Camelbak HAWG Commute 30

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The Camelbak HAWG Commute 30 and MULE Commute 22 are commuter specific packs designed to carry all the stuff you need to and from the office. What we have here is the bigger of the two, but apart from size the two bags have all the same features. The smaller MULE is £30 cheaper, at £120 instead of £150.

Three Things I Liked

  • Room for everything
  • Stays put
  • Some well thought out pockets

Three Things I’d Change

  • More eye catching colour or panels for on the road.
  • Better phone and key storage pockets.
  • More padding in the laptop section.

There’s no rain cover included but the outer fabric seems waterproof so far – though I’ve not had the deep winter weather to fully put this to the test. It’s a slightly rubbery sort of wipe clean fabric, and the rubber seal covered zips give the whole thing the look of some fairly specialist clothing. There are some decent sized reflective patches on the pack’s sides, and details on the back, though no doubt some commuters might wish for a brighter colour, or at least some bright panels – it’s only available in black. Perhaps those that are taking their pack into meeting rooms will appreciate how it doesn’t stand out from the crowd. You get an attachment point for a rear light too – always handy on a commuter pack I think.

On one side you get a good sized zippered pocket with internal elastic pouch – handy for essential tools and spares that you hope not to need on your commute. On the other side is a large stretchy pocket that’s useful for carry a D-lock. There’s a helmet carrying/waterproof stuffing pouch on the front of the pack too, handy perhaps if you don’t have good changing facilities.

On the top of the bag is a fleecy eyewear pouch – in reality I tended to use this for my keys and wallet. The zip opening seemed to me to be quite tight compared to the size of pocket beyond it.

The main section of the bag contains an upper mesh zippered pouch, and lower fabric zippered one to the front of the pack. To the rear there’s pouch, handy for A4 items like documents perhaps. In between those two sides is a great big void for you to fill with shoes, lunch, clothes… whatever.

In the back there’s a pouch where you could put a bladder if you wanted (for truly epic commutes, perhaps), and a sewing in roll top laptop bag. There’s a small amount of padding to either side of this section, but I preferred to continue using my own padded laptop sleeve and slide it straight into the back section, ignoring the roll top space. Should you wish to use the roll top sleeve, I think you’ll find it fits most laptops – it’s a pretty generous size.

Three foam back pieces make the pack comfortable on you back, although they are quite large so there’s not a huge amount of back ventilation there. However, commuting with a full load can be pretty heavy, so you may well be glad of the cushioning.

The straps are adjustable at the bottom only, but you also get a sternum strap and removeable waist strap. The left strap has a stretchy zippered phone pocket, while the right strap has a stretchy pouch with key clip.

In Use

The Camelbak HAWG 30 is a genuinely useful commuter pack. It’s the best commuter pack I’ve used. It’s big enough to carry all your stuff, but light enough that it doesn’t feel like the bag itself is adding to your load. Depending on the size of your feet and squishiness of your shoes, you might struggle to fit in a laptop, complete change of clothes, shoes, and lunchbox. For me, I can easily fit lunch, some pumps, a pair of dungarees, T-shirt and light jacket into this section.

The side pockets mean you can keep the stuff you need to carry back and forth just in case separate from your work gear. The biggest gripe I’ve got about the pockets is that the phone pocket is too small – it only just fits my phone, and getting it in and out is a two handed operation. Odd, as on the Camelbak Chase Vest they’ve got this pocket just right. The other strap pocket isn’t great either – it’s not really useful for keys – they do fit, but it feels unnecessarily faffy to clip your keys in and out at the end of every ride. Another zip pouch here, or a hip pouch, would be better in my opinion.

As important as being able to cram all your stuff in is the ability to carry it comfortably. This pack actually stays put well, making an off road commute (especially on an ebike, where a heavy pack is less of a concern) a fun opportunity. It’s sturdy enough that it seems to be holding up well to use, without being so heavy and overbuilt that you start to think taking crisps for lunch might save some weight over a sandwich.


The Camelbak HAWG Commute 30 is by far the best commuter pack solution I’ve found so far. It carries a laptop and clothes well, and it works as a backpack off road. You can keep your office stuff separate from your bike repair stuff, and there’s room for a change of top and trousers. If you wear size 11 brogues, you’ll probably want to leave them at the office rather than squeeze them in every day, but for most cycle commuters I think this HAWG Commute 30 will do the trick. There’s the 22 litre MULE version if you want to save a bit of cash, but personally I’d take the extra 8 litres and have room for extra large lunches. Commuting by bike is a hungry business!

Review Info

Brand: Camelbak
Product: H.A.W.G Commute 30
Price: £150
Tested: by Hannah for 1 month
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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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