The Camelbak Octane 16x is a large capacity hydration vest designed for long days on the trail, fast-packing, and multi-sport adventures. The Octane 16x is a lightweight 15oz, with a breathable mesh back and padded mesh shoulder harness. It features a 100L Crux reservoir with an ergonomic handle for easy filling, and an on/off lever on the mouthpiece to prevent leaks. It has 8 exterior pockets including two on the shoulder harness and 2 on the waist belt for easy access to maps, gear, and nutrition. It has an external zipper on the back pocket which can be opened or zipped depending on storage needs.
Fit – 4.0
The Octane 16x fit well, with the exception of the right shoulder harness rubbing into our testers neck. Despite adjusting the straps or the sternum strap our tester could not resolve this issue.
Performance – 3.0
The pack rode well. The waist-belt cargo pockets were a little tough to access at times, especially while on the run, but they were roomy and held plenty of accessories and fuel. The front pockets were handy and easy to access.
Storage Capacity – 4.0
The Octane 16x has ample storage for a long day in the mountains, requiring multiple layers of clothing, or a very minimal fast-pack adventure. The capacity carried plenty of water capacity for 3-4 hours between water sources.
Stability – 4.0
The Octane rode very well, once the waist belt, sternum strap and shoulder harness were properly adjusted.
Durability – 3.0
This is a specialized pack that requires many long unsupported runs to test durability. But given how it’s construction appeared, and Camelbak’s history, we’d say this pack will withstand a good beating.
Appearance – 4.0
There was nothing overly dramatic and “WOW” about this pack to make it stand out from an appearance standpoint. But it wasn’t an ugly, or an unappealing pack, either.
Overall – 3.0
Our tester took the Octane on a 6-hour shin-scraping, bushwhack ridge run. The 100 oz reservoir held all the water they needed, and the pack was plenty big, with room to spare, for a small emergency (backcountry Preps) kit, jacket, food, phone, and poles. They even threw in a pair of small binoculars. The pack rode well, and despite the rubbing, they were pleased with how it handled and the ease of accessing pockets and gear.
Ultimately, the Octane 16x has plenty of water storage, gear storage and is lightweight and comfortable. However, it’s not a small pack for quick runs. But if you don’t plan on using it for that, no problem.