Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Camelbak Fourteener 26 Hydration Hiking Pack with Crux 3L Reservoir Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

Camelbak Fourteener 26 Hydration Hiking Pack with Crux 3L Reservoir ($140)

One Size 

Weight: 2.1 lbs 

Volume: 1587 sq/in / 26L

Dimensions: 22.8”H X 11.8”W X 8.3”D 

Available now


The Fourteener 26 pack is designed for full days on the trail, be it hiking, snowshoeing, fast hiking with some jogging or XC skiing.  Of course the name is a nod to (I presume) the Colorado 14ers,of which I have climbed all 59 (54-59 depending on which list you subscribe to). I have over 300 14er ascents under my belt, so I can attest with confidence that this will perform quite well for those summer 14er ascents.  The pack is roomy, has a durable/sturdy construction, breathes well and carries weight very comfortably and stable.

Key Features:

The Fourteener 26 has an Air Support Max (mesh) back panel suspended by a lightweight frame that allows for very good ventilation, excellent comfort and stable support.

On the top back of the pack, there is one modest (small) zippered pocket with a key clip.  This is a good place to secure your key, stash a pair of sunglasses or a few small snacks or other items.  Use this pocket wisely however, as it is the only external pocket on the pack.

Once the main compartment is unzipped, there are two small elastic mesh pockets and one large pocket/bladder sleeve.  The mesh pockets can again hold a few very small items, so be efficient.

There are also exterior stretch mesh pockets on either side that can accommodate a water bottle (easily Nalgene size, but can also hold a bike bottle securely).

The front left shoulder strap has one small pocket that can hold a few gels, or a small size smartphone (iPhone 8 pictured).

The waist straps are thin and minimal, but comfortable and adjust to accommodate a wide range of sizes.

There are also pole loops where you can easily store poles or an ice ax, plus an exterior bungee where you can secure a jacket or something similar.


I am 5’9.5” and 145 lbs with a 38.5” chest and this pack fits me quite well.  Comfort is very good, especially considering the minimal straps.  Performance is excellent, and especially so for such a light pack, carrying a 26L load efficiently.  Breathability is amazing with the mesh backing and the pack feels tidy, compact and stable on the move.  While not intended to be a running pack, I have tested it running and it does not bounce and keeps the load close to the body.


Overall I like the well built, durable construction of the Fourteener 26, for its comfort, breathability, load carry ability and that it comes with a 3L bladder that can keep one hydrated on the longest days out.  It feels light and quite comfortable, even when loaded up with excellent weight distribution.  

I think the Fourteener 26 pack could easily go from a good pack to a great pack with a simple reconfiguration of the pockets.  Starting with just a larger exterior zippered pocket to stow quick and easy access essentials, maybe a single interior zip pocket vs. the dual small mesh pockets that are not particularly functional and instead of the exterior bungee intended for a jacket, a large stretch stuff pocket would be more useful.  Adding a matching stretch pocket on the right side would be a great addition as well.  Either way, the Fourteener 26 is a great daypack for those summer 14ers and beyond.

The Camelbak Fourteener 26 is available from our partners below




Tester Profile

Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state and can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his 12 year old daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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