Mountain Bike Hip Pack Buyers Guide – Kit Essentials

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Benji tests out some modern hip packs that can cater for all but the furthest adventuring of riders. Words Benji Photography Amanda The return of the humble water bottle and the widespread ditching of hydration backpacks has been one of the more unexpected developments in 21st century mountain biking. Back in the noughties, you would never have found anyone remotely interested in rocking a bumbag on a mountain bike. While the adoption of hip packs came along relatively slowly after the all-too-eager adoption of water bottles, a lot of folk have become tired of trying to jump through hoops to attach spares and tools to the frame and just want to ride their flipping bike now please. And thus, hip packs are back. Bikes are more reliable than ever and we no longer have to carry a metric ton of tools and spares to get around even modest routes these days. Remember the good (bad) old days of carting around two or three inner tubes, a spare rear mech, a big pump and at least two different multitools? We don’t need ten litres of storage anymore. And man, does it feel good to never experience the shoulder straps of rucksacks ever (well, hardly ever) again. What do I look for in a hip pack? Aside from the simple aspect of getting a pack that will hold whatever stuff you need to take with you on various types of differing rides (local blasts, Sunday socials, big mountain day trips, etc.), the...

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  • This topic has 16 replies, 14 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by dander.
Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Mountain Bike Hip Pack Buyers Guide – Kit Essentials
  • Premier Icon keithb
    Full Member

    Really? Bum bags? I suppose this must be driven by the widespread use of dropper posts, making the use of seat packs less viable, bit there has to be a better solution for small amounts of kit than a bouncy, sweaty bag cinched up round your waist. Bib shorts were invented for a reason you know…

    Premier Icon stingmered
    Full Member

    Maybe you should try one of the better ones first. They are neither bouncy nor sweaty and if you get the right size for your needs then a brilliant way to carry just enough. I find under saddle tool bags to be noisy, rattly, and as you say mostly incompatible with droppers.

    Premier Icon dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    Quick hide the incriminating picture of the lock-knife 🙂

    I find under saddle tool bags to be noisy, rattly, and as you say mostly incompatible with droppers.

    I think the tool roll type thing works well and should be fine with a dropper.
    (I have a topeak Burrito,as much as I begrudge it’s price I really like it.)

    Premier Icon ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    Surprised there’s no Evoc – my 3 litre ‘pro’ is my go to for longer rides, and I recently picked up a 1 litre race belt for shorter outings. All down to personal preference, but I much prefer having one small bag I can grab and ride irrespective of the bike I’m taking, rather than having to faff about strapping a variety of things to the frame, moving them from one bike to another.

    Premier Icon kiwijohn
    Full Member

    No Dakines? Surely an oversight.
    I found the 5L perfect when I didn’t have a bike with a bottle cage as long you didn’t fill the bladder right up.
    Now I do have a bottle cage, the Stealth is perfect for wallet, phone, keys & tube & a tinny on occasion.
    Never liked saddle bags aesthetically.

    Premier Icon RedThunder
    Free Member

    Bum bag here, with a Veshmeshok style strap and thin a strap (DIY add on). Takes the that slight weight of the hips, also it does not press on the tummy any more. works a treat.

    Finally got a cool back 😉

    #Hacks&Bodges

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Any reason why you’ve not included any of several Osprey options? I’m a big fan of the Seral 7, comfortable and stable and with enough room for most day rides plus a half-decent reservoir set-up. They also do a smaller version plus a couple of bottle-compatible alternatives.

    It’d be nice if the Seral allowed you to carry a bottle as an alternative – as per the Bontrager, which looks good but ruinously expensive – but otherwise it just works and has enough internal compartments/pockets to keep small things organised, plus a couple of zipped belt pockets that are great for carrying snacks, sun screen, dead mice etc.

    Premier Icon DickBarton
    Full Member

    What do you carry or don’t to make that work for a full day? I’m clearly not carrying the right kit as it won’t last a full day…more like 2/3rds of a day at most.
    Great bag and bladder though, I really like it.

    Premier Icon girolle
    Full Member

    My Lowe Alpine one is 25 years old. Much prefer it to sweaty backpacks. Gets filthy mind

    Premier Icon Fahzure Freeride
    Full Member

    I’ve owned at least 6 bum bags and the new Osprey Savu 5 is exceptional.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    What do you carry or don’t to make that work for a full day?

    Mostly very lightweight spare clothing eg: 100g waterproof shell, spare tube sits under the saddle, One-up pump with tool, assorted puncture-repair stuff, food, minimal spares. I don’t, in summer at least, carry a survival bag or an insulated jacket, but I do usually have a beanie. I also, sometimes, use a top-tube bag for snacks. Very light, small packing clothing makes a big difference in cutting load volume, but isn’t cheap or particularly robust.

    Premier Icon Ben P
    Full Member

    Can’t see a pic of a lock knife in here?

    The lack of Osprey, Dakine and Evoc bags means many of the bags that are used on here didn’t make it onto the list. I’m guessing these were the bags that were sent for testing instead

    (I like the bladder in my hip pack, I drink more because it’s easily accessible. It’s used weekly)

    Premier Icon DickBarton
    Full Member

    Ah ok…so I’m not too far away but don’t carry anything on the bike, so it is more down to being a bit more selective with actual kit. I don’t carry a pump but do carry 2 or 3 CO2 cartridges and patches instead of a tube. I need to have another look at my kit and see what can be ditched (no clothing carried as I’m clearly using too bulky stuff as none will fit).

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    All very 1990s, used to have a red cannondale bum bag back in the day…..

    Premier Icon dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    Can’t see a pic of a lock knife in here?

    Nah yer right – Think that ones fine just a reference to a recent thread that was interesting.

    Gerber suspension multitool legal to carry/

    Premier Icon dander
    Full Member

    Most of my riding is 1-2 hours in length. Bumbag/hip pack/fanny pack are ideal for this.

    Recently changed from a Dakine to a Camelbak Repack (with 1.5l bladder). The repack is superb – comfortable even with fluid and the bladder, allied with a bottle on the bike, enables longer rides without the need to top up fluids. Love em.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)

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