Feedback on USWE Patriot 15 or Airborne 9?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Feedback on USWE Patriot 15 or Airborne 9?

    I am looking to replace my relatively heavy (and stuffed) EVOC FR Trail 20L backpack for quick and short local rides, so having only basics: hydration, one tube, 2xCO2 cans, few zip ties, multi tool and light knee protectors while climbing up. One of the key requirements while looking was an integrated back protector.

    While looking for some reviews and general market, I found USWE products, with their innovative harness, which eliminates back pack shifting, which really annoyed me on almost all backpacks I've had (EVOC, Camelback, Osprey). And apparently there is one model with a protector - Patriot 15. On a paper it looks very good - relatively small and compact, lightest back pack with a protection of all major brands. However, when I've tried that is shop, it appeared that it sits relatively high on a back, which means lower back is not protected at all. Which got me thinking, that the overall point of having a back protector on that model does not really makes any sense (or it does..? ). On top, many reviews mentioned that overloading the pack looses the main point of new harness system - back pack starts shifting due to the weight. So, which led me to another model - Airborne 9: similar, just smaller and without back protector.

    So the question: did anyone try USWE Patriot 15 or Airborne 9 for a longer time? Any real life feedback? Many thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I've used 3 different sized (including the 9 size) USWE backpacks over the last 2-3 years (none with the back protector, though) and THEY DO NOT MOVE when you're riding. That's why I keep getting them in different sizes. They DO sit high on your back though if that matters or if you have a chronic sore lower back. I did a flip off my bike a few years ago and landed on my back with a Camelbak pack on and the water, tube, pack, etc. made it feel like landing on a pillow. Just got up and laughed. I guess the back protector could help but haven't used one so can't help.
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  3. #3
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    Ive had an Airborne 15 for 3+ years.
    I have used it initially on my KTM EXC, rode all across the continent with it. And now I use it on my Karate Monkey.

    Build quality is excellent, with the only thing showing any wear is the 2" wide elastic in the harness...and it isnt worn in any way other tthan it is getting wavy as wide elastic material has a tendency to do.

    They are great when on bikes, my biggest gripe with them is using them off the bikes....i dont need the No Dancing Monkey harness when off the bikes, so on those occasions i would prefer a standard backpack style harness. I do wear it as such (with the center buckle disconnected) and it is wearable, but the shoulder straps sit real far out towards the far edges of my shoulders. With any weight in it , when worn like that, it can feel like it is slipping off (but this is obviously not how it was designed to be carried.)

    Overall, I havent been able to kill the thing, and I am a certified gear killer.

  4. #4
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    +1 for USWE. The harness really does eleminate movement.

  5. #5
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    I used to ride with one of their older models, when wearing it tight enough so it wouldn't move around it would constrict my breathing too much, so I would have to climb with it unclipped. All my normal rides are between an elevation of 9 to 12k though so probably isn't an issue unless you live at a high elevation.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kitejumping View Post
    I used to ride with one of their older models, when wearing it tight enough so it wouldn't move around it would constrict my breathing too much, so I would have to climb with it unclipped. All my normal rides are between an elevation of 9 to 12k though so probably isn't an issue unless you live at a high elevation.
    I have to really tighten mine more than necessary to cause this.

  7. #7
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    I have the popular uswe (leatt version) monkey strap. Ive used it for half a season but like everything moved to something else. It did work well. The monkey strap ensured no movement and was comfortable for me and my removable chin guard fit perfectly. Holds a 3L bladder and light. It sat high on the back allowing some ventilation. Won many awards as i recall. I have about 5 packs, and this is my top 2. Ive been using a fanny pack lately. Doesnt offer back protection but i like how my back ventilates but i dont like how i cant get to the tube easily.

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  8. #8
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    I thought the tightness of the USWE would bother me/my breathing but when I get used to the feel of it it caused no issues whatsoever and actually had kind of a compression (in a good way) feeling on my torso, like almost a "connected" feel. And I've used it up to 11,000 feet.

    And like jackson, I tried a hip pack but couldn't stand how difficult it was to get a drink or put the tube back in place. With a backpack, I can get a drink anywhere and just spit the tube out if I'm in a rough spot.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks a lot, guys - I am really convinced. Now the question, which size... 9 or 15...

    Quote Originally Posted by BmanInTheD View Post
    I've used 3 different sized (including the 9 size) USWE backpacks over the last 2-3 years
    Would you mind describing, what did you carry within 9L version, without making it bulky or heavy bouncing? Thanks!

  10. #10
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    I've been riding with the Airborne 9 for a couple of years now, and there's plenty of room for everything I need. I've done one particularly long 4 hr. ride in summer heat where I almost drained the bladder, but I don't drink a ton and I'm good at rationing, so it's always held enough water for me.

    As for gear capacity, there's plenty. Inside the water bladder compartment I have a pump, shock pump, and usually a folding saw. A spare tube, patch kit, derailleur hanger, master link and food go in the big zippered storage pocket and multi tool and small knife in the small zippered pocket. The stuff pocket is basically bonus storage and where I jam a jacket/hat/extra gloves when needed. I can't really imagine needing more space.

    Then again, I was using the Pro Enduro F3 (2L) for a year or so, and that held what I needed 90% of the time with a little creative packing.

  11. #11
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    i have the airborne 9 and usually carry:
    - tire pump
    - shock pump
    - my camelback tool roll w/rear derailleur, co2 cartridge, 2 tire levers, tubeless patch kit, extra toe strap, zip ties, master links, chain tool
    - multi-tool
    - 2 cliff bars (chocolate almond fudge)
    - 2 gels
    - 2 sets of keys
    - 2 liters of water
    still some room left over btw....

    and in the external pouch you could theoretically place a second helmet. if it's rainy i use it for and extra jacket or gloves.

    so it has plenty of room if you pack it and don't mind it being a little "fat", but like everyone says, it doesn't really move around so it doesn't matter.

    hope that helps. needless to say i'm very happy with the purchase.


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  12. #12
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    Hi. I also have an Airborne 9. With two months of use, the elastic began to rip close to the seam with the backpack. I do not carry materials inside it. Only the water bag. Did you have a similar problem?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Hi. I also have an Airborne 9. With two months of use, the elastic began to rip close to the seam with the backpack. I do not carry materials inside it. Only the water bag. Did you have a similar problem?
    not yet. i have different backpacks so none of them get too much use though

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  14. #14
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    I have been using USWE packs for as long as they been out, I raced numerous Hare Scrambles and Enduros (dirt bikes) and rode in the high country of Colorado and hands down they are the best. I have camelback, osprey, Evoc, Scott, Fox, Ergon packs in my garage and only use the USWE now.

  15. #15
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    I went from a Evoc FR Lite 10L (with back protector) to the Airborne 9 and couldn't be happier.

    Without anything in it but an empty bladder I have saved over 500g in weight. Also having a smaller bag encourages me to carry less stuff on my back which has helped with lower back pain. No bouncing around on rough trails is a bonus.

    Since the pack sits higher up on the back my lower back is able to ventilate, as well as my front torso as there is no longer a kidney belt.

    I transferred a bunch of tools and spares into a tool bottle which now lives on the bike in a bottle holder. That was a further 500g saving.

    So all up I have removed about 1Kg off my back which is noticeable.

    2 years on and my pack is still going strong. I threw it in the washing machine once on hand wash cycle as it was getting a bit funky after a year of riding.

  16. #16
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    got the uswe airborne 15 last week and used it on a 1 ride so far

    initial thoughts
    - i have a relatively wide chest, and had to adjust the top and bottom harness to their limit lol. felt constricting initially but did not notice them on the actual ride.
    - chest "latch"(?) mechanism is made of hard thick plastic, wondering how long it will last because it is one of the stress points.
    - they do not move but i am not sure how it will do with a very full pack. i brought my wallet full of coins, house keys, multi tool, spare tube, a pump and a water bottle (did not use the bladder but kept it in the bag).
    - can't access anything from the bag while you are wearing it; you might have to shell out some $$$ for the phone pouch. coming from a dakine nomad, at least i can get something from the side pouches while i am wearing it.

    next up will try wearing my gimbal and go pro setup with the uswe, some riders have success with it (xxx). i have the stuntman and the gopro harness, will see what is best to use keeping in mind the way the uswe harness is positioned (stuntman has a bigger plastic backplate compared to the gopro chesty).
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metanoia View Post
    next up will try wearing my gimbal and go pro setup with the uswe, some riders have success with it (xxx). i have the stuntman and the gopro harness, will see what is best to use keeping in mind the way the uswe harness is positioned (stuntman has a bigger plastic backplate compared to the gopro chesty).
    How did you get on with the chesty mounting?
    #bleedblackdieevil

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