Flow’s First Bite: CamelBak Palos 4 LR Lumbar Pack

The not-so-minor details


CamelBak Palos 4 LR


JetBlack Products




Hey, it worked back then, it'll work now!


It's a bum bag.

The bum bag is back, baby! Of course CamelBak doesn’t use that term – they call it a ‘lumbar pack’. We haven’t used one of these things since 1998 (genuinely, we promise) so we’re intrigued to see the Palos in CamelBak’s new Low Rider range.

Camelbak Palos 4 LR-3

Now before you start making jokes about aerobics instructors or rollerblading, let’s take a moment acknowledge there are some practical, if not fashionable, advantages to the bumbar bag.

Camelbak Palos 4 LR-9
Enough room for all the basics internally.
Camelbak Palos 4 LR-8
Smart fold-out mesh pockets. There are also small storage pouches on the waist straps too.

Firstly, it’s cooler (sorry, we mean, less sweaty) than a backpack, but it still allows you to carry a decent amount of water and gear, far more than in a bottle/jersey pocket. In this case, the Palos will hold up to 1.5 litres of water with 2.5 litres of storage capacity for a tube, CO2, multitool and some food. Secondly, it positions all the weight low on your hips which has obvious advantages for your centre of gravity and stability. That’s were the LR (Low Rider) comes from in the Palos’s name.

Camelbak Palos 4 LR-10
The funky shaped lumbar reservoir spreads the weight low and wide.

CamelBak have taken this Low Rider approach with their new Skyline backpack too –  it also uses a lumbar reservoir to keep the weight of the water low of your body. We’re testing that one out as well.

Camelbak Palos 4 LR-7
These small tabs pull the bladder in closer to your body as you drink.

The whole thing just clips around your waist with a big buckle, and there are little tabs to pull and cinch it down closer to your body as the water level drops in the bladder. The hose also runs across your waist, fastening in place with a magnetic clasp.

Camelbak Palos 4 LR-5
A magnetic clasp holds the hose in place.

We’ll be taking the Palos out for a few rides with some non-judgemental mates soon. We’ve definitely got some questions about how it will handle really rough terrain and jumps – will it spin around or move? And how tight do you need to crank the straps up to hold it in place? We’ll find out soon enough.

Who knows, perhaps we’ll all be rocking the bum bag again soon!

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