backpacks and drink sytems

I was wondering if anyone had a backpack that would also hold a drink bladder and what they thought of it. I want to get something that I could hold some stuff in such as a jacket, fencing tools and some other tools for the bike. The idea of the water bladder sounds good ( carring a hard plastic water bottle sucks ) but I do not know anyone that has ever used one. I liked the look of the MSR colorado single trac pack but have yet to see one in a store. I don't want to order one online and then not like it. If anyone has any ideas I would appreciate it.


Dougie out of Denver had one (MSR??) he brought to Moab. The thing was a monster. I think he carried a spare tire for his truck in it :)!

I use a Camelback "Mule" which will hold tools and maybe a windbreaker if it can be compressed enough. I do really like my Camelback.


'99 WZ with all YZ mods, FMF PowerBomb header, Stroker SX-1 silencer, SS front brake line, forked over by Pro-Action, OEM YZ tank and IMS seat.

Some of hiking backpacks, North Face, etc come with bladders built into them, but they are expensive and I don't know if you want to put fencing tools in them.

What I do when I need extra room is put my camel back(the entire thing, not just the bladder, cause I don't want to pop it) inside a backpack. Then just zip it together at the top and stick the drink hose out the hole where the zippers meet. this works well and is pretty versatile, because you can use the camelback by itself when you don't need the extra bulk of a backpack.

also check out some of the other brands besides camelback I have non-name brand "camelback" (a large one, like a Mule") and it was half the price of an actual camel back and I have been using it for two years dirtbiking and mt biking, and it has held up well.


The best thing about Camelback brand drinkers is the multitude of different models and their wide availability. Stop by a well-stocked bicycle shop and you’re bound to find fifteen or twenty different kinds from big to small with all manner of extra pockets, loops and nets. Another advantage is available replacement parts like bladders and bite valves. This stuff will also fit on other brands but often not perfectly, I have a Cback bite valve on my O’Neal drinker system, the ones they come with bite (haha).

The one thing I would say is a necessity is cross straps, i.e. don’t get a drinker with two shoulder straps only, get the kind with two extra straps around the waist and chest that will secure the drinker during rough going.

I would also be careful about puncturing the bladder with your fence pliers or tie wire, I like TheBos’s idea about having a larger backpack. That way when you’re just out playin’ you will have a small and unobtrusive drinker and when you ride fence you can carry your tools and the drinker in a larger pack, this should also help prevent damage to the bladder.

Having said that my 70 oz. O’Neal hasn’t punctured in the year I’ve had it and I carry lots of sharp tools and a rat’s nest of safety wire in there, the nylon compartments do a good job of protecting the bladder.

As for bladder size, 70 oz. is plenty of water for most of a hot day, I’ve seen some 90 oz. Camelbacks that seemed overkill, but 50 is probably on the small side. Hope this helps.

I use a camelback. They are awsome. I use one of the bigger Mtn packs to carry extra atuff for winter riding. The Mule is good as well. Pay attention to the shoulder straps. Some are real thin. I prefer the wide and slightly padded straps. There are a million out there. Try They have them and other models. You should be able to get set up with a middle of the line for under 60 bucks.

The MSR pack is actually pretty nice, it is bigger than most people use. However it sound like you might be carrying more than most people. It is definately BULLETPROOF (kinda heavy).

Actually for that larger size pack I really liked the Moose back pack. Very nice, and the price is great!

All truth be told the best H2O pack made are made by a company named Vaude. They make some of the worlds best hiking backpacks and have begun making H2O pack in the last few years. They are priced at or below the Camelbacks, have a FAR FAR superior suspension system and even come with a brightly colored rian cover than is waterproof! What more could you want!!! The largest size pack is bigger than a Camelback Mule or the like. Check em out! REI sells them...


JJ from WA - 99 WR; WR timed, EKN Needle, Scotts stabalizer, Scotts triple clamps, Pro-Tapers, Michelin S-12's, Terry Cable hot start, MSR Raptor clutch lever, Moose skid plate, Works frame guards, Acerbis Pro Rally guards, Renthal MD-soft grips, Factory Effex graphics, YZ IMS seat base, YZ Factory Effex seat foam and gripper seat cover, YZ rear fender

I recently purchased a '01 Camelbak HAWG from think) - it was $79.00 shipped to my door. The '01 is considerbly bigger than the previous model. I can stuff my XXL Moose riding jacket in the thing and have a little bit of room left over.


Thanks for the great info guys. I am going to run to town in a week or so and see what I can find. I don't get there often since the nearest city is 75 miles away. I am not to concerned about the weight of the pack since I usually have it full. I have been using a regular school backpack I snatched from my little sister when she graduated. It isn't real nice and trys to jump over my head sometimes when hitting jumps in the woods. The bigger the better since I ride into lakes alot to go fishing when I am not busy.

Thanks, Jake

I actually like the camelback fannypak style. I use a chest protector and when the backback was loaded up, it pulled down in back and rubbed my collarbones raw. It was always moving around and screwing up my balance. The fannypack style carries the weight lower, does not move or shift at all, replaces a kidney belt, and is not hot. It probably even provides some lower back protection if you loop out. Just run the drinking hose up though your chest protector.

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