One thing that always accompanies me on a stage race is a good backpack. The convenience of being able to carry all of my essential equipment on planes, trains and automobiles while still having full use of my hands is often an absolute necessity. Or even around camp at a race travelling between dinner and your room or tent or media room and food outlet again with laptop, type 1 diabetes equipment, notepad, camera and still having full use of hands is something I can’t operate without. Recently I’ve been using the Camelbak Fourteener for my day-to-day travel and bigger trips.
The Camelbak Fourteener
The MarathonMTB.com Team have joined up with Camelbak in 2017 and I have had the pleasure of using some of their equipment in some big races recently. In Australia I find the Podium Chill Ice bottles hard to go past, fitting perfectly in our Mt. Zoom carbon cages and keeping race beverages icy cold all race in summer is something I have used regularly in the past.
At the Mongolia Bike Challenge this year I took along with me the ‘Fourteener’ backpack. Initially aimed at hiking and XC ski touring this 24 litre pack has capacity to carry nearly anything I might need. With straps designed to even secure ice axes for that occasional back country ice climbing trip!
I used it as a travel bag more or less and found it to fit this bill perfectly – much like my team mate Imogen does with her Camelbak Sequoia. The pack comes with Camelbak’s new 3L ‘Crux’ bladder with the new easy to switch on/off lever. However, I removed this as it was unlikely I would need the 3L water option during the race and was happy to find the bladder compartment doubled as the perfect sized laptop sleeve.
There is also a large, elastic stash panel to the front that appears to have being designed for stashing extra jackets/ clothing this also doubles a perfectly sized helmet stash! Ideal for those who travel with their helmet in carry on luggage. There is also a nice fleece lined zip pocket that housed my passport for easy by secure access and Adidas eyewear shades for when the sun crept out.
The place for the Camelbak Fourteener
At 21L it is a large bag, not ideal for a short mountain bike shred, unless you like to over prepare for any situation. However, with the new rage in cycling appearing to be multi day ‘gravel grinds’ on dirt roads. I was thinking this bag would be the perfect accompaniment to such an adventure. The rage amongst the ‘gravel grinding’ crowd has appeared to have gone toward frame bags. In my youth I endeavoured on numerous multi day cycling adventures and always relied on a trusty backpack.
Even back in 2011 I knew a good backpack was essential!
This bag would be my go to for such adventures today. It has a really comfortable back panel with nice ventilation that means the old ‘sweaty back’ is less of an issue with this when compared to other back packs.
The NV back system does a great job of keeping you less sweaty.
As it is, the Camelbak Fourteener is my go to backpack every day – for heading to work or jumping on a plane for a public speaking trip or race weekend away. And if I get the chance to do a big bike adventure like I used to – it will be the first bag I grab.
-Hydration Capacity: 100 oz / 3 L
-Total Capacity: 18L (1098 cu in) + 3L Reservoir
-Total Weight: 2 lbs 3 oz / 0.98 kg (pack only)
-Dimensions: 20.5 X 8.68 X 10 in / 52 x 22 x 25.5 cm
-Torso Length: 17 in / 43 cm
-Back Panel: NV Hike: Upper pods articulate for maximum comfort and superior ventilation, while lower pod provides load transfer.
-Harness: Independent Suspension with SliderSternum Strap
-Belt: Load Bearing w/ Cargo
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