Some of our favorite advancements in hydration packs came from CamelBak, including the hydration pack itself. And it brought some innovative new toys to Eurobike that continue on the brand’s nearly 30-year tradition of making up new drinking games. By comparison, Evoc is new on the scene, but has long made bags for everything from first-aid kits to fat bikes. Evoc’s broad focus led it to offer not one, but two hip packs for those of us who want the monkey off our back and instead want a smaller monkey just above our butts. But not in a creepy way.
CamelBak Podium Flow Hip Pack | $45
For those who find CamelBak’s bladder-equipped Repack hip pack to be a little too much, the Podium Flow Pack is here to ease your load. In our memory, it’s the only CamelBak pack not to feature… a CamelBak. But you can surely slide in a Podium bottle to stay on-brand.
The 2.5-liter small stowage area sits next to a tight-fitting, but easy-access, bottle caddy. The caddy is angled out and sits right where you need to reach it. The Flow hip pack will be available in January 2019.
CamelBak Mule LR 15 | $150
Hip packs are great because they keep weight low and centered. CamelBak knows this. But hip packs don’t have a ton of room either. CamelBak also knows this. So the company created a pack that is the best of both worlds. The Mule LR 15 uses a three-liter-lumbar reservoir that fits into what looks like a hip-pack add-on to the larger bag. In other words, it keeps weight low and centered. But the Mule LR isn’t just a hip pack, it’s a 15-liter backpack, with plenty of room for everything else you might want to bring on a ride.
The pack comes with a rain cover, a tool roll, a helmet-carry system and a magnetic trap for the reservoir hose. Unloaded, the pack weighs two pounds. Available January 2019.
Evoc Hip Pack Pro 3L | $145 with Bladder
A hip pack leaves most of the back uncovered, so not many take into consideration ventilation. Instead they usually sit as close to the back as possible to avoid shifting weight. Evoc thinks it can do better with the Hip Pack Pro 3L.
The new three-liter pack features the “air flow contact system.” It utilizes ventilation channels covered by mesh to reduce contact between your back and the bag—not an uncommon sight on full-size backpacks. What’s different here is the Venti Flap, a system that allows you to adjust how closely the hip pack sits to your back. Loosen it for hot ascents and wrench it down on descents.
Evoc’s hip belt is long enough to overlap, so it sits flat against your body. The buckle is in front, easily accessible but out of the way so as not to be bothersome when it comes to comfort. The pack can fit a 1.5-liter reservoir, or a couple of water bottles, or both.
Evoc Hip Pouch 1L | $45
There isn’t a whole lot to the Hip Pouch. But then again, after-work rides and quick one-lap wonders don’t require much to be carried. The hip pouch has elastic external pockets for snacks or gels and an internal pocket big enough for a phone and some more snacks. To be precise, that internal pocket is one liter—but you already knew that. There are also two zippered side pocket integrated with the belt. Throw a water bottle in your cage and you’re ready to go.