Camelbak: The comparison

Whist the Camelbak Motherlode lite has been a resounding success in the UK tactical market, we've explored their range to answer the commonly asked question, why are these Camelbaks' more expensive than the Motherlode?

The bags in question are the Sparta, H.A.W.G and the BFM.

The Sparta.

Coming in at £198.40 the Sparta is around £20 more expensive than the Motherlode lite, however, has a slightly smaller capacity at 33L instead of 40L. A common question we're asked is why would I pay more for less storage space? The answer is in the upgraded features. Optimised for shorter missions, the Sparta is light, compact and comfortable. 

- Rear entry reservoir access

We found this to be a very useful feature, unlike the Motherlode Lite, the crux is located in its own compartment for quick access which means no unpacking to refill.

- Laser cut Molle system 

The molle system is laser cut from the main compartment of the bag meaning more secure fixing of attachments. 

The H.A.W.G

The H.A.W.G is the Camelbak answer to a day sack for medium-long missions. With a storage capacity of 20L and a 3L reservoir. Equipped with the Trademarked Air Director back panel for comfort, breathability and load distribution this really is a comfortable and convenient pack. Costing slightly less than the rest of the range, this is great value piece of kit. 










- Extended Molle 

Whilst the load size is a little smaller on this pack, the laser cut molle has been extended to allow for extra field attachments.

- Removable waist belt 

We found the removable waist belt very useful for comfort whilst hiking. It bought the center of mass closer which made the full sack feel non existent. As with all straps in the Camelbak tactical range this is quick release, or you can remove it totally. 

- Extra hydration 

Like the Sparta, the H.A.W.G is fitted with a rear entry compartment, this means you don't need to access the main compartment to refill or access your reservoir. However, a special feature of this model is the ability to add a second reservoir to the main compartment for quick hydration without stopping. 


The name says it all. Big ____ MOTHERLODE. With over 47L of Cargo, the BFM™ is built with the FUTURA™ Harness which telescopes to your specific torso length.  This optimum fit keeps you mobile, comfortable, and efficient on even the most intense missions.


- The FUTURA harness

Adding another Trademark to their artillery, the FUTURA harness is incredibly powerful, simply and effectively sits at the optimum point for your torso length, whether that be short or tall. 

- Multiple hydration options 

In addition to the designated, insulated reservoir compartment, the BFM has multiple tube exit ports meaning you can fix your hydration tube where you feel comfortable, including under arm or over shoulder. The pack also features a hang loop for an extra reservoir. 

- ASIPS Radio attachment points

Hold communications securely with dual antenna ports on top of pack. 

- Extra storage

The BFM features large, deep side pockets with grommet drainage holes to store everything you need to keep you moving for days on end. 

- Long range straps

Designed for longer missions, the comfort straps on the BFM are a lot more robust. The waist strap features 3 point adjustment, is padded, and removable. It also features a comfortable sternum strap which works fantastically well with the Futura harness. 

The Motherlode Lite

The undeniable leader amongst British forces is the Motherlode Lite, only available in the UK, this 37L system is useful, robust, and great value. Available for £174.99 whilst their are obvious savings on features the saving is also noticeable. 

As this was the "control" for this comparison, please check out the spec below.



August 17, 2021 — Military Direct