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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Packs > CamelBak Mini-M.U.L.E. > Owner Review by Joshua Smith

Camelbak Kids Mini M.U.L.E. hydration pack
October 30, 2021


NAME: Joshua Smith
EMAIL: scubafire AT hotmail DOT com
AGE: 35
LOCATION: Hermiston, Oregon USA
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 160 lb (72.60 kg)

Personal Background I'm a 35-year-old firefighter/paramedic from the deserts of Northeastern Oregon. I started backpacking at the age of 12 in Boy Scouts. I grew up exploring the Pacific Northwest including the Columbia River Gorge, Pacific Coast Range, and the Wallow-Whitman National Forest. I love backpacking not for the fish, or the fresh water, or the open spaces but for the thrill of what is up ahead and the philosophical banter that happens after spending hours on the trail. I prefer the comfort of a hammock in the back country and have a love/hate relationship with trekking poles!


Manufacturer: Camelbak
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US $50
Listed Weight: 7 oz (210 g)
Measured Weight: 7.3 oz (208 g) without included 1.5 L hydration bladder; 13.7 oz (388 g) with included hydration bladder
Measured Dimensions: 12.6x8.5x3.9 in (35x21.5x10 cm)
Chest Fit Size: 15-21 in (38-53 cm)
Gear Capacity: 90 cu in (1.5 L)
Hydration Capacity: 1.5 L

I bought this hydration pack for my three-year-old as a way to get her used to wearing a backpack, fit in with dad and grandpa, carry her snacks/jacket, and make her drink easily accessible to her. It comes in a variety of color combinations but with an active girly-girl, Baton Rouge Flames (pink/light blue) was a natural choice.
Mini M.U.L.E. with hydration bladder

Off the shelf, the size (completely tightened down) was perfect for my daughter with room to grow. The limited capacity inside the pack (90 cu in/ 1.5 L) helps keep her from getting overloaded. A whistle built into the chest clip and reflective striping across the chest and bottom edge of the bag were nice built-in safety features. The bag itself is made up of three enclosed compartments and one external net area with cinch straps. The main compartment, set along the wearer's back, is designed for a 1.5 L hydration bag. This compartment is not fully enclosed as it has a hook-and-loop closure at the top, a drain hole at the bottom, and access for the hydration hose over each shoulder. The other two compartments both zip-closed and one contains a 'bike tool organization pocket' that contains an elastic mesh pocket with a key clip.
Bike tool organization pocket
The shoulder straps are made entirely of mesh, not a problem for me as the small size of the bag will limit the weight that would be placed on the shoulders. The sternum strap is adjustable and removable. There are no hip/waist straps on this bag.


The first use of this bag was Christmas day on some nature trails on the banks of the Columbia River. They are flat, well-maintained trails around nature ponds that house year-round life, perfect for a three-year-old to explore. The pack adjusted easily to the heavy coat my daughter was wearing and stayed in place without difficulty. The cold got the best of us before it could cause any issues with the hydration bladder but in the cold I could see that being an issue. We have used this bag several times since then. In the woods the bright color comes in handy to help keep track of her. The bag is just as easily used in more urban areas and doesn't look out of place. We have used this while visiting the zoo and walking in downtown areas. There is enough adjustment in the straps to accommodate for her size and clothing at each use. She has room inside the compartments for her 'things' (mostly fruity snacks, small rocks, and her toy cell phone) without giving her enough room to make the bag too heavy for her. The mesh pocket provides ample room to hold a jacket or sweatshirt for easy access. The hydration pack keeps her drink accessible and does not require help when she needs a drink (huge plus for me!).

Now given that this bag has only been used by a three/four-year-old, it really isn't showing much use. All of the closures still work perfectly. The fabric and netting is still intact and showing no major signs of wear.


The Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E. has been a great addition to my daughter's outdoor gear. The style of the bag matches larger daypack-style bags so she feels like she is just like dad and grandpa without it being too big for her. There is plenty of room for adjustment and the quality is that which I would expect from any Camelbak brand bag.


My favorite feature of this pack is that when she gets tired of wearing it, it is adjustable enough that I can wear it comfortably. I am 5'10 160 lb and can easily don and doff this bag when needed IMAGE 3. Also, the material is not listed as water-resistant and we haven't used it in rain more than a drizzle but the water tends to bead and run off the fabric quite easily. The zippers are just normal zippers so they don't do much in the way of blocking water but we have yet to have any issue with that.

I also like:
1. the small size
2. it comes with the hydration bladder


The only thing I really don't like about this bag is also one of the main reasons I bought it; the size. While I wanted a small back for my daughter I also see that as the limiting factor and probably the reason we will need to get rid of or replace it in the future.


Joshua Smith

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.

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