The CamelBak Repack LR4 hip pack is the new iteration of the Palos bum bag. Its more stable than its predecessor owing to a larger and wider waist belt and the storage is better organised too.
Part of the Low Rider series of mountain bike bags the Repack is a pretty large bum bag, offering 2.5L litres of storage and room for a 1.5L bladder. The Low Riders packs aim to keep position the weight if the bags low on the waist neat to the centre of gravity.
The amount of water and storage on offer is perfect for two to three, I found 1.5L of water enough plus there was plenty of room to store tools and snacks within the bag itself. Overfilling the bag makes it protrude from the back and bob about a litter so I found it was best to strap bulkier items such as tube and pump to my frame to avoid stuffing it too full.
When positioned on the waist the Repack is comfortable to wear, the large waist strap has wide side pockets which wrap around the hips and help keep the bag still when riding. It no longer moves around, or slides round the waist as the old Palos did. The straps themselves employ a cinch approach which makes then super easy to do up tightly and evenly. The webbing of the straps is attached to the front section of the pack allowing this to be winched in tightly when empty.
The straps also stay done up tightly, again an improvement on the old Palos pack which could loosen over time. As the water content decreases I did need to tighten the straps to keep the pack close to my back but that is to be expected.
I’m 160cm and a dress size 8-10, I found the straps of the Repack to only just be able to go tight enough on my waist so slimmer riders might want to check carefully with the pack fully loaded and unloaded before purchase. Some review’s on the CamelBak site not that the pack straps aren’t long enough for larger riders either so again, try before you buy.
As always the CamelBak reservoir is a delight to use, it dispenses a good flow of water, the bite valve doesn’t leak and the hose is secured to the pack via a neat magnet which I found only gets dislodged in extreme and unfortunate circumstances when racing. The hose was pretty long for me so I simply cut it down so it wrapped around my waist neatly. You can further tune the placement of the magnetic ‘tube trap’ by repositioning it along the webbing at the top of the spacious side pockets ensuring you can keep it within reach.
The main storage is inside the pack with the outer compartment revealed via a double zippered flap. I liked this layout as it enabled the pocket to be fully unzipped and flipped open for easy access when off the bike or to just use the top zip so as not to lose items if opening it whilst it is still on your back. Inside there are two compartments plus a zipped mesh pocket with a key hook for valuables. Elsewhere there is a reflective loop attachment for a rear light, a nice bright interior so you can locate gear more easily and easy to grab zipper toggles.
I would like to see some kind of outer strap so if needed a jacket could be rolled up and stored in emergencies. It would be nice to see a smaller handle and opening on the 1.5L bladder as this chunky plastic construction does take up quite some space inside a pack which is limited on room anyway.
If you are looking for a quality bum bag for rides about 3 hours in length then the CamelBak Repack LR4 is a great option. At £69.99 the Repack isn't a bad price considering the CamelBak quality, although there are cheaper options; the equivalent Dakine Hop Laps pack is £55 and the EVOC Hip Pack Race is £56.95. I enjoy having the option of a hip pack in my gear stash to get weight off my back and the Repack is one I reach for again and again.
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