Best Hiking Daypack: Camelbak Fourteener 26 - Gear Hacker

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Camelbak Fourteener 26: Best Hydration Daypack

Best Hydration Daypack

 

  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Storage 70% 70%
  • Accessories 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%

Price: $155

Dimensions: 21.3” x 11.8” x 10.2” / 54.1 x 30 x 26 cm

Weight: 1275g

What We Like: Innovative hip belt system, hydration reservoir included.

What We Don’t: Weight and bulky build. 

The Camelbak Fourteener 26 is one of the most innovative daypacks on the list. Camelbak has added dual wing hip belts to the Fourteener. This design serves multiple purposes by creating support with the inner belt while the outer belt wraps around the pack creating compression. The outer hip belt also includes additional storage. With an included hydration reservoir and extra space for even more water if needed, the Fourteener is our Best Hydration Daypack. Unfortunately, the weight and bulky design are areas that need improvement for this Camelbak pack to become a true contender, especially for its price. 

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Cons

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Best Hiking Daypack: Camelbak Fourteener 26 - Gear Hacker

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  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Storage 70% 70%
  • Accessories 100% 100%
  • Weight 50% 50%

Pros

Innovative Hip Belt System

Hydration Reservoir Included

Cons

Weight

Bulky Build

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Weight: 1275g

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Cons

Limited Support

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New from Camelbak this season is the Fourteener 26, a highly modified version of the old Fourteener 24. This pack comes with some very interesting changes and profiling that make it a slight underdog as one of the season’s best hiking daypacks. With an included hydration reservoir, large top panel opening, and very modern design, the Fourteener 26 is a very attractive pack and the best Hydration Daypack of the season.

Best Hiking Daypack: Camelbak Fourteener 26 - Gear Hacker

Ventilation and Suspension

To create comfort and ventilation The Fourteener 26 uses Camelbak’s Air Support foam and mesh. This represents a slight downgrade from the back panel that was offered by the old Fourteener 24, but the new version is less bulky and will fit closer to the body. Having the load closer to the body improves stability for the pack, and this was likely designed after feedback from previous iterations of the Fourteener. To improve load support and balance along the back, Camelbak included a thin frame sheet in the back panel.

The shoulder straps are contoured and include an adjustable sternum strap. The straps do not have load lifters or as much padding as similar packs. The lack of these straps does not allow a high level of adjustability for the user. The shoulder straps do have included hydration hose management with elastic loops and a plastic clip to keep the hose from swinging too much while on the move. 

Best Hiking Daypack: Camelbak Fourteener 26 - Gear Hacker

Real innovation and something very original that comes with the Fourteener 26 is the hip belt. Camelbak calls it their dual wing hip belt. There is a traditional inner belt that transfers the weight of the pack onto the hips of the user. It has a nice amount of padding to increase comfort and spread the weight of the pack. Meanwhile, an outer belt acts as a large compression strap, wrapping from the front of the pack across the sides and onto the hip belt. The outer belt also includes water bottle storage and has large zippered pockets on the exterior. It looks very slick and serves many different purposes. Due to its complexity, it is non-removable, but if you’re buying this pack, you want to keep this great feature.

Storage

The Fourteener 26 comes with a hydration reservoir, and it is the only pack on the list that does so. It comes with the Camelbak 3L Crux reservoir, which stays flat and includes a large opening for easy filling and cleaning. The Crux reservoir has its own dedicated pocket to allow for easy access and refill. We tested the Crux along with other top competitors in our Best Hydration Pack for Mountain Biking article and found the Crux offered the best drinking experience by a wide margin.

The main compartment has a large horseshoe-shaped zippered panel opening. Similar to that of the Patagonia Nine Trails 28, this opening gives the best access to the main compartment of the pack. Within the main compartment are some small mesh pockets for added organization. On the front of the pack is a small zippered essentials pocket for smaller item security (i.e. wallets, and keys). 

Best Hiking Daypack: Camelbak Fourteener 26 - Gear Hacker

Also on the front of the Fourteener 26 is a stretch mesh pocket for shell layers or whatever you can think to stash away. There is also a set of gear loops to hold trekking poles or ice axes. Along the sides of the front run two rows of daisy chain gear loops for even more exterior customization and gear attachment opportunities. 

The hip belt again is the real star of the pack. There are zippered pockets on the exterior of each outer belt. The zippers run almost to the front of the pack so they have a huge amount of storage opportunity. Within the outer belt are the stretch mesh water bottle pockets, highly secured as they will be within the compression of the dual wings as they run onto the front of the wearer. 

Material and Weight

The Fourteener 26 from Camelbak is full of technical features. Camelbak went with a 420D Oxford Nylon for a high level of durability. The durable fabric has increased the weight, as the Fourteener 26 is a burly 1275g. The material and build will last for a long time, but this is a very heavy pack for its size. 

With the pack being so new, it will be interesting to see how the dual hip belt system works over a long period of time. Unfortunately, we have not been able to test it long enough to get a long term idea of how the pack will age. At the moment, it is an extremely innovative pack that is refreshing to see in the daypack market. 

Best Hiking Daypack: Camelbak Fourteener 26 - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

With an included hydration reservoir and a highly innovative hip belt/compression system, the Camelbak Fourteener 26 is definitely worth a once over. It does not come from a company well known for its larger packs, but with the steps Camelbak is taking to innovate and create a highly original pack, it should not be ignored.

The negatives of this pack are few, but the main negative is its overall weight. At 1275g, it is a heavy daypack, but it is also full of features and is made of extremely durable material. Price-wise, $150 is slightly expensive, but again the Fourteener comes with a 3L hydration reservoir, saving you about $30. All packs should be tried on to see how they fit, and the Fourteener is certainly worth a try. 

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!