Tested: CamelBak Agent

A midsize pack with big-pack aspirations

By Vernon Felton

Price: $140

With its 671 cubic inches of storage, CamelBak's Agent is a midsize pack with big-pack aspirations. The Agent has room to haul all the essentials, in addition to body armor and a full-face helmet. The pack is equipped with the company's well-ventilated N.V.I.S. back panel, two fleece-lined pockets and a handy cell-phone pouch on the left shoulder strap that's within easy reach of right-handed riders.

While the lids on older CamelBak reservoirs could be difficult to open, the company has rectified that problem with its Antidote, which debuted a few years back. I'm a big fan of the Antidote; the baffled reservoir helps to evenly distribute the load. What's more, you no longer need to be Charles Atlas to open it. The Agent's 100-ounce reservoir gets top marks—the clamshell opening is by far the easiest to open, fill, close and slide back into the pack—even when filled to the brim. The drinking hose is also insulated for its entire length—a small but thoughtful detail.

The CamelBak Agent is comfortable. The shoulder straps are not as well-cushioned as the straps on the other packs reviewed here, but the padding is effective and the overall fit and adjustability are superb.