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CamelBak Mule Modifications

It now holds a jacket on the back!

By John D. McCann

I always prefer a small daypack to side carry slung units if it is for more than a short hike. A pack I have always liked is the CamelBak Mule. It has everything I want in a small daypack... except...

I like to have a place to put a jacket or rain gear. Normally when you start out in the morning you are wearing it, but then it comes off, and.... where do you put it?

Original CamelBak Mule

This is what the back of the original CamelBak Mule looks like.

I was playing around with a CamelBak Transformer, and really didn't like the shoulder straps, and various other things that just weren't right with it, at least in my opinion. However, it had this great "Flap" on the back that could be brought up over the pack. I looked... looked some more... and said, "John, that's exactly what you need on the back of the Mule to hold a jacket"! So, after a little effort (OK, a lot of effort) I was able to detach the "Flap" from the Transformer, for... in my mind... a re-attachment to the Mule.

The bottom of the flap, which was removed from the CamelBak Transformer, was folded under and sewn to the bottom of the Mule.

Flap Sewn onto Mule

The flap from the transformer folded under and sewn to bottom of the Mule.

Completed flap

A view of the new flap after being sewn onto the bottom of the Mule.

The flap over the back of the Mule

A view of the new flap from the Transformer up over the back of the Mule.

I had to sew attachment points for the straps to the side of the Mule. I had to hand sew these as I didn't want to take the Mule apart in order to sew it on a machine. I wanted to keep the original straps on the flap long, so the "Flap" could be pulled away from the pack for a Jacket, additional gear, firewood, or whatever.

Hand sewn side attachments

This is the attachment points hand sewed to the sides of the Mule at the top sides.

Side view

A side view of the flap attached using the side attachment points.

Holding a rain jacket

A side view with the flap holding a full weight GoreTex jacket folded up.

So there you have it. As I always say, if something doesn't do what you want it to.... Modify It!

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