The compact, women’s specific CamelBak Magic looks like it’s made for mountain biking. It’s snug, low profile, and has enough space to stash everything you need for a part-day ride. The women’s fit means it stays glued to the female form on the trails. And the snazzy range of colours on offer makes riding more stylin’ still!
The Magic offers some well thought-out chick specific features which make this pack a pleasure to use. The lining of the straps and the padded back section of the pack are made from a special, soft fabric (Velvetex) so it feels comfortable against the skin – great news if you like to ride in a singlet in summer. The shape of main pack, along with the shoulder and torso straps, is designed to fit the narrower female form. This distributes weight comfortably and evenly and means the Magic won’t slide out of place or smash you on the noggin on technical trails. For me, the standout fit feature is the adjustment of the main straps. Instead of the usual pull-down adjustment, they pull upwards bringing the pack into a secure, firm position above the waist.
This tidy little unit is also full of features that take on-bike performance further still. Velcro ties keep loose straps in check and the waist adjustment is easily removed for riders who prefer to go without. Top and bottom pockets allow room for filing spares, food and other bits and pieces that come in handy out on the trail. An expandable middle section allows space for a thermal, rain jacket and/or standard size pump.
The “Antidote” bladder is also well thought out and shares some interesting features with the rest of the CamelBak range. The large lid only requires a quarter-turn to move from open to closed and a new visual guide prevents over-tightening and crimping the silicone seal. The main compartment has an internal baffle to stop water from sloshing around while you perform action stunts along sweet, flowy trails. It also helps to maintain a low profile shape to the bladder and assists with an even distribution of weight on your back. The hose clips off at the base of the bladder for easy drying, and the addition of small arms on the lid make the old ‘insert a coat hanger’ technique for airing out the bladder a thing of the past. Follow the links from this page for some interesting videos on the research and development that goes into this system, it’s impressive stuff.
CamelBak have been making high quality hydration systems for a long time, and their experience and ingenuity shows not only in the feature-full Magic, but across a broad range of other sport specific packs. This is the biggest attraction to the brand – with such a high attention to detail to the little things, consumers have the choice of several different pack options to accompany them on the perfect ride. This one’s a great pick for female riders who want to carry 2L of water and enough extra gear to see them comfortably through a part-day race or ride. Enormous thanks to the company for their support of the Suburu-MarathonMTB.com race team. We feel so lucky to have such a range of high-quality gear. I hope we can do the packs proud in return.
Photos: Kath Bicknell.
Disclaimer: CamelBak are the pack sponsor the Subaru-MarathonMTB.com team. We rely on these products to ride well and ride often and wanted to offer a few thoughts in return.