Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: Kalenji Water Bag Large

The motivation for this review is basically based on the need for a new hydration backpack. So far I could get along with the somewhat minimal HPL #008 from Nathan. It has a 1.5 liter bladder and two front pockets which I find very useful and would not wanna miss on any future replacement. Basically it's kind of a replacement for a waist belt since it does not offer very much space for additional items to carry but it is much more convenient to wear, especially for long runs such as 100k or even 100miles.

So what I was looking for is a similar lightweight pack that can hold at least 3 liter or more of water, has shoulder strap bottle holders, front pockets, and around 10l-20l of space for my stuff (food, phone, first aid, some cloths).

At some point I came across the "Water Bag Large" from Kalenji which I bought from Decathlon.


  • Weight about 390g
  • Cargo capacity about 10l-12l 
  • 2 liter bladder included
  • Size 26cm x 48cm
  • Two front bottle holder (fixed)
  • Four small front mesh zipper pocket
  • Vest style with zipper
  • signaling whistle


The fit of this vest-style pack is quite comfortable, even with two filled 700ml water bottles and the 2l bladder it does not bounce too much.
It could be a little bit bigger in size to hold a few more items and maybe a bigger bladder. I will try if it can hold a 2.5l or 3l water bladder without loosing too much space elsewhere.
The pack features some compression system which might not really be necessary given its size. But this can be useful to attach some stuff like a light rain jacket or other stuff on the outside of the pack.

Underneath each bottle holder are two zipper pockets to hold some gel or alike. I find those zippers a bit difficult to open and close. Especially if you have a bottle inside the holder it is also a bit tricky to get stuff in and out of those pockets but they are still very good to have.

What I'm not sure about the the large front zipper to open and close the vest if you put the pack on. In general this works well but somehow it looks like it would not last too long but I could be wrong.

The bladder is located right next to your back and this bladder pocket has a Velcro strap. Besides this pocket there's two more, one which you open at the side of the pack with a zipper. This one actually has a hole for a bladder hose as well. And there is another pocket at the back of the pack also with a zipper. Last but not least this back pocket contains a small "waterproof" pocket e.g. for a phone.


As a replacement for the  2l hydration bladder that comes with the pack I now bought the 3l version of the Platypus Hoser.


  • lightweight 109g
  • size 18cm x 42cm
  • fits well into the Kalenji
  • bite valve works pretty well


  • difficult to refill due to its small closing
  • difficult to clean for the same reason 
As  for me those two cons are not too important as I would only fill in water anyways and I would most likely not use it in any event where the time to refill the bladder really matters  ;)


Looks that this product does fade (lose color). I noticed this on one light rain jacket and yesterday on my shirt: