5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Colour Name: Purple
This is a combined review of Camelbak's 2014 Rim Runner 22 and Helena 22 for women, both designated as daypacks designed to carry "extra layers, food, head lamp, trail maps, trekking poles, media, sunglasses." (what, no compass or GPS?) I've seen several specifications published for them, including the cards attached to them, which indicate they both hold 1,160 cu in/19 liters of cargo plus 3 liters of water. That can't be--the Helena is obviously smaller than the Rig Runner, particularly in width. From what I can tell, the specifications on the Camelbak website are closest to correct.
They list the Rig Runner 22 as 1,220 cu in/20L + 3 liters of water (183 cu in) with a total weight of 1 lb 10 oz / 0.73 kg (pack only) and dimensions of 19.25 X 12.625 X 10.43 in / 49 x 32 x 26.5 cm with a torso length of 16 in/41 cm.
They list the Helena 22 as 1,037 cu in/17L + 3 liters of water (183 cu in) with a total weight of 1 lb 8 oz / 0.69 kg (pack only) and dimensions of 18.5 X 10.43 X 9.25 in / 47 x 26.5 x 23.5 cm with a torso length of 16 in/41 cm.
Thus, the Helena should be 0.75" shorter, 2.2" narrower, and 1.2" shallower, 2 ounces lighter, and have 85% of the Rim Runner's cargo capacity. That looks about right to me. As do many manufacturers' "women's models", the Helena comes in brighter colors than the earthier ones of the Rim Runner. I prefer the "Fallen Rock" Rim Runner color, but I have to admit my wife's purple Helena is pretty. The Helena is supposed to have more S shaped chest straps, I assume to clear the breasts. However, laying the straps on top of each other, I can't see any difference. Some sources say the Helena has a shorter torso length, but it does not--they're both as the website specs indicate, about 16 inches. I don't see any reason a woman five foot or taller couldn't use the Rim Runner if she prefers the more earthy colors or wants the additional capacity. Both chest straps have the cloth strip for routing the hose under, but only the right side one has the clip to hold the hose end.
They're both frameless packs, but I can feel a stiffener sheet, probably about 1/16" thick hard but flexible plastic, sewn in between the padded back and bladder compartment. Both packs feature a vented center-channel ("Air Channel") back panel with wicking mesh pods, and they include a vertically sliding, horizontally adjusting sternum strap, as well as an unpadded, removable waist belt.
Both the Rim Runner 22 and Helena 22 provide great organization in the front (admin) pocket and are large enough to fit a 17-inch MacBook Pro in the main pocket. They also feature lashing, tool, and hanging loops, and upper and lower side compression straps above mesh pockets. These are useful for stowing trekking poles, a hatchet, or a folding saw. The mesh pockets are just large enough to well enclose a one-liter Nalgene bottle, for as much as 5 liters of water on board, but they are stretched almost to the max with them. On ours, the GSI nesting cup will fit in one pocket but not the other, and strangely enough, the Helena pockets seem to be slightly wider. I'm going to write these off as manufacturing variances and say you may or may not be able to fit a nesting cup in one of yours. We carry no more than 16 oz / 500 ml water bottles in them since they hold other gear for us.
Camelback's rugged, high-quality construction is evident on both--quality materials and impeccable stitching with no loose threads. These aren't our first Camelbaks and we can attest their customer service is great. Focusing on lightweight gear, these are more than enough to fulfill our needs for a daypack, as well as to carry emergency overnight/3 day survival gear. We bought both from Campmor for $75 each--quite a savings. If you have questions, please ask them in the Comments to this review. I hope this helps someone.