January 26, 2018
Lots of room for food, tools, and spares.
The newer models don't have the slim side pockets that were great for CO2 and hand pumps.
After losing my 1996 M.U.L.E. I had to buy a new one. I had the regular bag, but decided to upgrade to the lumbar model. The feel is the same as its older counterpart, with an added pad for the back and some pockets on the waist belt.
Camelbak claims an improved air flow with the backpad. I've been riding in cooler winter weather (Florida winter) and I'm still finishing with a sweaty back. I don't see any improvement in that. I'm sure that this newer model wont be any different from my older bag in the summer. It's not a big deal, just not what the brand claims.
found three great improvements in the newer model. First, the tool pack that folds up and fits into a pouch in the main pocket. I have 2 CO2 pumps, tire levers, and a multi tool in this bag. With three pockets, everything is nicely organized.
The second feature that I liked was the addition of pockets on the waist belt. I put some gel and some bars in them. I can easily access my nutrition without having to take off the pack.
Finally the magnet snap on the water hose. So that the hose doesn't bounce around, there is a small clip that holds the hose attached to the shoulder strap. On my older model, I just cut my hose so there wasn't too much slack and would drink with my head turned to the right. Now, I can pull on the hose and it comes free of the clip so I can drink while riding. Then, I just let the hose dangle and with its magnetic clip, it snaps back together on its own. I was sceptical of this feature. But after trying it on the trail, I caught myself unsnapping the hose each time. Almost like "magic."
I did notice that if you don't unclip the hose, a crimp is created and it becomes hard to drink. So that tug is necessary.
TL;DR: Great bag, great new features, get it.