June 24, 2010
Chipps is over in Deer Valley Utah for three days this week at PressCamp2010. This is a mini-trade show of sorts (organised by Lance Camisasca, the guy who ran Interbike for many years) which gathers many medium sized companies together and throws a couple of dozen journos into the mix, rather than everyone zipping around the world chasing 100 different stories. Now, over to the bespectacled one…
Yesterday was a long day – starting with a 4am start, two flights and finishing with dinner for all the attendees in the lovely mountain resort of Deer Valley. I’ve just discovered that we’re staying at around 6500ft and will be riding up around 9500ft tomorrow… Ouch!
The idea at PressCamp is that we fill in the slots on these giant whiteboards and pick around eight 40 minute meetings a morning, from 8am until lunch, to see new products, then we get to test stuff after lunch on the Deer Valley trails. We do this for three days, seeing around 24 companies by the end of it…
Anyway, first off is Camelbak, because it’s my 8am meeting…
Before you go rushing off and hassling your bike shop, remember that this is all a very early glimpse at 2011 stuff. Many of the packs aren’t even being officially launched until Interbike. But who doesn’t love a sneak peak, eh?
Camelbak’s Chilljacket Podium bottle is great at keeping cold water cold for a couple of hours. It now comes in a giant new Big Chill bottle. They’ve gone further now with the Podium Ice, a new, insulated bottle that should keep your ice cold drink cold for a whole afternoon ride in the hot sun. The bottle is still squeezable and still has the clever twist lock drinking valve too.
Hate your tapwater? Camelbak has something for you too. Their new Groove bottles incorporate a carbon filter (like you’d find in your home Brita filter or similar) and it has enough surface area that it doesn’t impede the flow of water. Clever and great for everyone who lives in hard water country or at the wrong end of the waterworks.
Seth from Camelbak was most excited about the new Antidote bladder though. Developed over the last couple of years, it has several new features that all riders will appreciate. For a start it’s baffled, so that when filled it’s 28% lower profile and more like a lozenge, rather than sausage shape, and fits back into your pack easier. It’s also 19% lighter. The QuickLink hose is now detachable and will come with lots of aftermarket options (like an insulated hose for when you take it skiing) or with a Flow Meter pre fitted, or even with the carbon inline filter in the hose. We can finally all rejoice that the newly enlarged AirLite fill port (now the biggest in the business) is a quarter-turn click and open, rather than the struggle of the old one. Yay! And that’s not all, there are a couple of flip-out arms within the bladder that keep it held open when you’re drying it out, meaning even less need to get your hand in there and clean out the fungus. We approve.
The bladder will come in four sizes 3L, 2L and 1.5L – and brand new for 2011 is the lumbar reservoir.
Yes, there is a new lumbar pack, the Octane LR which finally gives the Wingnut zealots something else to lust after. After a brief try, I reckon it’s going to be very popular with all-day riders as the weight of the water is kept on your hips, not your shoulders.
Packs – every single pack has been redesigned for 2011 for reservoir integration. There is now a pocket for the reservoir handle so that the reservoir fills the pocket without slipping down as it empties. All packs are now 3D sewn so that the full bladder fits into it, without interfering with your cargo space.