Review: Camelbak Rogue Light
Updated: May 24, 2022
“The Rogue feels like it’s barely there.”
The Rogue Light is Camelbak’s latest lightweight hydration system. With its minimalist setup, the Rogue is ideal for when you need to take a bit more than a bottle, but still want to take as little as you can get away with.
The Rogue comes supplied with a two litre bladder, which is just right for a decent ride. For storage, there is the main compartment that the bladder sits in – this has a small internal zippered pocket, great for glasses or wallets – then there is another zippered pocket on the side, which is ideal for keys, muesli bars and multitools. Lastly, there is an open pocket which is ideal for storing a raincoat, and having it open means you can whip it out quickly when a shower comes through. It’s available in no less than five colours; on test is the Fired Brick / Koi version.
The fabric of the Rogue is noticeably thinner than previous Camelbak’s I have owned, and this obviously helps keep the weight down; being lightweight and breathable is clearly the defining goal. The shoulder straps are a mesh material, as are the side panels of the pocket, while the back panel is Camelbak’s Air Support system which, again, creates a sort of lightweight, padded mesh panel on either side of your spine, creating a groove for your spine to comfortably sit in. On the front, there is only a single strap across your sternum. I thought I might miss having a hip strap, but on a lighter bag like this I didn’t notice its absence one bit. The Rogue stayed in place just fine and I never noticed it rocking around, side to side. Internally, the bladder sits neatly in its pocket and is held in place vertically by a hook and loop system, with the plastic loop of the bladder hooking into the sewn loop of the bag.
Camelbak’s Bite Valve system is tried and true, I find the flow just right and really like having the shut-off valve that prevents anything leaking out when something is sitting on it in the boot of the car.
I’ve had a number of Camelbaks over the years, and they’ve always been larger versions, such as the M.U.L.E. However, I can see real appeal in these lighter versions.
Often, a larger bag on your back feels heavy and sweaty on hot days – comparatively, the Rogue feels like it’s barely there. Because of that, there are a number of people that the Rogue might really appeal to – for starters, younger riders. The Rogue is fundamentally just a small, light hydration pack. With a lot of smaller kid’s bikes not having room for a water bottle in the front triangle, having a backpack is ideal – but most packs are adult sized.
The Rogue is small enough that it actually looks just right on kids. Our kids (aged eight and ten) can attest that the Rogue is a winner for them. (There is a heap of adjustability in the shoulder straps so don’t think that it’s not a good fit adult’s too!)
The second unique group that might be really interested in the Rogue, are the bikepackers – or ultra-distance riders – who, again, want minimal equipment but often need to carry extra water through a section, or the ability to stow more food than their bags can easily hold.
The Rogue fits the bill nicely for them too and, as a bikepacker myself, I think I will be taking this on my next mission for this very reason.
I really liked the Rogue Light. It’s minimal, durable, cool, and comfortable.
At first, I thought this probably wasn’t a product I would have bought for myself, but after having a chance to test it, it’s actually got a lot of use – I probably grab it more often than I do my M.U.L.E now, and the fact that it makes a great fit for the kids as well means that it’s getting used by someone on just about every ride. •
REVIEW: LANCE PILBROW
DISTRIBUTOR: SOUTHERN APPROACH