Ideal compromise between ultra-minimalist options and full-on backpacks
Camelbak Chase Bike Vest provides storage not just at the back but also over the ultra wide shoulder straps to provide quick access for regular use items.
This not only helps keep weight balanced but also minimises the amount of times you need to take off the pack in order to access items such as multitools, phones or food. The best thing about this arrangement is it means stopping to take off the pack and find essential items is kept to a minimum, keeping your ride flow going and really helping out when racing an enduro or just riding with mates. The Chase Bike Vest presents the ideal compromise between ultra-minimalist options and full-on backpacks.
The Chase uses Camelbak’s Pureflow bladder, in this case the smaller 1.5 litre capacity version. This truly is the best bladder on the market featuring a wide screw-top opening with neat handle to ease filling. The hose and bite valve provides better water flow than anything else with minimum effort and the whole thing has been treated to prevent any plastic taste and prevent the growth of any nasties.
For such a small pack the amount of storage options in the Chase is excellent. The main compartment has three main pockets and enough space to store everything from a pump to light jacket and other spares. But it’s the pockets on the straps that are really clever. Each one is split into different compartments; some with zips and some simple mesh pouches. With a little thought it’s easy to place your essentials in an appropriate area.
Twin chest straps hold everything together and combine with the wide shoulder straps to comfortably keep it in place. There is a little bounce when fully loaded with water but it never interfered with a helmet even when riding down steep stuff. The only thing I could really fault it on is the lack of airflow around the back as it sits fully onto the back. It does get a little sweaty but the light mesh construction does a relatively good job of keeping this to a minimum.
If quick blasts around local trails or enduro racing is what you tend to concentrate on then the Chase is a perfect companion.