I just want to say that I have been a very satisfied Lab Austere customer for several years. I bought a V1 hip pack as soon as they came out quite a few years ago. I had to repair it at some point and it's now clearly showing its age, but it's probably still good for a while. Nonetheless, I just purchased a new V2 a couple of days ago to replace it. I also bought one for a my wife a coupe of years ago and she absolutely loves it
To me, it's the perfect hip pack. It's minimalistic just as I want it, yet big enough to easily carry everything I want. I looked at other options and it appeared clear to me that a new LA was the best option to replace my aging one. The bulky hip packs with a bladder and/or enough space to stash a jacket are of no interest for me. I want a minimalistic hip pack that just disappears when I ride. For this, I find the LA quite close to perfection.
My setup is:
- Car key and trail center pass in the stretchy zippered side pockets.
- A rolled towel instead of a water bottle on the left.
- Extra water bottle on the right for the very rare occasion I need more than the water bottle on my bike.
- Multitool + tire plugs + Ventolin inhaler + Energy bar + couple of other small things in the main pocket .
This setup is super light and I rarely need more space than that.
I carry my car key in my pocket, but won't lie, I get worried about dropping it somewhere and getting screwed.
With my previous car, I'd just hide the key on the wheel or somewhere. But with this keyless entry stuff, if the key is touching the car, anyone can just walk up and pull the door handle to open it. Need to find a way around that...
I wish all my short pockets had a little tether and clip thing, that solve the problem.
Just bought Evoc Hip Pack Pro without the bladder. It's better than full backpack (Evoc Enduro Blacline 16) as it gives more freedom to move on the bike. Without any bag would be best of course, but quite often it's handy to just grab a hip pack or backpack with all necessary gear and go riding.
I think the best thing is to get everything away from your pockets.