Organisation, fabric and retention materials are excellent
EVOC Hip Pack Race 3L has a roomy 3l of cargo space. It’s well organised with a main chamber that houses a reservoir and larger clothing or pumps.
Price: £56.95 (no bladder)/ £78.95 (1.5l bladder).
There’s also a zip-open front flap revealing specific stashes and compartments, plus two zipped waist strap pockets – one mesh, one nylon. In total, with the lash-down side stuff pocket, there’s enough room for a pretty long ride unless you’re not the total pack mule type.
If you’re packing a weighty load, the three corrugated foam panels that keep the bag isolated from the lower spine are a bonus. These pads nestle under a mesh outer layer and flow cooling air nicely, keeping more sweat at bay than the CamelBak Repack LR 4, plus they make EVOC’s pack extremely confortable riding hard.
The pocket-touting, broad hip wings wrap the waist nicely and use an elasticated ‘Aero Flex’ connecting cradle to attach to the main chamber. The stretchy design is very snug and comfy, but does mean the pack can ‘peel’ off the spine and wriggle about a bit too much fully loaded. The EVOC waist band is harder to cinch tight too as it pulls backwards and is more fiddly to tension. In a really foul deluge, I also noticed crud and spray crept in to the fold-over zipped front portion, even when fastened.
I didn’t order EVOC’s bladder as I had a spare CamelBak reservoir kicking about and figured that could plumb in. Unfortunately, the well-sorted EVOC bladder would be a much better choice for this pack as my hose exited in the wrong place for the H2O port and got kinked, preventing full flow.
Overall, EVOC’s organisation, fabric and retention materials are excellent, it can hold a fair bit of gear, but the cargo stability in rough terrain isn’t quite as locked down as some other hip packs.