Mtn Bike Reviews

[Review] The K.U.D.U. 12 by CamelBak

Unlike Cally, I’ve always been the type to bring the bare minimum on long or short mountain bike rides. Yes, she may carry my sandwich but she has me to thank when I eat it and lighten up her load. I am coming off of a 12-15 year old (still working!) CamelBak that literally only has a reservoir and a tiny pouch for tools and an extra tube. Coming off of that and into the K.U.D.U. 12 by CamelBak, especially with the impact protection, it is definitely a difference in size and weight. I think Cally is more excited about it than I am because now I can carry my own lunch. With that said, I also wanted to be able to fit more camera gear in my pack and I can easily do that with the K.U.D.U. 12.

Among many features, the K.U.D.U. is both great for hauling gear and protecting your back when you crash. The Impact Protector is built with a flexible and lightweight foam so as not to add bulk to your back, absorbs over 94% of impact, and can be used time and time again. In addition to housing the gear I need, I also have a piece of mind knowing my back will be protected in an accident.

Especially with the impact protection, it’s important that the pack stays in place. Not only do the double sternum straps and the wide hip belt keep the pack in place no matter the terrain, it also keeps it comfortable on those really long days. Being able to cinch the hip belt down helps to keep the weight off of my shoulders and lower on my waist.

The K.U.D.U. comes with a 3L hydration system, which has been re-designed since my last CamelBak. Not only is the reservoir easy to fill, the new valve is easy to drink from and delivers 20% more water per sip. Staying hydrated has never been easier and if you expect to run out of your 3L of water, there is plenty of space in the pack to bring extra water or a filter of some sort.

I really like the layout of the K.U.D.U. and if you have a hard time staying organized, the K.U.D.U. will solve your issues. The main pocket has a mesh pocket that even houses an included tool roll! I love that CamelBak is doing this and including it with the pack so that you can keep your tools in one spot and always know where they are. On the outside of the pack, there’s a small pocket that is lined with soft micro-fleece, which is a great place to stash a phone or sunglasses. I can also fit my helmet easily into the expandable pouch on the very front of the pack and it would also be a great place to keep an extra layer or rain jacket.

The external straps to carry armor are key and could definitely be used for something like a tripod or anything else you may need to have with you on your ride. This pack is thought out exceptionally well and while there’s a specific place for everything, you can easily adapt to fit your needs.

The K.U.D.U. is the perfect pack for all day adventures, whether down hill or cross-country, and will keep you organized and prepared for anything thrown your way. There’s even an integrated rain cover so you can keep your gear dry when the whether turns. If you’re looking for a new backpack I would highly suggest the K.U.D.U. 12. They offer the K.U.D.U. in a size 8L, 12L, and 18L and in a nice array of color ways so be sure to check out the website and find your perfect pack!

K.U.D.U. 12

K.U.D.U. 12




    • Comfortable
    • So organized
    • Includes tool roll
    • Rain cover
    • Fits everything I need and more


    • Price, although you are essentially getting back protection and a pack
    • Can find a slight gap between my back and straps due to the firmness of the back protector

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