CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14 Review

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“Hydrate or die.” This is one of my favourite ever marketing slogans. CamelBak came out with it in the nineties, and while it’s ever so slightly melodramatic, it has a point.

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14

While the risk of death from running out of something to drink during a mountain bike ride in the UK is slim, there is definitely something to be said for proper hydration on proper rides.

No, a water bottle won’t cut it. Neither will two water bottles in the unlikely event of your bike frame being able to accept two bottles.

A basic rule of thumb is at least one litre of water for every two hours of being in the mountains – and don’t set off thirsty. I hate riding with a backpack as much as anyone, but I hate being dehydrated on a big ride even more. When you get dehydrated you go wrong. Going wrong is not good.

Like good ol’ M.U.L.E. packs of yore, the Pro 14 is aimed at big days out and comes with loads of genuinely useful storage arrays. The back panel is most excellently called ‘Air Support’ and really does help reduce sweaty back syndrome.

It wouldn’t be a CamelBak without a reservoir and the CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14 features the excellent Crux Reservoir which holds three litres. As well as a compartmentalised main storage chamber, the M.U.L.E. Pro 14 has a hip belt with cargo carrying capability (which is a must) and a removable bike tool organiser wrap thingy. You can also insert an optional ‘Impact Protector’ spine protection armour into the pack.

It’s not until you’ve had a CamelBak for a decent amount of time that you begin to appreciate what their real USP is: they are extremely flipping well made. CamelBaks just keep on going year after year. And in my opinion they still have the best reservoir and bite-valve design out there. By miles.

On the trail, the CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14 is as ‘forgettable’ as backpacks get. Forget that you’re actually wearing it, in other words. For such a capacious pack, it’s significantly more invisibly comfy than packs half its size. It just has a great combination of security and stability around your torso without having to be cinched up to 11.

If you’re going on a ride where you need to carry more stuff than usual and a bumbag just won’t cut it, the M.U.L.E. Pro 14 is as good as hydration packs get.

This product features in our Daytrippin’ Kit Essentials buyer’s guide

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Review Info

Brand: CamelBak
Product: M.U.L.E. Pro 14
From: ZyroFisher
Price: £140.00
Tested: by Benji for Singletrack World Magazine Issue 149

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

More posts from Ben

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • CamelBak M.U.L.E. Pro 14 Review
  • molgrips
    Free Member

    I use a MULE from something like 2006 at which point it was considered large, even though now it looks decidedly slim. It can just hold pumps, spare tubes, a bit of food and maybe a thin jacket. But it’s been used loads and still shows almost no signs of wear.

    And I much prefer it to loading up my bike with stuff or wearing a bum bag. Yes, I said bum bag.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    I agree about the longevity thing, my MULE is over 20 years old and while I won’t claim it looks brand new, it’s pretty tidy and the only failure I’ve had on it was the buckle on the lower strap that I trapped in the car door one clumsy Sunday.

    As @molgrips though – I can’t help thinking these things look enormous! Mine is 1/2 the size. Is it like cars where the same model has gotten 3-5mm bigger per year (because bigger = better, right?) since it was first created and now it’s enormous?

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Smaller ones are still available. It’s just the model name that has come to apply to an ever larger bag.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

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