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Filling a mule

BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
edited September 2008 in MTB buying advice
Looking at getting a new hydration pack - my cheapo Tog 24 bag with 1.5 litre reservoir does't cut the mustard. I want 3 litres of liquid capacity as well as enough storage to hold the essentials plus some food, a jacket, maybe an extra warm top etc. I have been looking at the Mule, as well as the Camelback Hawg and North Face Hammerhead.

My question is, how much can you fit in a Mule? If I start doing some all day rides will I have enough space? Or should I be looking at the two larger packs? Obviously the larger ones can be compacted, but they are still wider and heavier, so there is no point having extra that I won't need.
"Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs


  • S_J_PS_J_P Posts: 908
    I've not used the Mule, but I use the HAWG for commuting and weekend riding and I think it's a great pack. It's extremely well designed, robust, and easy to use.

    The HAWG is massive for a trail pack though!

    It can hold a windproof jacket, a waterproof jacket, a complete change of clothes for work, a spare riding top, two tubes, shock pump, CO2 pump, patches, 2xmultitool, first-aid kit, wallet, phone, vinyl-gloves, cable-ties, gaffer tape, energy gels and bars as well as 3 litre of water! The trouble is that it weighs a ton!

    Despite it's size, the HAWG's the pack I reach for in preference to my Dakine Drafter and Lidl-special packs (around 9 litre each) as I know I won't be wanting for extra space! With the straps pulled-in and the bag compacted, the load distributions far better than with the smaller packs too.

    Merlin are selling the HAWG for £50 at the moment which is a bargain, though the Hammerhead's suspension system is supposed to eliminate sweaty-back syndrome.
  • strodeystrodey Posts: 481
    I use the mule for the exact things you want one for, just right space wise IMO!
    Carbon is a mans best freind
  • I use the Mule, but havn't used the others so i cant compare. Its a great pack, and good for short as well as all day rides. I manage to fit in a waterproof jacket, inner tubes, tyre levers, multitool, minipump, map, suncream, few bananas and loads of flapjacks.

    You may struggle fitting an extra warm top in it though, unless its quite compactable. I find the space in the main pocket shrinks quite a lot when there is the full 3L of water in there.

    For all day rides i have to use a saddlebag as well to fit all the stuff i need.

    There are some nice touches to the Mule, and the little velvety "ipod" pocket at the very top back is great for chucking your phone+keys+money and anything else small into.

    Finally, it is a very comfortable pack to use and i must say, after a couple of hours out on the bike, i really do forget its there.

    This is my first post to this forum- ive been lingering for about a year, so Hi Everyone!
  • thirded on the mule
    GT Avalanche : Marzocci MX Pro LO, Formula OROS K18
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Fourthed on the Mule.

    If you need more than you can fit in a Mule, then I suggest a nice shoulder bag from Louis Vuitton with matching makeup pack.
  • MilkieMilkie Posts: 377
    I tought the Mule wasn't big enough.... But it is... Just..

    3 Litres of drink and...
    Enought to fit, pac-a-mac, sweatshirt, innertube, big multi-tool, pump, survival kit, first aid kit.. Then stuff like chocolate bars, flapjacks (lots!), spare things like brake pads, chain links, tyre levers, and other stuff like cable ties, rope, tape, etc..

    And there is still room to stuff more inside, or hang on the outside of the bag, with the straps.

    Also I don't seem to get a sweaty back, my friends with their camelbak alternatives do get sweaty backs... It has nothing to with my fitness.... honest. :lol:
  • Have a look at ... -pack-9581

    its a cracking alternative.... but if you can get a hawg £50 ths that just blows the wing nut out of the water on value.

    for size i managed this morning to fir 6 baps, 2 cans of soup, a punnet of peaches, a pino of milk, full breakdown kit. and a change of clothes. :shock:

    my baps did get squashed
    Nothing in life can not be improved with either monkeys, pirates or ninjas
  • Had a MULE for a couple of years now. IMHO it's great in the summer/dry weather but when you need to start to add extra clothing/food/kit it is a little on the small side. As others have said, with 3L of water onboard not only does that limit the main pockets area but also makes the back very rounded so a little uncomfortable to begin with....until you've had 1/2+L of drink. I can quite easily carry 2x tubes, pump, multi tool, tyre levers, spare brake pads, wallet, phone, keys and one or two extra bits and pieces with no problem. A small compact rain/wind jacket can also be stuffed in but that is starting to take the piss a little, especially if extra trail food is needed. I have since upgraded to the MAYHEM. Although not quite so good in pocket layout it easily takes the extra clothing needed for the forthcoming season and still feels small once on my back.
  • BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    Just to update, I ordered a Hawg From Merlin. The Mule would be perfect for what I do know, but I'd like the option to go out for longer rides and take more kit if I want to. There wasn't a price difference between the two but I'd have liked the Hawg to come in Green!
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs
  • ratty2kratty2k Posts: 3,872
    Had a Mule, got a bigger one (Mayhem) and for longer rides, it aint quite big enough.
    Thats with tyre and shock pump, first aid kit, repair kit/ tools, camera and during winter water proof trousers etc. So I'll be getting the HAWG as my day ride one, and keeping the mayhem for trail centers and summer rides.
    I know that if you have a bigger bag, the temptation is to fill it... But I'd go for a next size up from the Mule.
    My Pics !

    Whadda ya mean I dont believe in god?
    I talk to him everyday....
  • bells0bells0 Posts: 414
    Got a Northface Megamouth a week ago and love it. Loads of room and plenty of pockets. The magnet on the drink tube to attach it to your chest strap is a nice touch too + the framed back means i don't get too hot or sweaty.

    Picked it up for £50 from a North Face seller on fleabay - deffo recommend it [love the camo colour too! :lol: ]
  • ratty2kratty2k Posts: 3,872
    Forgot about Northface! :oops: Will have to have a peek...
    My Pics !

    Whadda ya mean I dont believe in god?
    I talk to him everyday....
  • I have a mule, but wish I got a Blowfish. The Blowfish is extendable so in summer it is a small pack, while in winter you can hold the extra layers as needed.
  • The blowfish doesn't expand that much tbh...I need a bigger pack and have to replace it.

    Dot 4 in the eye hurts. Trust me
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