Rider 3L Low Profile Hydration Pack - Product Reviews
Long version: Rider vs. Camelbak Mule
I am getting in shape for Army OCS and for that you need a Camelbak type hydration pack, at least 2 liters, in multicam . My old Camelbak Mule is the wrong color so I almost just went with the new version of the Mule, but chose to shop around and, man, am I glad I went with the Rider.
I am 5'3" so the short nature of the Rider is superior to the Mule, in that I get zero chaffing in the tramp stamp region.
Being wide in the neck the strap placement is perfect where the Mule could constrict and chafe my neck the Rider does not.
Being wide in the back, the strap locations are excellent, because I can have the pack secure bjt still take it off easily, where Mule I have to wiggle out of.
The straps on the Rider are not padded, but are wide enough to not dig in and, not being padded, they stow away nicely for attaching to a plate carrier.
I have hiked 12 plus miles with this pack just fine and ran 6 miles getting close to 7 minute miles just fine. Faster 1 to 2 mile runs are nicer than the Mule because of how close the Rider fits to the body.
You lose storage space going from the Mule to the Rider but you gain mobility with strap dimensions and close ride to the body. With the Mule, sitting or going through tighter spaces is uncomfortable or difficult compared to the Rider.
The Mule has and abdomen strap under the stirnum strap which I like. However, the Rider with the stirnum strap only is quite sufficient.
I like the helix bite valve and the quick disconnects are superior to the Camelbak types.
I would love to see a slightly smaller or thinner 2 liter version for running or training or recommending for people going to OCS as many of them fear the weight of the scary 3 liter pack. :)
Only negatives I've come across so far is the very limited pockets. There is just the one on the inside face that's very large but not ideal for what I would need to put in it. Also, I wouldn't recommend the black color just because if you're out in the sun for an hour to two hours straight, the sun is gonna turn your water lukewarm pretty quick (Texas heat is not kind).
Otherwise, this is definitely a 5 star hydration pack.
Looks really great in Coyote brown! Would be nice to have Smoke (aka Ranger) green option as well or maybe OD.