Joining Camelbak’s lineup this spring is the Rogue Light: A minimal pack available in a women’s specific and unisex design that has just the right amount of space to carry the essentials without holding you back!
The pack utilizes body mapping technology, Air Support Light Back Panel, and a ventilated/mesh harness to fit the contours of your body while also keeping that precious air flowing. Nobody wants a pack that doubles as a space heater or not this time of year.
While the weather is just breaking here in Chicago suburbia, we have been graced with a few days getting into the 70°F range and the back panel did do what it’s designed to. Kept the pack from being flush against my back and shoulders so air could circulate, and I didn’t get the unmistakable pack-shaped sweat ring on my back even after wearing it for 3+ hours straight.
Anyone who’s been to the Midwest In August knows it can get downright balmy and nearly unbearable with temps in the 90s and 100% humidity. I haven’t had a chance to test the pack in these types of conditions yet, but I’m pretty confident the paneling will work the same. Keep the air circulating and let the heat you create flow away with it. Plus, the hydration it can stow will be absolutely crucial.
An adjustable sternum strap keeps the pack secure and in place. Most of the time. On pavement or non-technical terrain, it was excellent. Never moved an inch. Going over rocky, rooty terrain was a different story. It wasn’t terrible, but I did experience some bouncing/jostling that would get old quickly. I did notice as I drank the water the bladder took up less space(science!), and if I slightly tightened the sternum strap it did help with the jostling. It didn’t completely solve the issue, but it did make a noticeable difference.
On a higher note the minimal design does allow for access to two or your jersey pockets (if that’s your style). Meaning more storage and super easy access while pedaling for all the snacks. Hello pancakes! Yes, pancakes make great bike food. Just make sure to leave the syrup at home.
The 7-liter capacity includes a 2-liter Crux Reservoir with quicklink disconnect that most have come to love. I was so happy when they redesigned their bladder a couple of years back. The redesigned handle helps with effortlessly filling the bladder and doubles as a way to get leverage to tightly seal the cap without squeezing half the water back out and getting yourself wet and needing a wardrobe change in the process. It seems so simple, yet functions wonderfully.
On to the storage capacity. Subtracting the 2-liter bladder leaves 5-liters for storage. Now the pack also has a helmet carry strap and the outer pocket is rather stretchy, so you could potentially store more depending on how you look at it.
The main zippered pocket where the bladder lives has another small zippered pocket that I liked to keep things I didn’t necessarily need “in a jiffy” stored. Such as wallet, keys, chapstick.
There is a roomier zipper pocket on the outside of the pack that I liked to store my trailside repair kit. This pocket could benefit from some organization. Whether that be stretchy bands or mesh mini pockets I’m not sure. But as you can see in the picture everything is kinda just loosely in there.
Pump, co2 and valve, extra co2, plug kit, master link (inside plug kit), valve core (also inside plug kit), and multi-tool are what I deem essential. Some may ask no tube, tire levers, or patch kit? Fat bike and even plus bike tubes are rather bulky and other repair tools work pretty darn well nowadays so I personally don’t carry them unless I’m going for a ride that would require say over an hour of hike a bike. Since no tube, no tire levers. I guess I could carry a patch kit and then add the tire levers in, but for whatever reason, I don’t. Call me a daredevil if you’d like.
The last pocket is the stretchy stash pocket. It has a large opening for stuffing all sorts of items in there, but I found it best for things like a rain jacket, leg warmers, arm warmers, or a leash for your 4-legged friend. Really anything malleable that’s large enough to not pop out unnoticed will totally fit here. I really tested the limits here and was able to fit a light rain jacket, leg warmers, and a 4ft leather leash. Granted I am rather small so apparel takes up a little less space, but the point being this pocket can stretch!
Yayy!! or Nay…
I did enjoy using the back and therefore would recommend it, but with conditions. If you’re riding technical singletrack or bikepacking through bumpy fire roads in the backcountry this pack is not the tool for the job. Something with a hip strap, 5 point harness style strap, or maybe even just a beefier strap would be better suited. And those packs do exist. Also, I would really like to see a bladder design that allows for turning it inside out. The reason being as I get more and more into the performance side of cycling I find myself almost always adding some sort of mix to my water, and we all know what left behind sugar residue turns to… mold. If the bladder turned inside out for deep cleaning, I feel like this would add life to the bladder.
With all that said this pack is great for extended rides on pavement, rail trails, double track, and smooth singletrack. It can store things you need, but not much else, and I greatly appreciate that. Sometimes all you want to bring are essentials and why have more space than you need? That just makes you bring more, unnecessary things. It is also comfortable and keeps you cool so earns 4/5 groovy disco stars from me. If you don’t trust my opinion for $75 USD you can test one out yourself, and I’d love to hear what you think!
For More Information about the pack visit: https://www.camelbak.com/recreation/packs/CB-2406.html