Single Track Review: CamelBak KUDU Protector 20 Backpack

The following is a review by James Vincent from SingleTrackWorld.com

Redesigned for 2018, the new KUDU range from CamelBak combines a back protector and a hydration backpack all in one. We gave the big 20L version to our main man in the Lake District, James Vincent, to put to the test during some big days out on some of the steepest, rockiest and gnarliest terrain he could find in Cumbria. 

First spotted at PressCamp earlier this year, the Camelbak KUDU 20 sits at the top of Camelbak’s extensive range of cycling specific packs, in both size (20L) and spec (lots of bells, one whistle). While there are other packs in the range of a similar size, the KUDU series feature integrated back protection, and for 2018, has been simplified to just a 10L and 20L model (that’s water capacity + storage), with several key features of the packs getting a bit of an overhaul at the same time.

The KUDU is all-new for 2018. James however, is not.

The CE-certified Impact Protector slides into a sleeve to sit close to your back.

As the bigger of the two packs, the KUDU 20 is most definitely on the larger end of the scale for cycling packs, with numerous straps and expanding pouches covering the surface of the pack, along with the obligatory rain cover buried at the bottom. Unloaded, CamelBak claims the pack weighs a not-inconsiderable 1.5kg (3lb 4oz), which means it needs to be designed well to distribute it’s weight as broadly as possible.

Unzipping ¾ of the way round to allow unfettered access and running the full length of the bag, the vast main compartment also has a small zippered mesh pocket for phones, keys and other essentials.

The soft-lined top pocket is ready for your phone, glasses or goggles.

Ready for a 3L reservoir – though the KUDU doesn’t include one as standard.

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