CamelBak Toro 14 hydration pack review
CamelBak’s Toro 14 is a 3 liter (100oz) hydration pack with a section of back armor called Impact Protection. Along with the back protection, the standard CamelBak goodies are represented in a pack that’s close to ideal for bike park days and heavy sessions way out in the boonies.
CamelBak Toro 14 specs
- 3 liter (100oz) Crux reservoir with Quicklink hose detach
- 11 liters (650 cubic inches) of cargo space
- CE level II back protection
- Helmet and leg armor carry straps
- 48 x 26 x 24 cm / 18.9 x 10.2 x 9.4 in
- 840 g/1 lb 13 oz
As per usual for Camelbak, organizing gear within the Toro 14 was simple with thoughtful pockets and durable zippers throughout. All of my necessary ride gear had an orderly place and the bright yellow insides kept interior visibility a non-issue.
On the outside, the helmet holder worked okay with open face lids, but full face helmets proved to be a bit too much for the small strap holders.
Securing body armor to the lower straps was simple and worked well however.
Durability has been excellent. All of the zippers, buckles and material are still functioning as they should.
What separates the Toro 14 from other hydration packs is the included back protector. While riding, it was unnoticeable with no weird stiffness or hard edges apparent.
CamelBak claims the back protection meets CE Level II protection. To achieve that level, the average peak impact must be under 9Kn (917kg / 2,023lbs) and never exceed 12kn (1,224kg, 2,698lbs). In real-world terms, it should provide some protection when falling on a pointy rock or downed tree.
The actual protector spans nearly the entire width of the pack and measures 46 x 16cm (18 x 6.3in).
Rides high on the back
When filled full, the included reservoir has a tall rectangular shape that aligns with the back armor. Because of this, the pack felt narrow and put more weight higher up on my back.
The addition of CamelBak’s Low Rider reservoir would lower the Toro 14’s center of gravity and help it ride better.
In spite of the high, narrow weight placement, the straps did a commendable job of keeping the Toro 14 solidly in place. Dual sternum straps helped with that. The waist belt did its job sufficiently but I’d like to see a bit more width on the straps.
And while I’m nitpicking, I’ve grown to love the fleece-lined pocket in other CamelBaks for my camera, phone, or glasses. The Toro 14 excludes this pocket unfortunately.
CamelBak Toro 14 vs other CamelBaks
The Toro 14 is far from alone in CamelBak’s vast line of wearable hydration. There’s a smaller version called the Toro 8, as well as two more robust packs with back protection dubbed the Kudu 10 and 20.
But again, none of those packs feature CamelBak’s genius Low Rider reservoir that stores the heavy water low and around the wearer’s hips.
For longer rides where I need more gear, I do prefer CamelBak’s excellent Mule LR 15. I also prefer the layout of the Mule pack, especially the wider waistband and the pockets on the waistband.
CamelBak Toro 14 bottom line
The Toro 14 is ideal for riders who are sending big terrain, charging hard, and/or simply riding the ragged edge, and as a result often crashing.
Do you always ride with knee armor and have a convertible full-face helmet such as Giro’s Switchblade or Bell’s Super on your head? The Toro 14 is calling your name.
If your bike park days consist of non-strop runs first chair to last, or you have some sketchy, big consequence natural lines miles from the trailhead, the Toro 14 is certainly worth checking out.