Review: Camelbak Women’s Shasta™ 30 Hydration Pack

This review first posted over at FionaOutdoors

Our family loves hiking. We love the mountains. We love forests. We love exploring. But I would say that my favorite hiking is done on the Camino De Santiago.

There is a freedom in knowing that I can be out for the day just walking, or it could extend into a week and nothing would really change in how I prepare. 

I took this pack out on the Camino for a day hike, and then for a three-day trip on a winter route. It had more than enough space and it has proved to be durable, adaptable and pretty comfortable. 

Features include:

  • Women’s specific fit
  • Ample cargo room, 27l of compressible gear capacity
  • Integrated 3l/100oz CRUX™ water reservoir
  • Internal organisational pockets
  • Air Support™ back panel – designed with body mapping technology to ventilate the body, while keeping load close to your body for increased stability
  • Dual wing belt with cargo – inner belt transfers weight to hips, while outer belt compresses cargo and offers additional storage
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Integrated rain cover
  • Cargo compression
  • Stretch overflow Pocket – quickly stash or shed an extra layer
  • Trekking pole attachment
  • Price: £149.99
  • Also See Camelbak.

What’s good about the Camelbak Shasta 30L?

This is a good pack. It is spacious, adjustable and carries the load well. I think the top consideration is that with the integrated 3l water reservoir, hydration is really simple. I would imagine that most are conversant with the Camelbak hydration system, since they have been one of the pioneers in this area. 

But, to put it simply, Camelbak does hydration and they do it very well. Their reservoirs are good. The tubes and valves are well designed. It is a great system.

The construction of the pack is good. The zippers, fabric and clasps were made from quality materials and we didn’t have any problems with them.

The storage capacity was great. There is a lot of space without it feeling like you are on an expedition. With the internal pockets it makes it easy to separate out your headlamp, snacks, or other essentials without having to dig through everything in your pack.

The integrated rain fly is a nice addition since it is one less thing to consider when you head out on the trail. 

Suspension and weight distribution are important to consider when there is the potential to pack a lot of weight. Three litres of water is significant when you add it to your kit. The Shasta pack uses the hip belt, shoulder adjustments and sternum strap to make sure that everything rides well.

The Air Support™ back panel is an added bonus as it helps keep the air circulating on your back and lowers the sweating and consequent chaffing.

The stretch overflow pocket was nice. I think packs that integrate features like this make it really easy on the hiker. When clothing I washed the night before wasn’t completely dry, I didn’t have a problem tossing it in that mesh pocket to keep some extra airflow going.

What’s not so good about the Camelbak Shasta 30L?

My biggest complaint about the pack is the lumbar foam support. It seemed unnecessarily rigid. Some might like the feel of a more sculpted and sturdy support, but to me it seemed too much and was uncomfortable if there was too much weight in the pack. 

If you want something with more support, you will want to see if this is your answer. For me it was too much.

This is not a complaint, but an observation: The 30l pack rides a fine line. It is meant for a long day out, but depending on your gear needs, it might be too much. On the other hand, it might be too little if you are headed out for the week. 

If you are going to be going out for a longer period, external lash points would be really helpful, but in a shorter hike it would be unnecessary. As you consider what pack to buy, keep in mind that this is a bridge pack. It might be perfect for you, or it might not be. You need to first know when you will use it and how much you will need to carry.

Conclusion: Camelbak Shasta 30l pack

The Camelbak Shasta 30l is a good option for those who are looking for plenty of carrying capacity for a multi-day hike. The integrated water reservoir gives you the ability to take plenty of water, but not mess around with multiple vessels.

My recommendation is to test the lumbar support and see if it fits you well. If you want something more rigid, this would be a good option. See Camelbak.

I received this pack free of charge in exchange for an honest review.