One of the most essential elements of enjoying a great day of riding is staying hydrated. While we all know this is true, it’s not always easy to stay on top of the game. Many times, as a small woman I’ve often been faced with a mountain bike that does not allow for a full size water bottle, let alone two. I’ve run the gamut of hydration packs, many times feeling like Goldilocks and the three bears… this one’s too big, this one’s too small… and so on. Ah, but there is the Camelbak Magic.
While this bag isn’t new for 2011, a few small modifications have made a huge difference. Along with a few changes to the fit, Camelbak has added the new Antidote™ Reservoir with Quick Link™ System. This new design has an interior section that controls the budge of a full reservoir. The difference is noticeable, offering greater stability by keeping the pack closer to the body due to its lower profile. With the addition of the new quick-snap cap there are markings to ensure a tight close in just a 1/4 of a turn. Camelbak has also added the Quick Link™ System which makes removal and cleaning of the hose ten times easier.
The pack itself is a great size for an afternoon of trail riding. It efficiently holds 70oz of water, sufficient tools, food, and has just enough space to throw in arm and leg warmers or a light jacket. There is a stash pocket for a music player and personal items such as identification and credit card. All this plus a nice fit for the average woman’s narrower shoulders and smaller back. The sternum strap has a wide range of adjustability to account for chest size and there is a removable waist belt. A serious day on the trail definitely calls for the stability of a waist belt but since the size is so great I find myself using it for a quick hike or ride to the park too. It’s nice to be able to remove the waist belt.
I’ve always liked Camelbak packs and I appreciate that they continue to make innovations in the fit of their women’s designs. The 2011 Magic comes in 3 colors and retails for $75.
GBL Conclusion: The 2011 Camelbak Magic is comfortable, smart and great for a day of riding. We give this hydration pack the GBL Recommended stamp!