CamelBak Skyline 10 LR Pack Review

by Brian Mullin on January 22, 2016


The light and robust Skyline 10 LR’s innovative lumbar design are flexible and conformable with soft padding and a stiffening plate which creates a stable and comfortable pack that becomes one with the back.


CamelBak has been making their lumbar series of hydration packs for several years now, and the latest iteration is the Skyline 10 LR, which is an All Mountain oriented pack and included new upgrades and designs and features that incorporate customer and tester feedback. The Low Rider packs are light, comfortable and carry the water and content weight down on the lumbar.



The Skyline 10 LR hydration pack is extremely comfortable, light and conformable, and features their 100 oz Antidote lumbar reservoir, which sits in a zippered pouch at the lower back, slightly wrapping backward around the hips. The lumbar design places the water low on the hips and back for stability and comfort, and it conforms to the shape and oddities of your body for a great fit. The Skyline 10 LR weighs 846 grams, and is softly padded on the back, hips, and shoulders, and is constructed of light and durable materials, using a combination of ripstop and high-tenacity nylon. The wraparound body uses their XV back panel with multilayer EVA foam pods for cross ventilation and comfort, and the yoke harness uses their Ultra-light 3-D Mesh suspension system with a slider sternum strap. The hip belt uses 1.5-inch webbing with a large front buckle that has pull tabs on each side for tightening, and it connects to the main pack with lightly padded hip wings. The wings incorporate lumbar compression straps (yellow strap), which draws the bottom of the pack into the back as the reservoir’s water volume decreases, keeping things stabilized, with the weight in tight and centered on the body.

It features a roll-up tool pouch, an innovative magnetic reservoir tube trap, a helmet carrying hook, armor carrying straps and a blinker tab. The unisex Skyline 10 LR has a 7-liter storage capacity with excellent organizational pockets, and comes in three color schemes, Black/Atomic Blue, Imperial Blue/Black/Ember and Ember/Charcoal and retails for $130. They also have a women’s specific version called the Solstice 10LR, which comes in two color schemes and has an S-shaped harness and a slightly shorter back panel for a more ergonomic fit.



The main compartment has a 2/3 length zipper and opens in clamshell style for easy access. It has two internal organizational pockets in the main, a zippered mesh one at the top and a small middle sleeve meant for the tool pouch. At the top of the pack is an externally accessed fleece-lined zippered upper pocket that is perfect for sunglasses and smartphones. The hip belt had a zippered pocket on one side and a covered sleeve pocket on the other, which are ideal for small tools, keys, and snacks. On the front is a short sleeve with a quick-release buckle closure for carrying apparel and other small items. All the pockets and compartments combine to give 427 cu in or 7L of storage space, although the front sleeve adds some additional volume. It has two bottom straps for carrying armor and at the lower back of the pack is a zippered compartment for the lumbar hydration reservoir.


Tool Pouch

The pack comes with a nice roll-up tool pouch that inserts into a sleeve in the main compartment for easy finding. It isn’t very large, so you’ll only be able to add small tools and equipment (tire repair supplies)  to its three zippered mesh pocket. It offers great organizational properties with it’s three zippered mesh pocket and makes for a small and handy tool pouch, and it could be easily swapped between others packs if desired.


Antidote Lumbar Reservoir

The 100 oz/3 liter Antidote lumbar reservoir has a trapezoidal shape and sits down low on the back instead of the traditional vertical layout along the spine. The bite valve worked quite nicely, and was easy to draw, and didn’t leak. The screw cap for the fill port takes only a quarter turn to open or close, and it does not get stuck and require brute force to open. The fill port has a wider diameter hole for easier filling, cleaning, and drying, and has a handle that hooks onto the drop slot of the packs zippered pouch, helping to keep it stable and secure, and makes it handier to hold onto the reservoir. It has an auto shutoff quick disconnect, named the Quick Link, which allows you to disconnect the drink hose, which facilitates cleaning, filling and drying.



The Skyline 10 LR carries over most of its design from the Charge 10 LR and Volt 13 LR, which its replacing, and has added some great new features, yet has still retained the functional lumbar attributes of its old brethren. The lumbar design pulls the weight off the shoulders, and moves it to the lumbar and lower back and hips, offering increased stability and weight carrying characteristics, and draws the center of gravity in close to the torso. Compared to it’s other LR brethren, the Skyline 10 LR has a more All Mountain design and utilizes more robust materials and thicker padding, and an improved harness system.

The XV back panel uses a flexible plastic stiffener for improved stability and load carrying attributes along with a thick and soft foam padding which offers real comfort and ventilation. Even with the stiffener on the back panel, it still conformed well to the contours of your back, and it carried the weight in a balanced manner. The nicely padded shoulder straps and the yoke harness helped stabilize the system and prevented any undue cross movement. The new design allows more air to your upper back and improves ventilation on the lumbar zone, and use of the perforated pods and quick-dry mesh fabric assist moisture transference. Since most of the weight gets isolated and pushed down low on the back, the pack can sometimes get can damp in that location from perspiration build up.

The pack itself is light, and I never felt the weight, even with the full three liters of water and the additional gear, though when the reservoir is full, it pushes slightly on your back. By having the weight of the water pulled down into your lumbar and not on your shoulders, along with the rest of the gear being snuggled tightly into the back it maintains a low center of gravity. It seems to disappear on your back, and the conformability and stability of the design mean the packs doesn’t flop around on rough terrain.

The pack has their functional helmet carrying hook on the side of the pack, which allows you to snag your helmet straps onto a small clip to carry your helmet when it’s not being worn though I found it difficult extracting them back off.


The lumbar compression straps (yellow strap) in the hip wings help pull the bottom of the pack into the back when the extra girth of the used up water reservoir shrinks during usage. It kept the pack, load and weight stable and centered on the back.

The main compartment had a convenient 2/3 length zipper, which opened along most of the pack’s length, allowing efficient access to everything without having to dig around for hidden items. The upper internal zippered mesh pocket was useful for wallets, munchies, and smaller items. The pump holder sat on one side of the central and worked nicely to keep the pump secure and out of the way. The hip belt has two small cargo pockets, one zippered and the other a covered sleeve, and they were useful for keys, tools and energy bars/gels. The front sleeve pocket was handy for overflow storage, and though it was shallow and a bit small, it’s width allowed carrying some light jackets, gloves, and apparel. The armor straps on the bottom of the pack were useful, but the quick-releases were difficult to close when the pack was loaded.


The Antidote lumbar reservoir system worked extremely well, and the screw closure only takes a quarter turn to open and close (though it was tough to close sometimes), and the large mouth is easy to pour into and clean. The larger 100 oz capacity was nice to have, as it made longer rides tolerable without having to resort to carrying an extra water bottle. To remove the reservoir, unzip the rear compartment, pull it out and unclip the tube. You can fill it back up, clip the tube, push the tails into the hip belt, and then hook it back on and zip it shut.

Even with the use of some lighter materials for weight savings, the pack has been robust and durable and hasn’t shown any excess signs of wear, likely due to the choice of the ripstop and high-tenacity nylon. Some of the previous iterations of the LR packs were a bit fragile due to their use of ultra lightweight materials.


The new magnetic tube trap system lets you stow your drinking tube in one easy click while riding, and it’s much like Hydrapak’s old Quantum Clip magnetic system. The drinking hose has a male clip with an embedded magnet, and that then mates with the female magnetic on the shoulder strap located by the sternum strap. It takes a bit of practice to get used to the system, but you just drop the hose clip easily on the proper spot with a distinct snap. It also prevents it from flopping around when you are bouncing along on rough terrain.

Although the Skyline is a minimalist pack, I wish it came with a rain cover. This past spring and summer we had an extensively long season of torrential rains, and a cover kept your gear from getting soaked. I was able to rig up a system using another CamelBak rain cover, and it only required me adding some zip ties at the top of the shoulder straps so that the cover could attach to something.

Measured Specs:

  • Pack Weight – 606  grams /  21.4 oz
  • Tool Pouch Weight – 55 grams / 1.9 oz
  • Antidote Reservoir (with hose) – 185 grams /  6.5 oz
  • Total Weight –   846 grams /  29.8 oz


Bottom Line

The CamelBak Skyline 10 LR is an excellent All Mountain pack that is extremely stable and comfortable due to the synergy of the lumbar design, low slung reservoir, conformable back panel, and hip belt, and functional suspension system. The XV back panel’s flexible plastic stiffener helps stabilize the load and the full and softly padded foam offer comfort and ventilation, though the lower back can get sweaty. The pack adheres to your back as it’s Velcroed in place, and it carries the weight centered properly on your hips and lumbar, and it seems to all but disappear on your back.

The lumbar compression straps helped pull the bottom of the pack into the back when the reservoir started to shrink in size, and it was useful for doing customized load and fit trimming. Besides the high load carrying and stability characteristics, the pack had some other excellent features, including helmet carrying hooks, magnetic tube holder, tool pouch, the main compartments clamshell opening, the hip pockets and the front overflow sleeve (though it is small).

The Antidote reservoir’s 100 oz (3 L) of water can get you past most rides, and the 7L of storage space is adequate for most adventures, though over filling the pack or adding too much weight negates its functional characteristics. I wish it came with a rain cover, but I was able to rig one up without too many issues.

The light and robust Skyline 10 LR’s innovative lumbar design are flexible and conformable with soft padding and a stiffening plate which creates a stable and comfortable pack that becomes one with the back.


  • Antidote lumbar reservoir
  • Lumbar design
  • Comfortable, stable, conformable and nicely padded
  • Weight and pack disappear
  • Main compartment clamshell opening
  • Tool pouch
  • Magnetic tube


  • Lower armor straps are awkward to use
  • Lower back can get sweaty
  • Doesn’t carry heavy loads well
  • Reservoir screw cap hard to close on occasion
  • No rain cover

MSRP: $130


  • Features: Bike tool organizer roll, fleece-lined media pocket, magnetic tube trail, helmet hook, stretch overflow storage, lumbar compression, dual waist belt pockets, armor carry, zippered essentials pocket, stabilizing shoulder yoke, blinker tab
  • Total Capacity: 610 cu in / 7L + 3L reservoir
  • Pack-Only Weight: 2 lb 3 oz / 0.98 kg
  • Torso Length: 16 in / 40 cm
  • Back Panel: XV™. Multi-Layer EVA foam pods provide superior cross ventilation in a lightweight design.
  • Belt: Fixed 38 mm / 1.5″ with cargo pockets
  • Harness: Yoke harness with ultra light 3D mesh and slider sternum strap
  • Fabric: 70D / 210D diamond ripstop nylon, 210 HT nylon

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dongoose May 26, 2016 at 10:50 pm


I’ve ridden the Skyline 10 LR for the last couple months and come to a similar conclusion–it’a an awesome pack. I’ve had some back strain issues in the past that I thought might be related to my hydration pack and they’ve been virtually non-existent since I got the Skyline. The way it carries the weight on the lumbar and hips is pretty remarkable–the first few rides I kept thinking I was out of water because it felt so light.

I too found the armor strap buckles a bit fiddly at first, but after getting used to them, they’re just fine and I actually think they’ll last longer than their conventional counterparts.

Good write-up on a great pack.



Brian Mullin May 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm


Thanks for the kind words.



Chris June 28, 2016 at 12:18 am

Brian –

Is this your go to pack? I am a die hard pack user and have used nothing but CamelBak products for 20 years. I want o get something like this b/c my back is bugging me and getting the load off of my shoulders should help. I checked it out at REI today and wasn’t sure how the bladder fit once filled. It seemed like some load straps interfered with it internally towards the lumbar support. Has that been an issue? Also, do you find that you unclasp the magnetic mount for the tube while moving? Seemed to me like you would just adjust the tube length to be able to get a drink while moving and only use the magnetic clip when stopped? yes, my current Mule model is that old 😉

Thanks and see you out there!



Brian Mullin June 29, 2016 at 1:49 am

It is my go to pack, though I must admit I end up having to use other packs since I am always testing. The lumbar rez works just fine as long as you don’t overfill it and I haven’t had any issues with the strap system. The bottom lumbar straps are for fine tuning the load and help pull the weight in tighter when the rez volume decreases. The mag clip seems to stay put and doesn’t unclasp, though occasionally it can be tough re-clasp when you’re on the fly. The clasp sits pretty snugly in the system, so you’d have to tug pretty hard to move the tube around.
Pretty much their 5-star pack IMHO and it is better on the back than anything I use.


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