Wet weather specialists Showers Pass have just released the big sister to their Rainslinger hip pack. The Showers Pass Ranger hip pack boasts more room, a tool roll, back protection and wider straps, meaning it could be the bridge between the carrying capacity of a backpack and the comfort of a hip pack when waterproofing is a key requirement.
Showers Pass Ranger Waterproof Hip Pack
The Showers Pass Ranger hip pack features the same cavernous single pocket design for the main compartment as its smaller counterpart, although the internal side pocket does help to keep smaller items organised away from the main compartment. The biggest change to this bag, aside from its new 7 litre size, is the addition of expandable tool roll on the outside. While not fully waterproof with open sides this keeps tools handy and also doubles up as storage for a small jacket thanks to the long velcro closure and adjustable strap.
The Showers Pass Ranger features extra padding on the hip straps. These had less of an impact than I would have liked, the padding is quite thin and seems to fold out when the hip strap is pulled tight. But the pack is undeniably more comfortable with them than without. The back panel itself has impact protection.
As with the previous Rainslinger pack, two straps on the side of the pack serve to clinch in the fabric of the bag when not full, reducing the amount it sticks out behind you. The side straps also allow access to two pockets, either side of the main bag – well suited for carrying water bottles comfortably and without any fuss.
I was lucky enough to test the Showers Pass Ranger on both my mountain bike and gravel bike. I found the bag more comfortable when in the more upright position on the mountain bike, I could push the bag down onto my hips more securely whereas on the gravel bike the more bent over bostition meant that the strap worked its way quite high on my belly and wasn’t the most comfortable. With the straps pulled tight, and not fully packed I didn’t notice any more movement than most hip packs, but then I wasn’t using it to full capacity. On a particularly memorable trip back from the shop along the canal, with a fully stuffed bag, the weight was quite noticeable (as was the pineapple sticking out of the top).
For lighter kit, like keeping a spare layer dry and carrying snacks, this hip pack works well. Its waterproof nature would potentially be beneficial to someone carrying photography equipment, particularly off the bike and walking. But on the bike, when packed out or carrying heavy items it feels like too much bulk rolling around my hips. To ride with the amount this bag allows, I’d rather be packing a rucksack.
|Product:||Ranger Hip Pack|
|Price:||£110 / $130.00|
|Tested:||by 5 sunny months for Vicky Chapman|
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