The Camelbak KUDO enduro hydration pack I won has served its purpose

Last spring, Camelbak announced that they were giving away two K.U.D.U. enduro hydration packs a week during their #gnarliestdescent Instagram photo/video contest.

Camelbak gnarliest descent contest 2015

Back in April, I rode the Admiral Rockbar portion of the COGGS Piedmont mtb trail that runs along the cliff above Haines Rd in Duluth. A few photos:

Foxx Rocks portion of the COGGS Piedmont mtb trail, Duluth Foxx Rocks portion of the COGGS Piedmont mtb trail, Duluth Foxx Rocks portion of the COGGS Piedmont mtb trail, Duluth

I entered a video of me riding it, taken with my GoPro, chesty view. This image links to the Instagram post with the 15-second video:

Piedmont Foxx Rocks cliff trail mtb video

I won during one of the weeks and selected the Camelbak KUDO 18, Charcoal/Sulpher Springs color: “A lightweight and streamlined enduro pack with integrated back protection, 18 liters of cargo and armor carry.” It retails for $225.00:

Camelbak KUDU 18

Jerrell Taylor, Community Manager for CamelBak Products, shipped it to me in mid-June and I’ve been using it ever since.

I’m not a product reviewer but I found the two KUDU reviews by Mountain Flyer Magazine and by  Riding Feels Good to be thorough and generally accurate.

I can say that knowing I always had spine protection whenever I was using the KUDU (90% of the time) helped to make me a little more willing to try, um, gnarly stuff. For instance, I wore it when I rolled down the big bridge rock and rode the new log drop at Leb for the first time:

Lebanon Hills bridge rock rolldown Lebanon Hills log drop

I can’t be certain but the KUDU’s spine protector may have saved me from further injury (I cracked some ribs) when I had my nasty skinny drop crash at Hillside Park back in November:

Hillside Park skinny drop Hillside Park skinny drop

(For more on these obstacles, see my November blog post Five difficult local mountain bike obstacles that I’ve been avoiding and last week’s blog post What I’m doing to learn from my nasty skinny drop crash.)

So yeah, convenient spine protection is important for me and will likely be more so next year if I’m fortunate enough to ride more enduros. I’m glad I’ve got the KUDU.