CamelBak Fourteener 24 Hydration Pack Review

CamelBak Fourteener 24 Hydration Pack Review

The right fourteeners can be done in a day – as long as you can carry enough equipment comfortably to be prepared for whatever conditions come your way.  CamelBak’s Fourteener is just the type of pack that can get you there.

CamelBak Fourteener 24 Features:

  • Total Weight: 2.4 lbs / 1.09 kg
  • Hydration Capacity: 100 oz / 3 L
  • Total Capacity: 1342 cu in / 22L + 3L Reservoir
  • Dimensions: 22 x 12.2 x 12.60 in / 56 x 31 x 32 cm
  • Suggested load range: 10-25 lbs
  • Torso Length: 19 in / 48 cm
  • Articulating NV back panel paddings for comfort and ventilation
  • Lower back padding distributes load evenly across lumbar area
  • Independent Suspension with Slider Sternum Strap
  • 3L Antidote reservoir with Quick Link System, quarter turn closure, lightweight fill port, center baffling and low-profile design, Big Bite valve, HydroGuard technology, PureFlow tube, wide-mouth opening
  • Large hike essentials organizer pocket
  • Quick stash overflow pocket
  • Four point compression
  • Fleece lined sunglasses pocket
  • Side stretch pockets
  • Side tool attachments
  • Two color options
  • MSRP $145

CamelBak Fourteener Tetons

Official Hydration Pack of #DadLife

Here’s one tradeoff – which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t such a bad compromise – about transitioning from ultrarunning junkie to family hike patriarch: outings that you used to cover solo in a handful of hours with ultralight gear now take full days and about three times as much gear to tote along for the journey.

Case in point was a week long trek into the Grand Tetons this summer, and a day-long summit hike on Mt Shasta.  Instead of charting out a 25-mile loop and galloping off into the wild, our family mapped out a handful of 6-to-10 hour trips that still took us to some wonderfully scenic places – but also required someone to carry as many hats, jackets, ponchos, gloves, food, fluid, and cameras along the way … and as is usually the case, that person turned out to be Dad.

 

CamelBak Fourteener pockets

Fortunately I had CamelBak’s redesigned Fourteener pack along for the trip, and it proved the perfect companion to stash pretty much everything I wanted to cram into it.  It keeps large loads distributed well throughout the torso, and the entire pack rides comfortably even when weighted down with in excess of 20 pounds of gear.  Multiple straps on the outside of the pack make it easy to stash hiking poles or an ice axe.

CamelBak Fourteener NV support

This season’s primary innovation on the Fourteener is the NV back panel which positions a full inch of multi-directional airspace between the pads and the internal frame sheet, allowing for very effective air flow and ventilation on your backside.  Each of the horizontal pads provides some articulation with movement as well, so the entire pack never sits flush against your back either on the move or at rest.  Several of my day hikes have lasted in excess of 10 hours with the Fourteener, and load distribution across the back remained comfortable for the duration.

CamelBak Fourteener top pockets

Fleece-lined soft goods pocket

Pocket storage is generous on the Fourteener, with an ample main compartment to store your most critical supplies, and a very sizable zipper pocket that is nicely subdivided into a zipper pocket, mesh pocket, small stash, and large stash pocket along with a key clip.  A fleeced pocket toward the top of the pack keeps items like cell phones or glasses protected from knocks or scratches in normal use.  Two other pockets proved highly functional during my use: the large overflow stash pocket that can hold anything from trail maps to large jackets, and the side mesh pockets which are tall enough to carry either a full canister of bear spray or a large capacity water bottle – on in my case, one on each side.

R lumbar strap pocket

Right lumbar strap pocket; none on the left.

Despite the abundance of pockets, the only improvements I’d suggest to the Fourteener have to with this aspect of the design.  Primarily, I’d like to see a little more water resistance on the external zip pockets, as moderate rain seeped through to get some of my valuables in each of the external zip pockets wet during an off-and-on drizzly outing.  I’d also love to have a zip pocket on both of the lumbar straps rather than just one on the R side strap..

CamelBak Fourteener Antidote pack

Antidote pack with fastening clip to main compartment

CamelBak’s Fourteener utilizes the company’s 3L Antidote reservoir, which closes in a cinch with a quarter turn and stays well secured in a strap built into the reservoir compartment.  CamelBak’s drink tube is routed from the top center of the pack, and is truly a cinch to use.  Their Big Bite valve consistently delivers the highest volume of fluid per sip, and it’s awesome to see that CamelBak has made its drink tube removable from the main reservoir for cleaning or storage.  Although the Antidote is a very high quality reservoir system, in my opinion it still lags slightly behind Hydrapak’s ability to turn itself completely inside out for quick cleaning and drying.  The day CamelBak replicates this type of design is the day I go to Antidote heaven.

Until then, I’ll be perfectly happy to keep using the Fourteener on whatever adventures call for a hefty supply of gear for whatever conditions may bring.

CamelBak Fourteener mountains

The Good

  • Outstanding comfort even when fully loaded
  • Great breathability and ventilation of NV back panel
  • Ample storage in several locations

The Bad

  • Limited water resistance in external pockets
  • Left lumbar strap pocket would be nice

The Bottom Line

For long day hikes when you feel the need to bring a bit of everything – or to bring something for everyone – CamelBak’s Fourteener is a way to do so in comfort and ease.

Buy Now: Available at REI

Written By

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.