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How we carry all the stuff for trail side repair and anything else you may want on a ride has become a larger discussion. With tons of different packs and on bike storage options these days there are plenty of options. Read on as our friend Allan tells about what he uses for his rides these days.
What do you take on a ride? People ask me that all the time. Over the years, I have gone from prepping for the apocalypse; taking everything I could think of including the kitchen sink, to as little as possible. In reality what I carry depends on the ride. Sometimes it is a water bottle and multitool. Other times, on longer or more isolated rides, I take three liters of water and enough tools and parts to cover any of the typical trail side issues. Most of the time however, I find myself in-between and carry just a few essentials. I’ve used backpacks for years they are great. But backpacks tend to shift around when riding and they don’t manage heat very well. Over the past year or so, I have noticed quite a few hip packs on the trails. Hip packs being a minimalist option, really appealed to me. I decided to take the plunge and put an EVOC Hip Pack Pro in my Worldwide Cyclery basket. I am so glad I did. The Hip Pack Pro carries just enough water and has just enough storage for intermediate rides two to four hours.
The Evoc Hip Pack Pro has a couple of features that work together to make this pack much nicer that a typical backpack. There is a wide, elasticated waist band that keeps the pack snuggly in place. Regardless of how rough or chattery the trail, or the amount of time spent with the wheels off the ground, the pack stays completely planted.
It has two features that manage heat, the first of which is Evoc’s Ventiflap, a simple system that lets you loosen the pack temporarily and increases airflow. I use this feature on connector trails or when taking a rest before dropping in. The next heat management feature is the Airflow Contact System, this is a foam matrix that keeps the pack off your skin and allows airflow, it doubles as lower back protection. The Hydation bladder is similar to many others, I really like the quick release on the drinking tube, it makes filling and packing the bladder a little easier. Additionally, there is a magnet on the drinking tube, after you take a drink, you have to consciously put the tube back or it will end up dangling down around your cranks. One minor negative, the plastic slider on the top of the bladder is a little bit finicky, I find if it’s not perfectly aligned it can jam up and being really difficult to slide all the way on or off.
The Hip Pack Pro manages heat and breaths better than any backpack and has plenty of storage it has become my go-to pack.
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