CamelBak makes a wide range of hydration packs with a bias towards cycling and running but they these days the company also produces more walking- and mountaineering-orientated packs including the Highwire 25. Like all CamelBak packs the Highwire comes with a hydration bladder (worth £33), so the pack itself effectively costs £77. In terms of weight the pack is 810g (without the 220g hydration system), which is heavier than others, but it is also a little more elaborate and comfortable than others due to this. However it also manages to maintain running, biking and hiking comfort and performance, which is what makes the Highwire great. The body of the sack has a zipped opening at the top and the capacity is a true 25 litres as the hydration bladder is fitted inside an additional pocket between the main compartment and back system. There’s a very useful stretch stash pocket on the front, as well as two stretch side/wand pockets, but it is also the addition of compression straps that ensures this pack is stable with a mix of loads. It is not easy to make a pack that works across walking, biking and running but the Highwire does a great job although it is slightly heavier than others.
Weight 810g (pack) 220g (bladder)
Capacity 25 litres
External zipped pockets 1
Wand pocket yes
Hydration pocket yes
Women’s version no
The CamelBak Highwire 25 is slightly heavier than others, but an excellent all-rounder. It might appear relatively pricy, but as it comes with a hydration system built in there is no need to fork out further cash on one.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2012