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Review: Camelbak Ultra 4

I was very excited when I got the chance to review the Camelbak Ultra 4 and at the first opportunity I grabbed my phone, snacks, trail buddy and headed out to the trails to see how the pack measured up against the other hydration packs out there.

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The Camelbak Ultra 4 is a highly adjustable pack with 2 sternum straps and adjustable Velcro shoulder straps, making for a very snug and comfortable fit. It is important to note that the shoulder straps cannot be adjusted on the go, so be sure to adjust the fit before heading out on the trail. However, once you have it on right, it does not bounce or move during a run.


The hydration tube, which is the perfect length, is held in place with two clips that are connected to the sternum straps. The small zig-zag straps connecting the bottom of the pack with the chest straps were slightly uncomfortable at first but once I got going and got the fit right, they no longer bothered me and I didn’t think about it again at all for the rest of my run.


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The Camelbak Ultra has a lot of pockets and pockets are golden on runs. I just love to stash all kinds of things on a long run. If there’s a pocket, I’ll find stuff to fill it! You’ll find water bottle pockets on both chest straps which come in handy for those long runs when the 2L reservoir may just not be enough or if you decide to carry water as well as an energy drink. The sweat-proof zip pocket on the front left fits an iPhone 5 perfectly although the iPhone 6 is a tight squeeze and will only fit without a case. Also, if you generally run with music, you should know that there’s no chance of you fitting the iPhone 6 with headphones in this pocket. I ended up carrying my iPhone 6 in one of the water bottle pockets which worked like a charm as these have cords to tighten to keep everything in place. The zip pockets at the back are perfect for a hat, additional layers, snacks and also contain a small separate mesh pocket and a key clip.


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My only negative for this pack is that the mesh back panel is not as heavily padded as other Camelbak packs which means that it sits right up against your back and does not allow for much ventilation, so my back ended up getting pretty hot during the run.


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This is a perfect pack for long runs and even hikes as you can carry more than enough water, drinks and snacks as well as your phone, keys and still have space for those additional layers. It is a good combination between a hydration pack and a vest, and all the pockets certainly come in very handy. The pack fits very comfortably and does not bounce, an excellent design by Camelbak once again.


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