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I haven't seen a CamelBak backpack in years. In fact it could be pushing more than a decade. And frankly, it seems like I might have been missing out on some awesome packs.

With 12 different packs in the mountain bike category we went looking for a lighter pack for mid to longer rides and we were directed to the Volt 13, which ends up right in the middle of the line.

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Camelbak Volt 13.

Initially the Volt 13 looks larger than it really is, but i mean that in a good way. The specs say that it is a 10L pack with a 3L reservoir, but from the outside, the waist straps give the pack a larger than actual feeling to it. But as soon as I put it on, all my worries were discerned, as the pack has a nice, snug fit that was unobtrusive while on. Actual dimensions for the pack are: 50 x 66 x 23 cm, for a weight of a hair over 1/2 kg (.54).

The back panel has two vertical, mesh covered columns sewn onto the pack, giving you airflow between your back and the pack. This is called the LV Back Panel.

The Volt 13 has been designed to carry almost everything that you need for a multi hour ride. From CO2 cans, to spare tubes, even enough room to squeeze a spare base layer in, along with all the standard keys, phone etc.

Camelbak has added in some features to the Volt which are very note worthy. First off, the hydration reservoir isn't the standard rectangle. It is triangular in shape and is designed to sit in your lower lumbar region. This keeps the weight of the water as low as possible without having to sacrifice the reservoir size. In the side waist straps, behind the pockets there are a secondary set of straps that can be used to tighten up, or loosen the reservoir position against the pack. The shape of the pack becomes noticable on longer rides, as you don't have the top of a traditional reservoir pushing against your shoulder blades.

The reservoir is held in place with a clip that mates with a sewn in loop in the backpanel to prevent it from slipping down. This coupled with the Quick Link TM system on the reservoir that only needs a 1/4 turn to open / close it, makes filling it up a breeze.

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Camelbak Volt 13.

Second unique feature is the helmet strap hooks on each side of the pack. They are designed so that you can quickly clip your helmet to the outside of the pack for transportation without having to fuss around, or worry about it falling out of a slide in pocket.

The Volt has been great to use, with no draw backs.  Lots of storage and unique places to hold gear in and on the pack make it a winner in my books.

Website: http://www.camelbak.com/en/Canada/Sports-Recreation/Packs/2013-Volt-13-LR.aspx

MSRP: $154 usd.