apidura backcountry hydration

Apidura Backcountry Hydration Backpack review

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The Apidura Backcountry Hydration Backpack is a vest style pack designed for mountain biking on technical terrain, offering a stable yet comfortable fit. It features a 12L roll-top main storage compartment, two elasticated side pockets and some very well designed front pockets. The seams are taped, there is a light clip at the back and reflective logos.

  • Brand: Apidura
  • Product: Backcountry Hydration Backpack
  • FromApidura
  • Price: £153.00
  • Tested: by Amanda for 3 months
apidura backpack

Three things I loved:

  • My phone fits in the front pockets 
  • Super lightweight
  • Accessible, extremely useful pockets

Three things I would change:

  • A larger mesh pocket on the back would be useful for stuffing a bulky jacket in quickly
  • Small zip pocket in the main compartment for valuables
  • I haven’t tested the bladder, so I can’t pass comment on how well it fits

Technical riding requires a secure fit that doesn’t restrict the rider, and this pack offers just that. It doesn’t look as though it would stay in place, but the two chest straps are adjustable and really lock it in place if you take the time to fit it to your shape. In addition to the chest straps being adjustable, the ones that hold the front and back of the pack together under the arm are also adjustable. I have found I need to re-adjust the chest straps to suit varying loads, but for the most part I have had a very light load (70% insulated jacket) and forgotten that it’s on my back.

The front pockets are one of my favourite features on this backpack. The one on my right hand side is a stretchy mesh pocket that has a cinch closure, with a handy catch to secure it without needing to look down. I’ve been using this pocket for my phone, because I like to take photos without slowing down or stopping. Not having to battle with a zip or awkward to reach pocket has meant I’ve chosen to take this bag out even when I don’t have much to carry.

The left hand side pocket is an equally useful size, it is waterproof, and features a zip closure. Arguably this is the pocket I should be storing my phone in, but I don’t. The two side pockets on the main compartment can hold bottles, small packable jackets, food, whatever you want easy access to.

The main compartment of the Apidura Backcountry Hydration Backpack is a 12L roll-top. It is totally waterproof and due to the shape of the pack it holds the weight low down, which seems to aid the secure fit of the pack. This backpack is highly functional from the outside, but when it comes to the main storage it really is just one big compartment with a small open top pocket that fits a tube and a multitool at the most. That could be a negative for some riders, but for me I have put the regular use items in the easy access pockets and my spare layer, spare gloves and some food in the 12L compartment. If I were an enduro racer, this would be the riding pack I’d go for. It has all the storage of a hippack but offers a comfortable fit, 2L of water and very handy chest pockets.

The pack has a 2L internal water bladder pocket and comes with a bladder. I haven’t tested the bladder as I received this test sample quite a while ago. I have used an Apidura water bladder in my frame bag (reviewed here) and the design is a roll top with a ziplock style closure and hook-and-loop closures to secure it. I’d guess that the one that comes with this is just as well designed and easy to use.


The Apidura Backcountry Hydration backpack suits many disciples of cycling. Multiday bikepacking adventures when you want your water and snacks within reach, an enduro stage race where you have to carry all your tools, spares and fuel, or for the best of days – the ones where you’re simply out riding your bike. It has just the right amount of storage in all the right places, and it’s so light and secure you will barely notice it.

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Review Info

Brand: Apidura
Product: Backcountry Hydration Backpack
From: apidura.com
Price: £153.00
Tested: by Amanda for 3 months
Author Profile Picture
Amanda Wishart

Art Director

Amanda is our resident pedaller, who loves the climbs as much as the descents. No genre of biking is turned down, though she is happiest when at the top of a mountain with a wild descent ahead of her. If you ever want a chat about concussion recovery, dealing with a Womb of Doom or how best to fuel an endurance XC race, she's the one to email.

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