Practical improvement or just being trendy?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Practical improvement or just being trendy?

    Sending my Camelbak Skyline in for warranty because it's falling apart has me questioning my setup.

    My normal rides are 1.5hrs +/-, hard charging descents (Pisgah) and I like to get rowdy.

    Considering a hip pack (Evoc Race 3L) and a back protector shirt like Bliss or Alpinestars Paragon Vest Maybe POC, unsure how that'll go as a next to skin layer.

    Will that actually be any more comfortable? Or just being so Enduro it hurts? It's ridiculous but my concern is keeping the same shirt (protector shirt) clean for using every time (riding 2x/wk), and not just forgoing it and losing all back protection. That's my big concern with going the hip pack route - have landed on my regular backpack many times.

    Would appreciate any thoughts - anyone ditched the backpack but maintained the back protection for trail riding? How'd it go and what protection shirts would you recommend? Or did you find it's just as hot and cumbersome so stick with a traditional pack?

    Thanks!

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  2. #2
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    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
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    I find the hip packs to be mostly excessively trendy.

    Sure, they do improve back ventilation. But now you're talking about adding back protection back into the equation, which eliminates one of the benefits of the fanny packs.

    Some sort of back protection (whether it's a full pack, or dedicated back protection probably isn't super important in most cases) if you like to get a little rowdy in Pisgah and eat $hit from time to time.

    I just started using an EVOC Stage 18L last fall. Probably more than necessary for rides mostly topping out at 1.5hrs. But I'll commonly spend 5-8hrs in the woods, so I want a little more capacity for food and a spare jacket for those times. I just under-fill my bladder for short rides, maybe cinch down some straps, and call it done.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I find the hip packs to be mostly excessively trendy.
    Does this make you a 'Hipster'?
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I find the hip packs to be mostly excessively trendy.
    Sure, they do improve back ventilation. But now you're talking about adding back protection back into the equation, which eliminates one of the benefits of the fanny packs.
    Yeah exactly, that's the concern. I am currently thinking something like the AStars Paragon Vest or Evolution Jacket that can run a 1.5-2L bladder in with the back protector. Then maybe a pretty small hip pack just for other essentials (tool, first aid, filter, etc). Already have the tube/co2/levers on the bike. Shoot may even be able to use the pockets built in to the Astars stuff and be done with it.

    All in all it sounds....in theory.....like a much lighter/ventilated/greater ROM type of setup. I think....maybe.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I find the hip packs to be mostly excessively trendy.

    Sure, they do improve back ventilation. But now you're talking about adding back protection back into the equation, which eliminates one of the benefits of the fanny packs.

    Some sort of back protection (whether it's a full pack, or dedicated back protection probably isn't super important in most cases) if you like to get a little rowdy in Pisgah and eat $hit from time to time.

    I just started using an EVOC Stage 18L last fall. Probably more than necessary for rides mostly topping out at 1.5hrs. But I'll commonly spend 5-8hrs in the woods, so I want a little more capacity for food and a spare jacket for those times. I just under-fill my bladder for short rides, maybe cinch down some straps, and call it done.
    That's what I'm currently struggling with for racing. I have the Evoc Blackline Trail which is a massive pack but it has a dedicated back protection insert. I'm thinking for racing I don't need something near that big but would want the back plate.

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  6. #6
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    I tried a hip pack and am back to my USWE backpacks. I don't have lower back issues but thought it might be nice having the pack off my back. Actually, I missed the pack on my back and felt vulnerable if a crash happened whereas my pack with fluids, etc is enough to have protected me a few times over the years. It may not protect in case of a hard landing square on a vertebra but it helps out a little. The main reason I didn't like the hip pack though was the hose placement around my waist and attaching to some magnet. I like being able to drink whenever I want and being able to just drop the valve out of my mouth at any time and it just hangs right there ready for the next drink. With the hose around my waist, if I didn't connect it back just right to the magnet, having to use one of my hands obviously, the hose might fall down behind me into the spokes or some other undesirable place. Minor detail but a PITA to me.
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  7. #7
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    Tried the hip pack. Hated it. Actually caused discomfort. Back to a normal pack for another 20+ years...
    Carpe Diem!!

  8. #8
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    I always thought the Skyline would be the best compromise between a backpack and a fanny pack. Anyways, I switched to an Evoc Race hip pack a while ago. I found if I fully fill up the bladder, the pack bounces around a bit until I drink water or until I really tighten the waist straps. BUT, the issue with these hip packs is manufacturers don't realize these waist straps can dig into the skin. I wish they would make them extra wide so you could really cinch them down.
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