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Camelbak reimagines the MULE and launches an array of new MTB hydration products

Two mountain bikers riding through the desert
(Image credit: Camelbak)

Camelbak has just announced a vast array of new and updated MTB hydration products, including a reimagination of the popular M.U.L.E. (Medium to Ultra Long Endeavors) backpack, the LifeStraw filtration system and a brand-new version of the Podium Belt hip pack.

Camelbak has been a leading name in outdoor sports hydration for decades, with many of its wares proving popular among mountain bikers, and it’s responsible for making some of the best hydration packs available. With spring pretty much in full effect here in the northern hemisphere, it’s only a matter of time until the summer graces us with its presence, which will see more riders taking to the trails and needing to stay hydrated while they’re at it. 

Among the many launches just announced, here are the ones we think will be of most interest to off-roaders.

Camelbak M.U.L.E. 12 and Evo 12

Camelbak MULE Evo 12

(Image credit: Camelbak)

The ever-popular M.U.L.E. 12 hydration pack sees a redesign for 2022, with a sleek new aesthetic and added details including an overflow pocket for an extra layer or a wet rain jacket, while the removable stability belt is designed to add some flexibility and security. Meanwhile the addition of the brand’s Magnetic Tube Trap technology and ergonomic Air Support Back Panel promises more convenience and comfort.

The big new addition to the M.U.L.E. line for 2022, however, is the brand new M.U.L.E. Evo 12, designed to combine all the best parts of the original all-weather proof technology. On top of the well-established features listed above, it’s constructed with welded seams to keep the elements at bay, and includes a Command Center Harness for secure storage of a phone, keys, and other valuables, a Helmet Carry, and integrated pockets for organized storage of tools and repair kits.

Camelbak Podium Flow 4 Belt

Camelbak Podium Flow 4 Belt

(Image credit: Camelbak)

Camelbak’s Podium Dirt bottle is hugely popular amongst mountain bikers, and features in our list of the best water bottles for MTB. Now the updated Podium Flow 4 Belt comes with a completely new design to carry everything you should need on the trails. The symmetrical design features a pocket for a 21oz Podium Dirt Series bottle (included), flanked by multiple zippered pockets for organizing tools, snacks, and anything else you might carry on the trails. There’s also an external sleeve for carrying a pump, and the belt features Camelbak’s Air Support Back Panel, along with reflective details for low-light visibility.

Camelbak New Fusion Reservoir

Camelbak

(Image credit: Camelbak Fusion Reservoir)

As the first pioneer for hands-free hydration, Camelbak is now adding a new high-tech water reservoir to its range. The New Fusion Reservoir range is designed to be much more convenient, and features a universal hanger so it should work with all hydration-compatible packs, plus a molded backplate that creates a thin profile, meaning there’s no need for baffles that often make cleaning trickier. It also comes with an integrated handle and pinch-grip construction, which Camelbak says allows for single-handed filling, plus the brand’s proprietary Hydroguard technology, which is claimed to limit bacteria build-up within the bladder and tube.

Camelbak Fusion Group Reservoirs

Camelbak

(Image credit: Camelbak Fusion Group Reservoir)

Available in 6L and 10L options, the Fusion Group Reservoir is aimed specifically for group rides when water needs to be shared amongst friends. They feature a Hypalon-reinforced hanging point, which makes it possible to hang them from a tree or high point so that water can easily be extracted without any awkward siphoning. Its integrated carry handle and shoulder strap compatibility should make it easier to transport for some, while the inclusion of Camelbak’s QuickLink-compatible tube with its high-flow spigot makes this combination a great option for washing and cooking while bikepacking.

Camelbak Eddy+ Filtered by LifeStraw Bottles and CRUX Reservoir

Camelbak LifeStraw Bottles and Crux Reservoir

(Image credit: Camelbak)

Ideal for remote rides and bikepacking through the wilderness when clean water is hard to come by, these Eddy+ bottles and CRUX reservoir feature Camelbak’s LifeStraw filtration system. This system is claimed to work in two stages, the first of which uses a hollow fiber filter to collect 99.99 per cent of bacteria, parasites, and microplastics, then the second passes it through an ion exchange filter that’s said to reduce lead, taste and odor, chlorine, and other chemicals, pesticides and herbicides. There are three different bottles available, while the CRUX reservoir features this same filtration technology to be used in one of Camelbak’s hydration packs.

Mildred Locke
Freelance writer

Mildred previously worked as a review writer for Bike Perfect. She enjoys everything from road cycling to mountain biking, but is a utilitarian cyclist at heart. Determined to do everything on two wheels, she's even moved house by bike, and can regularly be found pedaling around Bristol and its surrounding areas. She’s spent over four years volunteering as a mechanic and workshop coordinator at the Bristol Bike Project, and now sits on its board of directors. Her expertise comes from previously working in a bike shop and learning the ins and outs of the industry, and she's previously written for a variety of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. At home on slicks and knobblies alike, her ideal ride covers long distances through remote countryside, on mixed terrain that offers a bit of crunch, followed by a gourmet campfire meal and an overnight bivvy beneath the stars.


Rides: Stayer Groadinger UG, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Marin Larkspur, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike

Height: 156cm (5'2")

Weight: 75kg