, comfort and smart design. I know what I’ll be asking for this Christmas!