Camelbak Volt LR Hydration Pack
After using Camelbak’s Charge LR minimalist lumbar pack for the majority of last season, I was pumped to see a new lumbar pack from Camelbak. Though I loved the Charge for short rides, its storage capacity and versatility lacked for longer days in the saddle. The latest addition to the LR (lumbar) line, the Volt LR, offers added storage along with a larger capacity bladder, but how does it stack up on the trail?
Constructed using lightweight ripstop fabric the Volt LR is a lightweight, minimalist pack, with a lumbar supported design. The Volt is designed more as an all day adventure lumbar pack to compliment the smaller Charge LR, featuring additional carrying capacity for both gear and fluids, the Volt was remarkably proficient on all of the long rides I used it on.
Storage in the Volt is abundant and is organized with two zippered pockets and a large stuff compartment between the two. The smaller front pocket is great for bars, tools, and anything else needing quick access while the larger pocket sits nicely up against the riders back and offers enough room for a jacket, knee warmers, a burrito and a couple extra tubes. Weight distribution was important though: with the Volts lightweight design, storing heavier items in the large pocket near the bottom of the pack proved to keep the pack more manageable on rough terrain.
Adequately large, purposefully placed hip pockets offered excellent on the fly accessibility for gels, a smartphone, or even a point and shoot camera. The smaller Charge LR pack also has similar side pockets and they are one of my favorite features. The Volt’s hip pockets offer even more significant and functional storage than the Charge.
By keeping the water weight low and firmly strapped just above your hips the Volt LR is especially stable when the trail gets technical. An easily adjustable waist strap makes on the fly adjustments simple if unwanted movement becomes noticeable mid descent.
A redesigned 3L (100oz) reservoir offers 50% more fluid capacity Camelbak’s previous lumbar packs. The reshaped reservoir centers fluid-weight at in the pack and less in the waistband, greatly reducing the need to readjust the packs waist strap as water is consumed. The new bladder also features Camelbak’s quick hose disconnect and one-quarter open/close cap system, meaning it only takes a quarter turn to open or close the cap for quick and simple filling of the bladder.
The Volt is a great pack for riders looking to keep pack weight to a minimum but still need a comfortable full capacity pack for all day jaunts. With a base weight of 515g without bladder the Volt is light but also offers a full 10L of storage capacity. Its well-engineered lumbar design makes the Volt LR a great choice for riders who prefer technical terrain but prefer the versatility of a pack, the Volts strategic stabilizing system keeps it in place even when the going gets rough. -J. Carr