Once again I was sent free gear from a vendor or manufacturer. This time, it was from Webtogs, an outdoor retailer in the UK that has been around for a while. They contacted me and offered me free gear with the expectation that they “…just look for an honest review and then we can share it around our social networks to increase engagement.” Seemed fair enough and I asked if they had anything related to hydration. They said they offered several CamelBak hydration packs and would send me one.
Since my CamelBak M.U.L.E. was about 15 years old, I decided it was time to get a new bladder backpack.
Within a few days, a box arrived at the door and in it was the CamelBak Rogue. Upon first glance, it almost looked exactly like my M.U.L.E. from 15 years ago. I went online and looked up the current version of the M.U.L.E., and discovered that it has evolved into a vastly larger pack, while the CamelBak Rogue has become the smaller pack.
It came with a 2 liter hydration bladder, but it appears that a 3 liter bladder would fit, too. The bladder tube threaded easily through the sleeve in the shoulder strap.
Right off the bat, I could feel the pack was lighter than my older one. I started to wonder if this fabric would hold up for 15 years like my old one, since the older one felt thick, like kevlar. I have worn the new pack on several bike rides and nothing has occurred to have me doubt its durability.
The layout of the pack is pretty familiar, with a small pocket up top for your keys, wallet, phone, and other small items. A nice touch that I find in packs is a clip for your key ring, preventing your keys from slipping out or becoming lost in a pocket crammed full of stuff.
One notable improvement is the flap that covers the reservoir opening. My old M.U.L.E. has zippers on either side of the flap. The Rogue has a little elastic pocket at the bottom of the flap that fits over the handle of the reservoir itself. I was initially concerned that this flap might come loose while riding, but it’s remained hooked to the bladder through all sorts of use.
The bottom pocket is big enough for your snacks and slightly larger items. There is an open pocket behind that for stuffing a light layer or a rain shell.
The CamelBak Rogue is a pretty standard hydration pack for those looking for a minimalist pack that can carry a small amount of things. Over the years, however, I’ve found that I like to carry a few extra things that make this type of pack too small for hiking day hikes. If it’s a hike on a warm day with no anticipated extra layers needed, this pack is sufficient. But if I am taking a longer hike, starting early and stripping layers, then I would like a little more room for gloves and other items.
You can see Webtogs’ collection of CamelBak hydration packs on their website.