Camelbak Fourteener 24 Review

9.3
9.3 score
[Editors rating (9.3)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.3)/10


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Editor rating: 9.3 / 10
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Do you know the story behind Camelback? Well, back in 1989, the founder of the company, Michael Eidson was competing in a bike race in Kansas. It was scorching hot, but he came extra prepared for the weather conditions.

Eidson being an EMT, he filled a saline IV bag with water, inserted in a tube sock and he pinned the bag on the back of his shirt. By doing that he could remain hydrated without the need of carrying a heavy water bottle on the rim of his bike. In the next few months, he started selling the first prototypes of the hydration pack, while in the early 90’s he started selling them to the US army.

The army used plenty of those pack during the Desert Shield operation the First Gulf War, and even more during the invasion of Afghanistan in the early 2000s. Founded by sheer necessity, the Camelback is now one of the best and most respected companies for specialized outdoor equipment. But for now, let’s take a closer look at the Fourteener 24 type of hydration pack.

What makes it so special, and what are the pros and cons of the pack? Scroll down to find out more. Hope you’ll like this review.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Crux Reservoir with 3 Liter capacity

Back panel for air support

Wing belt

Overflow pocket

Cons

Heavier than most hydration packs

Expensive

Materials

When it comes to the material used in the making of this pack, Camelback left nothing to chance. The main material used in the creation of the pack is nylon that’s been coated with Polyurethane. The nylon itself is very lightweight but at the same time durable and it provides fantastic moisture-repellent protection.

The Polyurethane coating, on the other hand, is added to give the pack some heft, to make more structured and a lot more waterproof. One layer of waterproofing material is not enough here, as it’s much more bulky style of pack. So, in order to withstand the load, and the outdoor weather conditions the coating of Polyurethane was added as a safety precaution.

You wouldn’t want the pack to start falling apart on your first outing? No, of course not. The actual pack is going to be long-lasting that’s for sure, thanks to the nylon that’s been coated with a layer of Polyurethane.

Comfort

The comfort is never a do it yourself type of feature. Not here, not anywhere else. It always depends on the contribution of plenty of other factors. Yes, the type of material that’s been used in the creation ads plenty to the comfort for sure, but the construction itself, the mere design and the added features play a significant role in the comfort. And just what those things might be?

Well, let’s start with the harness itself. Designed with the human’s anatomy in mind the harness is a fantastic example of design and ingenuity. It has a nice sternum strap, a secure and sturdy hip-belt and shoulder straps that are also padded in order to give you the best possible comfort. Oh, and you know what else these things do? It also makes a fine job at the load distribution. That’s right, thanks to the fantastic construction; the load is distributed evenly without causing you pain and discomfort while the pack is on you.

Durability

Because the construction of the pack lacks a solid frame (yes it’s actually frameless), you might think that the entire construction will be severely compromised and would lack any longevity.

You’d be wrong on that. Just because the 24 pack by Camelback is a frameless model, it doesn’t mean that it’s lacking any structural integrity. No, the durability and the overall quality of the item are present will remain present long after you purchase the model. The same goes for the material, the components that are inserted in the model, and for the reservoir that you can re-use for a long long time. And because this is a unisex model, the same level of durability is applied regardless if the user of the pack is a man or a woman. It will have the same durability regardless of who is using it, how and where is being used.

Fit

Although very comfortable and with a fantastic design behind the 24 pack, this is a very heavy item, even when it’s not even loaded. That will certainly compromise the fit, and the overall wearing, so use that last more than a day is not advised. Although the type of fit is not specified on the official website, it’s been stated that the fit around the torso is 43-53 cm or 17-21 inches. That makes it very complicated for the hikers that prefer to wear much heavier and bulky winter jackets. The belts will require a lot of muscle to fasten, and the entire construction will become more stuffy and rigid on the body itself.

Weight

This is not your everyday pack. Not even close. The sheer design, the use, the style and pretty much everything else separate it from the rest of the similar models that are available on the market. But, the biggest difference is in the weight. This is a pretty heavy item by all standards. The weight of the model even when it’s not loaded is 2 lbs and 13 ounces. Yup. It’s pretty heavy.

Now add to that the fact that the gear capacity is 1,280 amazing cubic inches, while the liquid capacity is 100 amazing fluid ounces. Think about that. How heavy this pack will get when it actually gets loaded. And although this is a unisex type of model, there have been reported comments in the comment section that it does become a way to heavy for carrying especially for the ladies, and it’s not recommended for carrying it more than a couple of hours. The good fit, the weight distribution definitely makes things easier, but the weight of the item is truly something.

Size

Although there are no particular sizes (the standard S, M, L type of sizing) the pack does come with set dimensions that are perfectly displayed in the description box of the Camelback’s official webpage. They’re 22 by 12.6 by 12.2 inches and it definitely suits the fairly bigger weight. The length of the bottom part will touch the length of your hips, and the top will fall nicely on your shoulders. As previously mentioned because the one size fits all type of fit, it will become quite difficult to wear under a much bulky and thick winter jacket, but the pack is perfect for more pleasant weather conditions. You know the ones that don’t require lots of layering.

Basic features

It’s hard to single out the basic features in an item that has 9 (yes nine) exterior pockets, but let’s give it a shot. Well, aside from the aforementioned 9 exterior pockets, scattered around the surface of the pack, the Fourteener 24 has a liquid reservoir that can be filled with 100 fl. Oz of liquid. Most hikers use water, but you can fill it with whatever you want.

Oh and that very same reservoir not only loads fairly easily, but it’s also positioned in a way to leave more room in the actual pack for other stuff, gear, and whatnot. It’s positioned flat up against your back in order to make more room for other items that you might carry. And last but not least, that reservoir has a wide mouth type of opening for easy refill and cleaning, and you can tighten that opening with just a simple quarter turn. And best of all you can actually refill it without taking it off the pack. There’s no need for intricate fastening systems or use of unnecessary force. And there’s no leakage as well. So you can rest assured that every drop in that reservoir will stay there and won’t get spilled. The model has a very distinct back panel with practical upper pods, that not only accentuate the comfort, but they also amp up the ventilation as well.

The compression straps on both sides also contribute to the stabilization of the item, they’ll also help you with the fixation of the pack and will definitely help you attach small items. You know the stuff that you can’t really fit in the actual cavity. But the main department is capable to hold up to 10 essentials, just enough for one day of hiking. Oh, and last but not least, we cannot simply ignore the Quick Link type of system attributed to the Fourteener 24. What is that exactly? Well, it’s a type of system that lets you add accessories like water filters, flow meters and so on, with the greatest of ease. They’re attached to the side of the item and you can fit several of them on one simple but very practical hook.

Use

The Camelback’s official website states that the best and optimal use for the Fourteener 24 is for outdoor activities. Whether it’s hiking, jogging or cycling, the trick is to not use the pack for more than one day. It should not remain on your body for more than a couple of hours (because of the weight), but when it comes to the overall use it can store load that’s suitable for one day of outdoor exercise. There’ no capacity in the pack for more than one day.

Versatility

The Fourteener 24 is designed for outdoor use, and you can really find the versatility in the outdoor activities. It’s perfect for hiking but it can do well in light mountain-climbing and cycling. However, there’s no available information on whether or not the reservoir with liquid can perform well in extremely cold conditions. It’s unclear if the water inside the reservoir will freeze when exposed to an extremely cold environment.

Performance

When it comes to the performance section of this review…. Fourteener 24 will get you covered (for a day). That’s right although heavy in size; the hydration pack is very practical, filled with compartments, several straps and 9 external pockets that allow you to carry all the necessary stuff that you might need.

But like previously mentioned, the item itself is very heavy even when it’s not loaded. It will become even heavier when it’s loaded with the necessary items, but it will perform spectacularly. It’s not recommended that you use it for more than a day (mostly because you can fit the equipment for longer than one day), but the size and the weight will make it more difficult as well.

Bottom line

This is a fantastic purchase. Although very heavy and bulky, the practicality outweighs any flaws that you might encounter about the model. The Fourteener 24 is unisex and perfectly capable to carry 1 day worth of supplies for your next outdoor adventure. The reservoir for hydration is easy to access, easy to refill and it will be the defining thing in this otherwise bulky backpack.

The reservoir is capable of carrying 100 fl. oz. liquid and the rest of the construction is made out of nylon that’s been coated with Polyurethane. It has one main compartment, and 9 yes nine external pockets for storing all the necessities. It will truly come in handy in your hour of need, but it will prove to be a real challenge to carry even when not loaded. But if you decide to purchase it, it will definitely be worth every penny. It’s a fantastic hydration pack.