4 Mini-Backpacks Tested & Reviewed For The Minimalist Mountain Biker

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Not everyone wants to ride with a big ‘n’ heavy backpack, so we’ve been testing a variety of different options for the minimalist mountain bikers out there, waist packs, frame bags and mini-packs. 


Here, we have the micro-packs – basically, a backpack, only smaller. These strip down the classic riding rucksack to its bare essentials, often adding maximum ventilation and a very secure harness along the way to make something that, in theory, you can forget you’re wearing. The capacity of these packs varies dramatically – some are big enough for a day ride, and some are barely more than a bladder with a pocket on the front.

 

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This article was originally featured in Singletrack Magazine. Keen to read more? Then make sure you check out all the stories and reviews in Issue #118 right here!

Review Info

Brand:Osprey, Shimano, USWE, Wingnut Gear
Product:Viper, Unzen, Airborne, Hyper
From:Assorted
Price:£69.99 - £109.99
Tested:by Antony for 2 months

Antony de Heveningham

Singletrack Contributor

Antony was a latecomer to the joys of riding off-road, and he’s continued to be a late adopter of many of his favourite things, including full suspension, dropper posts, 29ers, and adult responsibility. At some point he decided to compensate for his lack of natural riding talent by organising maintenance days on his local trails. This led, inadvertently, to writing for Singletrack, after one of his online rants about lazy, spoilt mountain bikers who never fix trails was spotted and reprinted on this website during a particularly slow news week.

Now based just up the road from the magazine in West Yorkshire, he’s expanded his remit to include reviews and features as well as rants. He’s also moved on from filling holes in the woods to campaigning for changes to the UK’s antiquated land access laws, and probing the relationship between mountain biking and the places we ride.

He’s a firm believer in bringing mountain biking to the people, whether that’s through affordable bikes, accessible trails, enabling technology, or supportive networks. He’s also studied sustainable transport, and will happily explain to anyone who’ll listen why the UK is a terrible place for everyday utility cycling, even though it shouldn’t be.

If that all sounds a bit worthy, he’s also happy to share tales of rides gone awry, or delicate bike parts burst asunder by ham-fisted maintenance. Because ultimately, there are enough talented professionals in mountain bike journalism, and it needs more rank amateurs.

Comments (3)

    Rough Ride haven’t had stock of the Wingnut Hyper or Assault for months now. I mailed them but I didn’t get any reply back on when / if they might be getting them again.

    At this point I’m thinking my only option is importing from the US.

    small bags are better in summer, winter i take out more stuff – be prepared for more mechanicals and need some warm clothes.. spare lights etc

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