I am an avid cyclist, and I ride every week, sometimes two or three times a week. While I try to stay off the bike for as long as possible, I will sometimes jump on the bike to go for a quick spin around the park or a longer ride in the countryside.
The best hip pack for you will depend on lots of factors including your fitness level, your riding style, and your personal preference. As with any other piece of kit, you will also find a huge range of hip packs. Some are designed for casual MTB use, while others are ideal for competition, as well as ones designed to give you peace of mind whether you are riding in the city or off-road.
A bumbag is a small hip pack, which is usually worn on the hip. The word “bumbag” is a contraction of the words “bim” meaning two, and “bag” meaning bag. The full name of the bag is a bimbag. Bimbags are a type of hip pack. Historically, bimbags were made of leather, but modern materials such as nylon and polyester are also used.
Hip packs, bumbags, fanny packs… whatever you want to call them, they’re quickly becoming one of the most popular methods to keep hydrated and store gear while riding.
Here are our top picks based on pricing, functionality, and comfort.
In 2020, the best hydration hip packs for mountain biking
- £85 / $115 / AU$160 EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3l EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3l EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3
- £45 / $60 / AU$100 Rapid Pack by Bontrager
- £45 / $45 / AU$50 Podium Flow Belt by CamelBak
- £28 for a Alpine Lightflite Hydro by Lowe
- £30 (+ water bottle) / $40 2L Dakine Hotlaps
- £62 / $55 / AU$NA Crossride Belt by Mavic
- Hipster costs £69 / $99
- Seral 7 by Osprey: £70 / $86 / AU$113
- £50 / $80 Deuter Pulse 3 is the third installment of the Deuter Pulse series.
EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3l
If you wish to remove the 1.5l bladder for additional space, a bottle will fit inside. Immediate Media / Steve Behr
- Price: £85 (US$115) / $115 (AU$160)
- 618g in weight
This EVOC pack’s real assets are its breathability and flexibility. If you need extra room for gear, you may use a bottle instead of the supplied 1.5l bladder.
You may sit the pack farther away from your back for greater ventilation or closer for additional stability thanks to a smart adjustment mechanism. It’s the most secure bladder-equipped pack here when it’s snug against your body. The elastic waistline is comfortable to wear, the magnetic hose clip is convenient to use, and the mouthpiece provides lots of water.
It is, however, hefty and costly, and if the front pocket is not securely fastened, things may slip out.
Bontrager Rapid Pack
The Rapid Pack from Bontrager is just big enough for the basics. Behr, Steve
- The cost is £45 / $60 / AU$100.
- 220g in weight
There’s a lot to appreciate about the Rapid Pack’s compact, minimalist design. Two zippered pockets with interior mesh compartments and a space between them for a normal bottle provide plenty of readily accessible storage.
The bag is firmly held in place by a big foam back panel, and the waist strap has no flappy loose ends.
You can only bring the basic necessities since there is just 1.4 litres of storage. There is no bottle provided, and the bottle holder’s tight fit makes it difficult to slip your drink back into place while riding. The rear panel is also prone to sweating.
CamelBak Podium Flow Belt
When it comes to comfort, CamelBak’s Podium Flow Belt is unrivaled. Behr, Steve
- Price: £45 (US$45) / AU$50 (UK$45)
- 232g in weight
When biking, you’ll hardly notice this pack. It has a decent 2-litre capacity despite its tiny size and light weight. When descending, the pack and bottle stay there, and you may refill your drink on the fly.
The main pocket has mesh sections that help keep things organized. With a self-sealing mouthpiece and mud cover, CamelBak’s Podium bottle is especially excellent.
The waist strap has no compartments, and accessing the bottle is more difficult than it is on the Mavic pack, for example. Because the cushioned side ‘wings’ are the smallest, it lacks the same ‘wraparound’ sensation as other models.
Lowe Alpine Lightflite Hydro
The Alpine Lightflite Hydro from Lowe’s has a lot of storage. Behr, Steve
This bag has a storage capacity of 4 litres, which is plenty for racing and even extended days in the saddle if you pack light.
Smaller things, such as energy gels and multi-tools, may be stored in two outside mesh pockets for quick access. The bag includes a 500ml bottle, which is simple to grasp on the move thanks to the slightly slanted bottle holder.
It’s by far the cheapest bag here, and there’s not much to criticize for the price.
It isn’t a bike-specific pack, and because of its less figure-hugging form, it moves about a bit when fully filled.
Dakine Hotlaps 2l
The Hotlaps 2l from Dakine is reasonably priced. Behr, Steve
- £30 (including water bottle) / $40
- 199g in weight (no bottle)
Dakine’s product is simple and light, and it fits snugly against your back. The waist strap keeps it in place, but it doesn’t quite equal Mavic’s Crossride’s steadiness (below).
There’s plenty room for spares and munchies with a 2-litre capacity. A fleece-lined pocket and a handful of additional sections organize your stuff in the main area. On the side, there’s a foldaway bottle holder. It’s also reasonably priced.
This is the only pack without a water bottle or bladder, and we found it difficult to re-insert a bottle while riding. It’s also the least breathable choice on the list.
Mavic Crossride Belt
The Crossride Belt is a trustworthy option. Behr, Steve
- 310g in weight
The Crossride Belt is the most stable on the test due to its triangular form. The 600ml bottle is simple to use (if you’re right-handed) and remains in its bag securely.
There’s room for a tube, multi-tool, and tyre levers, as well as some munchies. Also useful is the separate pump pocket. The elasticized waist strap is comfortable, and the tabs may be tucked away discreetly.
Breathability is adequate but not exceptional. It seems to be over-engineered for the little capacity it provides (don’t expect to take much more than the basic essentials).
Hipster as a source
A removable harness is also included with the Source Hipster. Behr, Steve
The Hipster’s detachable harness (not shown) performs a great job of minimizing movement, making it the safest pack in our comparison.
The bungee cords for a jacket and the hose for the 1.5-litre reservoir are insulated, and the single-sided strap adjustment keeps the loose end tucked away.
The pack sags a bit without the harness. Because the back panel provides little support and there are no side straps to draw the weight in, it bulges out from your back when loaded, causing it to move around more. The three front pockets are also very tiny.
Seral 7 by Osprey
Steve Behr, Osprey Seral 7
- Price: £70 (US$86) / AU$113 (UK).
- 532g in weight
Despite its 7-litre size, this is one of the most comfortable and secure packs available. The 1.5-liter bladder is large enough for extended rides, with a mouthpiece that delivers enough of water with each sip, and a magnetic connection that is simple to locate while riding.
There’s plenty of room for tools, as well as two good-sized compartments on the waist strap. Four compression straps allow you to secure the contents by tightening them.
Because the waist straps can’t be tucked in, they dangle. Because it rests so close to your back, it isn’t the most breathable pack.
Deuter Pulse 3
The Deuter Pulse 3 is lightweight and breathable. Behr, Steve
- £50 (about $80)
- 540g in weight
The Pulse 3 is sufficiently comfortable and breathable, as well as secure on difficult terrain. The straps are simple to tighten, and the clip-in hose is straightforward to use.
The 5-litre storage capacity is plenty for tools, spares, and food, while the 1.5-litre bladder is sufficient for most journeys. The front pocket has compartments to keep things organized, and the waist-strap pockets are handy for little items.
However, each suck can only pull a little amount of water via the mouthpiece, and the dirt cover is difficult to replace. The weight of the pack is also placed too strongly in the middle of the back.
For me there has always been one “go to” pack for all types of back country riding – the Six Moons Designs (SMS) Mojo bumbag. It has been my pack of choice for the past 8 years, and while it might look a little dated to some, it is still my go to when it comes to hauling gear, especially if it has to be carried in the back of my MTB.. Read more about mtb hip pack essentials and let us know what you think.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- osprey hip pack
- hip pack vs backpack mtb
- evoc hip pack
- mtb hip pack
- evoc hydration hip pack