The return of the bum bag
Designed to get cargo weight off the shoulders and back, the Palos 4LR (Low Rider) is a waist pack with a 1.5L lumbar reservoir and 2.5L of well-organised storage. Bum bags, combined with a water bottle, are my regular riding luggage choice, but the new Palos offers the option to rely solely on the waist pack for everything on medium length rides.
Camelbak’s included lumbar reservoir has superb fluid flow and an excellent fill system, and the Palos uses a clever magnetic tube holder to loop the blue hose round your waist like a belt.
Internally, there’s a roomy main chamber, a roll-out tool organiser and enough pockets and stashes in the waist belt to hold quick-access essentials like gels or a phone. Plus, there’s the ability to lash pads or a superlight jacket if needed.
On the trail, and packed light, the Palos has decent stability, and the belted hose idea works well, but there’s a finite weight limit before bulk starts to overtake functionality. With a full reservoir, and various tools and spares, the Palos swings around too much and the waist straps aren’t sturdy enough, resulting in heavy loads waggling up and down, especially while descending hard.
Watch the enduro tips that will help your trail riding
As a concept, I’m sold on getting essentials off my back to prevent sweating, but I’ve become really attached to the similar Dakine Enduro Hip Pack. Dakine’s bum bag does a superior job of keeping things steady, with broader wings wrapping around the hips, a thicker waist belt, and a better buckle design that’s far quicker to cinch up than the Palos.
It lacks the fantastic Lumbar reservoir feature, however, and this limits your distance capability, which means Camelbak could be onto a winner if the Palos had a slightly more stable and secure fastening system.