Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

This is What I Thought About the Camelbak Repack LR4 Hip Hydration Pack

If you’ve been into mountain biking for a while, you know you should never hit the trail without a few key items. For most bikers (myself included), those items are trailside repair tools, a spare tube for flats, a snack for a mid-ride energy boost, and plenty of water. Up until last month, I always carried a lightweight day pack (preferably with a hydration bladder), but for this spring, I decided to try riding with a hip pack instead. Specifically, the Camelbak Repack LR4.

The Camelbak Repack LR4 is a padded hip pack designed specifically for mountain bikers, which features 2.5 liters of storage space, more pockets than your dad’s cargo shorts at the family barbeque, and (most importantly) an integrated 1.5-liter water bladder. After logging some long miles on local trails, the Repack LR4 has officially made a hip pack convert out of me. Here’s why.

The Camelbak Repack LR4 now includes the quick disconnect seen here.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What Is the Camelbak Repack LR4?

Simply put, the Repack LR4 is a hip pack (aka lumbar pack, aka bum bag) that specifically caters to mountain bikers like myself. It combines a supportive hip belt with tons of pockets for storage and organization. It also comes with an integrated water bladder that features a wrap-around drinking tube within easy reach at the rider’s waist.

The Repack LR4 is a smart choice for riders who need more than a simple water bottle or two out on the trail, but don’t feel like carrying a dedicated backpack either.

Mountain biker using the Camelbak Repack LR4 hip pack in camo..
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How Does the Camelbak Repack LR4 Work?

The Repack LR4 attaches to the rider’s waist using a thick nylon hip belt, then sinches down using a standard strap system similar to a backpacking pack. Hydration comes courtesy of Camelbak’s Crux hydration system, albeit in a 1.5L size that’s been reshaped to better fit the lumbar region of your back. The bladder’s drinking hose wraps around the rider’s waist and slots into a magnetic clip at the hip belt, which makes it easy to grab a sip on the go and quickly resecure the hose.

In addition to the integrated hydration bladder, Camelback worked four separate pockets into the Repack LR4’s design, which include a large main compartment beside the bladder, an outside accessory pocket with multiple compartments for organization, and two additional pockets on either side of the waist belt for easy access.

Cyclist using a hydration hip pack on the trail.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What Are the Features of the Camelbak Repack LR4?

  • Load-bearing hip belt with added cargo pockets
  • 1.5L Crux water reservoir system
  • Magnetic trap tube keeps the drinking tube secure on the move
  • Mesh padding along back and hip supports
  • Rear pocket with integrated organizer for gear
  • Reflective accents for added safety/visibility at night
  • Adjustable compression straps fit 28- to 46-inch waists

What I Like About the Camelbak Repack LR4

  1. It’s Light and Comfortable – The Repack LR4 weighs in at just 11 ounces empty, making it one of the lighter packs on the market, especially among those with similar amounts of storage. The simple mesh padding that runs throughout the back and hip is all-day comfortable, even when the pack is loaded down with a full reservoir and all your essentials.
  2. The Crux Hydration Bladder Is Incredibly Easy To Drink From – If you’ve ever felt like you had to battle with a hydration pack for every sip, you’ll know what I’m talking about here. Camelbak’s Crux reservoir system has an outstanding flow rate and requires little more than a bite and gentle pull to get things moving. Add to that the convenience of the pack’s magnetic clip system, which makes grabbing and replacing the hose itself quick and easy on the move, and the Repack is an absolute joy to drink from.
  3. No More Back Sweat, No More Sore Shoulders – My main complaint when riding with a backpack is that there’s just no avoiding that river of sweat running down your back after a few miles, regardless of how well ventilated said pack may be. I was pleasantly surprised after my first ride with the Repack LR4 that I didn’t need to towel off my back before claiming into my truck for the sake of my seats. I’m also fairly smitten by what a difference moving all that weight down around my hips made at the end of the day. Before using the Camelbak I was convinced it was the aggressive riding position of my bike that made my upper body sore after a long ride. Now I know better.
Mountain bikers riding singletrack trails in california.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What I Don’t Like About The Repack LR4

  1. The Bladder Itself Is Bulky – As much as I enjoyed using the Crux reservoir system, I was taken aback by how bulky it was inside the pack. Camelbak uses a large three-inch screw-on lid for the Repack LR4’s reservoir, and it noticeably infringes on the storage space inside the pack. Speaking of which…
  2. Total Storage is Somewhat Limited – All the pockets integrated into the Repack’s design make storing and organizing your gear easy, but once you’ve filled up the bladder itself, total cargo storage is limited to 2.5 liters of space. Granted that’s plenty for the minimum trail essentials I mentioned above, and I had no issue fitting a multitool, flat tire repair items (including a spare tube) snacks, and my phone into the pack, but I had to be more selective with my gear, and couldn’t fit my packable rain jacket into the Repack once everything else was inside.
  3. Ventilation Has Room for Improvement – When it comes to ventilation, lumbar packs like this are an absolute windfall compared to backpacks of any description, but I’d like to see a little more on the Repack. The light mesh padding breathes well enough on mild days, but out in the 80+ degree heat, it struggled to stay dry.

FAQs for the Camelback Repack LR4

I pooled the internet to dig up some of the most common questions like-minded buyers have about the Repack LR4 and tested each of them out myself in the field. Here’s what I found during my time with the Repack.

Does it Carry Enough Water for a Full Day’s Ride?

This depends on how long you typically ride for (surprise surprise) but I found the bladder’s 1.5-liter capacity ideal for about a three-hour ride. If you’ll be riding any longer than that, you’ll likely want to plan a refill along the way.

Does the Magnetic Clip Stay in Place?

I came across this question in a few places, and in my personal experience, I had no issues with the clip coming undone or losing pieces on the trail. I think some riders are making the mistake of pulling the hose out of the clip itself rather than simply disconnecting the magnetic portion, so just get used to the mechanism before going out on the trail and you shouldn’t have an issue.

Can the Hose be Disconnected From the Bladder?

In previous versions of the Repack, Camelbak used a hose system that didn’t include the quick disconnect commonly found in most packs. The Repack LR4 has since been updated, and now includes a quick disconnect at the bladder which makes refilling and removing the bladder for cleaning much easier.

Should You Buy the Camelbak Repack LR4 Hip Pack?

If you’re considering making the switch from either a backpack or a minimalist hip pack system, I think the Camelbak Repack LR4 is a smart buy. The Repack is comfortable on the hips, stays secure when riding, and features one of the easiest-drinking hydration systems I’ve used. Price-wise the Repack is a solid deal, especially when you consider the Crux hydration bladder is part of the package. There are packs out there with more storage and better ventilation if you’re willing to spend the money, but the Repack checks all my boxes for the essentials without being too hard on my wallet.

Topics
Kurt Spurlock
Kurt Spurlock is a writer for the outdoors and motorcycle industries. When he's not busy writing you can find him hoarding…
Want to climb to the top of the world? Here’s how long it takes to climb Mount Everest
How long does an ascent of Mount Everest really take?
Mount Everest with prayer flags in the foreground

The prospect of standing on top of the world has lured thousands of mountain climbers to Mount Everest since the first successful attempt by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay 70 years ago. Commercial expeditions began in the 1990s, and since then — not counting the 2015 season disrupted by the catastrophic earthquake or the recent Covid-affected seasons — the number of climbers has increased dramatically.

Climbing Mount Everest may be popular, but the difficulty of reaching the highest point on earth should not be underplayed. Ignoring the hefty price tag associated with an Everest expedition, there's the sheer physical exertion of climbing to that altitude. Unless you plan to recreate Killian Jornet's feat of summiting twice in one week without supplementary oxygen — don't try this — then you'll need to set aside serious time for your ascent to the top of the world. So exactly, how long does it take to climb Mount Everest?
Mount Everest climbing timeline

Read more
What does par mean in golf?
What does par mean in golf? Better understand golf lingo to up your game
A person taking a swing on the golf course.

Trying to keep score in sports like basketball is pretty simple. There are only a few ways to score, and it's all number-based, so keeping track of what shot gets you what points isn't hard to remember. But in a sport like golf, not only is the scoring a little different, the points aren't always tracked in numbers. Get a birdie? Have a handicap? What about par? What does par mean in golf? Here's how to understand this golf term so you can focus on your swing.
What does par means in golf

In its most basic definition, par is the predetermined number of strokes it will take a player with a zero handicap to finish a hole, round, or course, with room for two strokes on the putting green. To completely understand it, you need to know what a handicap in golf is.
Handicap rundown
A handicap is simply the number of strokes a golfer will take over or under the par number. If the 18-hole round you are playing is a 72-par course, and it takes you 85 swings to finish, subtract 85 from 72, and you are left with a 13 handicap.

Read more
These are the can’t-miss golf courses to play in Ireland
Check out one of these incredible golf courses on your next trip to Ireland
Ballybunion Golf Club

 

The "Emerald Isle" is not only celebrated for its lush landscapes, historic castles, and vibrant culture but also for its world-class golf courses. For golf enthusiasts seeking a memorable challenge, Ireland should be next on your list. From the rugged coastlines of County Kerry to the rolling hills of County Wicklow, each region boasts unique courses that blend natural beauty with rich golfing heritage.

Read more