The CamelBak Rim Runner 22 is, like most of CamelBak’s products, a solid performer and a very well made hydration pack. It has a fair 19.5L capacity plus the included 2.5L reservoir, so it should get you through a wide variety of day activities.
As always, hydration packs are best used when you’ll be needing easy access to water, and the Rim Runner 22 is no different.
So, if you’re in need of a daypack that has a fair capacity, an included reservoir and comes in under $100 for the lot, the Rim Runner should suit your needs.
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One of the main benefits that comes with buying CamelBak packs, aside from their high quality standards and good reputation, is the fact that they come with hydration reservoirs pre-installed.
For some that might not be much of a positive, because not everyone uses them. But, for those of us who find hydration compatibility to be essential when buying a new pack, not having to spend upwards of $35 on a new reservoir on top of the cost of the new pack is a great bonus.
The only downside with the CamelBak Rim Runner 22, however, is that it’s only a 2.5L reservoir, not 3L.
Aside from that, the Rim Runner performed fairly decently across the board: it had decent organisation options, CamelBak’s included Crux reservoir system is of the highest standard, it was pretty comfortable, and it even looks nice.
However, it just didn’t perform as well as its competitors, like the Osprey Talon 22. While the included 2.5L reservoir is a nice bonus, it’s just not enough to allow the Rim Runner 22 to stand out from the daypack crowd. Because most other daypacks are also hydration compatible, and the Rim Runner 22 is larger and heavier than them, it just isn’t as versatile and therefore becomes hard to recommend above those other packs.
For most activities, the 19.5L of gear storage capacity should get you through most of the day, unless those activities are more intensive or require you to carry a lot.
It was, however, plenty to carry all the necessities, such as a camera, first-aid kit, a second layer, food and a water bottle in each of the side mesh pockets.
It does, of course, also have that 2.5L reservoir, so whether you’ll need another two water bottles is up to your own preference. We’d keep the activities within a day, however, as you’ll struggle to carry everything you’ll need for an overnight trip unless you travel very light.
As we said before, the Rim Runner 22 is definitely on the heavier side when compared to its other daypack competitors. While it does come with the reservoir included, which most others don’t, it’s still slightly heavier than other packs when that is removed (though not by much).
This pack definitely isn’t our idea of an ultralight daypack, but the 726g should hardly be much of a hindrance for most activities.
The Rim Runner 22 is decently ventilated, with the back panel being made from a pretty common mesh-covered foam design. It falls somewhere in the middle of all the packs we’ve tested. It will suit most people just fine, but for those who do sweat a lot, this pack might not be quite the best.
As for the other comfort aspects, such as the padding, hipbelt, sternum strap and back panel, the Rim Runner is up there with some of the best daypacks we’ve tested.
It was a pleasure to carry under a fair load, but we have to admit that the softly padded hipbelt just didn’t bare the load as much as we’d like for heavy loads. Otherwise, the shoulder straps and back panel were both nicely padded, so no issues there.
The Rim Runner performs well in terms of its functionality, with its panel-loading design and 8 exterior pockets. The pre-installed Crux reservoir system is the best in the business; it allows more water to be delivered per sip, and it has a leak-proof on/off lever that allows you to easily control the flow of water from the hose.
On the exterior of the pack, there are two side stretch-mesh pockets for easy access storage for water or snacks, and the hipbelt also has small compartments that allow for the storage of small snacks, keys or a small GPS device.
There are also a handful of daisy chain attachment points that allow for the easy attachment of certain equipment, such as ice-tools or trekking poles. This pack, therefore, should do you well in a pretty good variety of outdoor activities.
While we think the design is attractive and compact, it does have some flaws. For instance, the opening to the fairly large main compartment doesn’t zip very far, making it difficult to access any gear near the bottom of the pack.
Also, the straps that hold the stuffing pouch on the front of the pack into place cover the zips to the main compartment. This further complicates the process of getting to your gear.
On a similar note, the shoulder straps connect to the hipbelt in such a way that it blocks access to the small compartment on the hipbelt. While mall, these design flaws just seemed a bit weird to us.
As for the material used in the construction of the Rim Runner 22, we’re not entirely sure what type of nylon was used, as it’s not specified anywhere.
It was, however, pretty durable and held up well to everything we could hit it with during our testing period. If CamelBak’s previous products are anything to go by, we’re sure this pack will held up to some pretty tough use.