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Camelbak Sundowner With Crux Reservoir – A Quick Review

If you’re looking for a hydration day pack with all the bells and whistles and a smart new way to carry your water reservoir, the new Camelbak Sundowner is for you.

The Sundowner is a 22 liter day pack with a 3 liter reservoir ready for any day hike, travel day, and even bike ride, with specific pockets for your essentials like keys, phone, and wallet, plus a stretchy compartment for wet items, dirty clothes and the like.

You get a trekking pole attachment, and a shorter backpanel and contoured shoulder straps designed specifically for women: the fit is designed to not squash your chest…how nice!


An air suspension back panel keeps the pack off your back and air flowing through, and the ventilated hip belt has cargo pockets and mesh breathability.

There are even stretch overflow pockets on the outside for stashing a jacket, mid-layer or hat. There’s also a magnetic tube trap to help you keep your hose handy.

As I said, this pack really does have everything you could think of.

However, the real star of the Sundowner show is the integration of the new Crux reservoir.

This bladder is actually a lumbar reservoir which means it sits horizontally at the base of the pack, instead of vertically along your spine.

The result: a shifted weight from your shoulders to your hips. I can’t describe this adequately enough: it really is a completely different feel.

If you like lumbar packs, you’ll definitely enjoy carrying your water this way, and even if you typically don’t use lumbar packs, as I don’t, you might be surprised to find that carrying your water this way is incredibly comfortable.

Plus, with this new design, the reservoir is able to deliver 20% more water per sip. Now, I couldn’t have told you that without this handy stat from Camelbak, but I did notice that the water flows more steadily from the hose than with my standard reservoirs.

Even more impressive: the reservoir compresses as you drink, so you don’t get that sloshing in your backpack. Why can’t I think of things like this?

Pick up the Sundowner for $160 at Camelbak–steep, but not for what you get–or look for it on REI and Amazon. You can also buy the Crux reservoir solo for $38 at Camelbak.

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Amy Whitley is a freelance creative and travel writer and founding editor of the family travel website Pit Stops for Kids. An avid lover of the outdoors, Amy makes her home in Southern Oregon, where she, her husband, and three school-aged children spend much of their time backpacking, camping, skiing, and hiking. When not exploring her own backyard, Amy and her family hit the road for travel reviews of resorts, tour operations, and hotels across the country and abroad. Follow Amy Whitley on Twitter and Facebook.

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