Camelbak KUDU 18L Hydration Pack Review
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The CamelBak K.U.D.U. 18 is a premier mountain bike backpack that includes a 3L reservoir, boasting an exceptional combination of spaciousness and durability. It’s designed to withstand the challenges of the roughest and longest rides without tearing or depleting your water supply.

Moreover, its integrated back protector system ensures safety, guarding against potential injuries during crashes.


  • It’s the most durable and reliable bag I’ve owned
  • Vast array of color options
  • Functional locking system on the hose
  • It features back padding for added injury protection


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  • Not ideal for short-distance rides.
  • Your stored items may incessantly rattle due to excess space
  • Strapping system can become cluttered
  • Back padding can increase body temperature
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CamelBak K.U.D.U. 18 Hydration Pack

Camelbak KUDU

In the realm of hydration biking packs, CamelBak stands out as a trusted household name, known for a diverse range of bags.

The Camelbak KUDU 18 Hydration Bag, in particular, shines as a top-tier mountain bike bag, skillfully blending expansive storage with protection. It’s tailor-made for those who prioritize ample storage without compromising on either weight or security.

Designed primarily for extensive rides, the KUDU 18 exceeds the storage capacity of typical lumbar cycling bags. While it leans towards enduro biking preferences, its versatility makes it equally beneficial for trail and all-mountain bike rides.

At its core, the bag houses a 3 Liter Crux water bladder, ensuring hydration for several hours. Additionally, riders benefit from an Impact Protection Back Panel, designed to shield against potential injuries during crashes.

The bag also introduces a compact roll-up mini pouch, perfect for storing essentials such as valve stems, multi-tools, and other sundries for easy access.

For those wary about rainy conditions, the bag addresses this concern with a lightweight and user-friendly rain cover. Its bright yellow hue not only ensures protection against moisture but also enhances visibility.

Furthermore, the KUDU 18 incorporates a helmet holder, a thoughtful addition for those embarking on prolonged journeys. Whether you prefer a full-face or a half-face helmet, this feature ensures you can securely store it and switch as per your preference, all while keeping it snugly attached to the bag.

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A Unique Water Reservoir

The Crux water bladder features a practical and user-friendly design. It has a capacity of 3 liters, providing hydration for an estimated 3-4 hours, contingent on consumption patterns.

Operating its locking system is straightforward: simply use your thumb to press the lever adjacent to the mouthpiece, preventing any leakage once you’re done drinking.

However, it’s worth noting the Crux bladder requires regular cleaning. Over time, contaminants may build up, affecting the purity of the water.

Through personal experience, I’ve occasionally detected an unfamiliar taste after not maintaining a consistent cleaning schedule. Regular maintenance not only preserves the taste but also ensures efficient water filtration.

What stands out about this bladder is its impressive capacity, often providing more hydration than a typical ride might demand. It’s always advantageous to have that extra bit of assurance, especially if you’re unsure about your hydration needs for a particular journey.

A handy tip for hose seeking prolonged cool hydration: fill the bladder partially and leave it to freeze. Just before your ride, top it up with fresh water. This method ensures the water remains cold for a longer duration, given the thawing time of the ice within.

Exceptional Hip Belt Stabilization

While the bag’s generous size is an advantage, it can introduce instability, leading to uneven weight distribution. This can cause the hydration bag to feel shaky and unsteady when full.

Before setting out on a ride, it’s crucial to adjust the hip belts to your body’s measurements. This ensures the bag remains secure and minimizes unnecessary movement during the journey.

The bag’s central clips provide additional stability. For those using a GoPro chest mount, these clips can be attached atop the mount to enhance steadiness. Additionally, the hip pockets serve as a handy spot for storing batteries.


Most bikers opt for lighter cycling bags. However, they can’t deny how beneficial it is to count on a big bag since most smaller bags can quickly take space and cram everything together, leading to an impractical mountain bike bag.

The Camelbak KUDU 18 has established itself as an exceptionally durable and reliable mountain biking hydration pack. It’s not just my first choice for biking, but it’s also versatile enough for various activities beyond cycling.

Whether I’m spending a weekend in the mountains or commuting on my bike, this backpack has become an indispensable part of my daily routine.

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