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Fann...err, Hip packs

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
7,646
6,003
in a single wide, cooking meth...
Just to join the chorus here, I've got a V1 L.A. pack which has been great for a bunch of long mountain rides--no issues even with rough descents or longer rides. I really like it. My wifey got the V2 which is an upgrade in materials and zippers and she loves it as well esp for supplies now our kids are both riding and need to eat every 30 minutes.
I just got the V2 and its fantastic (albeit I don't have any previous experience with pannus packs). I can put 3 packs of smokes in it, plus 2 talls of Olde E. Big props to @marshalolson !
 

Andeh

Customer Title
Mar 3, 2020
1,087
1,047
I've got a LA v2 on the way. I'll do a comparison vs. a CamelBak Podium and Evoc Hip Pack Pro after I get some uses on it next weekend.

What I was looking for was something super light that carries 2 bottles, a tool roll, cell phone, wallet, keys, a bar, and some gummies. Most of my rides I do with 1x 24oz bottle, keep my phone in my pocket, and have an EDC on my bike. But on 3-4 hour rides that I drive to, especially in the CA summer, I need 1-2 more bottles, and like to have a basic tool roll with stuff not covered by the EDC.

The Podium is nice and light, but can only do 1 bottle, and requires me to keep the phone in my shorts if I'm cramming in the tool roll, wallet, and keys, and then doesn't have room for snacks. The waist belt loosens up frequently, and I find myself tightening it up before each descent. Still, it's pretty minimal, and I don't really notice it once I start descending.

The Evoc carries everything easily, but it's fairly heavy and overbuilt. The waist belt is very secure, but I don't really like wearing a girdle for 4+ hours. When used with the 1.5 L bladder, I feel like it's a bit too much pressure on my stomach. With 2 bottles and everything else, it just feels kinda wide and heavy. I'm sure I'm being a bit of a princess with regard to this due to almost never wearing a pack, but it just feels weird to ride aggressively with. I really don't need all the capacity of the Evoc (it never rains here for example, so don't need to carry a rain shell). The LA looks much narrower and lighter.

I previously owned the Bontrager Rapid that gets good reviews, and didn't like how the 1 bottle was centered over my spine. That made me nervous about crashes. I did like the stretchy pockets, which is one thing that was attractive about the LA one.
 

Andeh

Customer Title
Mar 3, 2020
1,087
1,047
First ride report on the LA v2. I did about a 2.5 hour ride with it, thinking we'd actually be out longer, but we called it good after 3 laps since it was our 3rd day riding in a row. I loaded it up pretty heavily:
2x Podium 21oz bottles
wallet
keys
cell phone
1 bar + 1 gel + a few shot blocks
chapstick
Camelbak tool roll (2x tubolitos, patch kit, Leatherman Micra, zip ties, cable, derailleur hanger, bag of misc bolts, tire lever, finger-sized roll of Gorilla tape)

Gel & shot blocks went in 1 hip pocket, chapstick in the other. Cell phone went in 1 of the stretchy zipper pockets over top of the bottle sleeves, keys in the other. Tool roll & wallet went in the center zipper pocket. I thought of trying to stow my OneUp 70cc pump with CO2 in it, but didn't see a place for it, so it stayed on the frame.

Setting the waist belt length was a bit fiddly at first, but once set it never loosed on its own (unlike the Podium belt which I need to tighten constantly). The belt was nice and low, and I didn't notice any pressure from it while climbing. The weight seemed to be about as much as I'd like to carry in a hip belt. Anything more and I'd probably want to just wear a small pack / vest. The weight sits very low. I did notice sometimes the bottom of the pack would kind of bang on my butt (since it hangs lower than the belt), but never noticed it shifting around or banging while descending. I was able to pull my cell phone out of the zipper pocket without moving the pack around to the front pretty easily, and the bottles went in and out of the sleeves easily.

My criticisms so far would be a lack of a key clip (maybe there is one squirreled away somewhere in one of the pockets, but I never found it), and that maybe the bottle sleeves could use a little elastic ring around the top. The bottles never came out while riding, but when we were loading up the truck afterward, one of the (empty) bottles fell out when I picked up the pack off the ground. I could see a bottle potentially coming out in a crash.

How's it compare to the rest of my fanny pack collection? More secure and more carrying capacity than the Podium, although a tad heavier, and a bit more noticeable on my back. Much lighter and more comfortable than the Evoc, although the Evoc holds bottles more securely, and could carry more bulky stuff (like rain jacket or burrito) for long backcountry rides.
 

SkullCrack

Monkey
Sep 3, 2004
707
144
PNW
I'm really enjoying my High Above Lookout pack. It keeps its waist adjustment and doesn't bounce around. It's carries everything I need, which is usually keys, wallet, multi-tool, CO2, Stans Dart, a tube, and a snack for the longer rides.

They've got buckle options. I went with the Fidlock, which has been great.

 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
I asked my wife for a LA pack for birthday gift, she liked the look of it so much online she bought one for herself too.

Both turned up today, so hopefully it might stop raining this week to give them a try.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
21,232
6,225
borcester rhymes
I bought an $8 fanny pack from amazon for running. I don't know if I'll ever use it for biking, but let's see what china can make.
honestly not bad for $8. the right amount of stretch in the band without being too much and just enough space for my phone and keys. I need to see if I can cram my allens in there, then it would be enough for a ride.
 
Feb 21, 2020
869
1,219
SoCo Western Slope
I have a Lab Austere pack and my son has a Camel Back podium so I have used both numerous times.

The LA pack for sure holds more gear in addition to 2 bottles, but you pay for it with more movement and shifting. I think it's the best "larger" hip pack out there, and well designed, but it will sag down and hit my rear wheel on occasion when fully loaded. It makes me drink as fast as I can in order to swap the empty bottles to it and get some weight off. It's a bit warmer than the CB as well with a wider belt. But it will hold everything you need and is for sure a nice piece of equipment!

The CB podium is surprisingly awesome. It does not hold much (I can get one tube, a small multi-tool, C02, and a bit of food), but it really disappears and I forget it's on. Zero movement, zero sagging, no contact with the rear wheel in "the gnarz". If the ride can be done with just two bottles (one on the frame) and minimal gear it's a winner. Sometimes I'll be a *ick and make my son wear a full Camelback packed with gear and tubes so I can wear the little hip pack. :D
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
Cell phone went in 1 of the stretchy zipper pockets over top of the bottle sleeves, keys in the other.
Useful, thank you. I'd been storing my phone in the central pocket and it was a tight fit. But I need to get a new one and given they're all the size of small TV's now was worried it would no longer fit. Tested my wife's phone which is the same'ish size as my likely new one and it fit in the bottle pocket vertically no problem.
 

Fool

The Thing cannot be described
Sep 10, 2001
2,830
1,566
Brooklyn
Trying to keep the amount of trinkets festooned to my bike like some bullshit overlander to a minimum. Really only need 1 water bottle in my fanny. Options out there? Most of these things look like I'm about to hit Disneyland, while I'm also hitting about 350# on the scale and demanding to speak to a manager, any manager, just GET ME ONE.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
Trying to keep the amount of trinkets festooned to my bike like some bullshit overlander to a minimum. Really only need 1 water bottle in my fanny. Options out there? Most of these things look like I'm about to hit Disneyland, while I'm also hitting about 350# on the scale and demanding to speak to a manager, any manager, just GET ME ONE.
LA works with one bottle, that's all I have in it most of the time as after work rides are a 2 bottle gig. I just rotate it slightly to move that one bottle a bit more towards the middle of my back to keep it balanced for the downhills.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,968
6,266
Yakistan
I've been wearing this Highabove pack lately - the Venture. I like the size, the water bottle, the materials... everything but the top flap closure. It randomly springs itself open during rides. I sent it back to HA thinking it was defective but they told me I was the only one who was complaining about this?? I figured I needed to break it in more... nope. Last weekend in Bend my buddy caught me and started handing me the stuff he was picking up off the trail as the flap had unflapped itself again. End game for this fanny. I may just sew a button in the right spot so I can loop the stretchy cord around the button for a more secure closure.

Was looking at Alpine Threadworks but dunno when they'll be back in stock. The Oveja Negra Royale looks amazing but no external h20 storage. I see Rapha makes a fanny pack that looks pretty nice. The other High above packs have different closing mechanisms and seem very nice... something about their denial of an issue though is souring me on throwing more money their direction.

What's tickling peoples fancy these days?
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
$140?? Is it made from unicorn pelts?

LA does me for rides where I don't need a backpack.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,047
20,212
Canaderp
Been eyeing up a Lab Austere, as there is no way to bring a beer on a ride currently without dragging out the backpack.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,968
6,266
Yakistan
I have a LA but it doesn't it do it for me. My pump doesn't fit. It has lots of little pockets but I prefer a big singular pocket. @canadmos i would send it your way if you covered shipping.

Looked hard at the Oveja Negra, Exile Designs, and Rapha packs. Alpine Threadworks also. Those are not in stock yet or i would have gone that route.

The poor selling Rapha colors are on sale for like 50-60 bucks versus the cool colorways for 90. I picked up navy blue for 60 some bucks off the Rapha site.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
I have a LA but it doesn't it do it for me. My pump doesn't fit. It has lots of little pockets but I prefer a big singular pocket. @canadmos i would send it your way if you covered shipping.

Looked hard at the Oveja Negra, Exile Designs, and Rapha packs. Alpine Threadworks also. Those are not in stock yet or i would have gone that route.

The poor selling Rapha colors are on sale for like 50-60 bucks versus the cool colorways for 90. I picked up navy blue for 60 some bucks off the Rapha site.
Why don't you mount the pump on the bike?
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,968
6,266
Yakistan
The egg shell colorway Rapha trail hip pack is on sale for $54 on their website - in case anyone likes to get good deals and don't care about colors
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,047
20,212
Canaderp
First time trying out the butt koozie today. Worked good enough. Thanks again to @boostindoubles !

Initial impressions are that it works and nothing fell out, so that's good. Don't think I'd want to overload it with heavy stuff though. My phone barely fits in the big pocket.

All I put in it today was one water bottle, a tube and an apple. Beer cans in it feel pretty loosey goosey, will try out later this week, might put the can in a koozie first.

Also need to make sure that the gut strap is over top of my shorts or shirt, otherwise it's a little abrasive on the skin. Maybe that'll wear in over time?

 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
First time trying out the butt koozie today. Worked good enough. Thanks again to @boostindoubles !

Initial impressions are that it works and nothing fell out, so that's good. Don't think I'd want to overload it with heavy stuff though. My phone barely fits in the big pocket.

All I put in it today was one water bottle, a tube and an apple. Beer cans in it feel pretty loosey goosey, will try out later this week, might put the can in a koozie first.

Also need to make sure that the gut strap is over top of my shorts or shirt, otherwise it's a little abrasive on the skin. Maybe that'll wear in over time?

Try your phone in one of the pockets over the water bottle holders, that's where I keep mine.
 

canadmos

Cake Tease
May 29, 2011
21,047
20,212
Canaderp
Try your phone in one of the pockets over the water bottle holders, that's where I keep mine.
I'll try that out next time. I wish my phone was smaller in general, it's a Samsung A52 with a chunky Otterbox case on it.

Can you put yours in there, along with a bottle in the same side?
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
I'll try that out next time. I wish my phone was smaller in general, it's a Samsung A52 with a chunky Otterbox case on it.

Can you put yours in there, along with a bottle in the same side?
Galaxy S20 FE with a Spigen case, fits fine with a bottle same side.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,968
6,266
Yakistan
Theyre a small time company and my buddy in Boise has one of the smaller hip packs. He knows the peeps personally. I don't think they're super good at getting the word out.
 
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6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
16,284
13,560
Does anyone have any experience with Wingnut packs?


Fanny packs with suspenders to move the weight off the hips... seems like a winner. I want to try one, thinking it would be the bees knees for me.
They used to be really popular as a niche product 10+ years ago for their backpacks. Don't seem to have updated much in the last decade.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
7,968
6,266
Yakistan
Maybe they don't need updating? They've got a hemp backpack which is perty sweet, imo.


But its not a suspended fanny like this guy...

 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
21,232
6,225
borcester rhymes
@marshalolson Do you have any pictures of the backpack with a bladder? I'm interested in a new backpack and was thinking about the USWE ones, but I see that yours has a similar closure and can fit a bladder. Just not sure how it goes together.
 

marshalolson

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2006
1,770
520
Yo dude, for sure!

(1) there is a separate slot for the bladder (and the back protector is removeable)

(2) there is a small strap to hang the bladder from to carry better and make easier to drink. The tube routes on either side out thru the shoulder

(3) thereare small retention straps on both sides and a magnetic clip at the mouth port on the left side of the sternum buckle

Cheers @Sandwich
 

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