While the beige version of the Scott Trail Hipbelt here is not the most UK-friendly, there’s also a black and grey colourway that would be my first choice.
Scott makes 10 different hydration packs, but only one hip pack – the Scott Trail Hipbelt FR 5. But don’t be put off by the lack of choice as this bum bag couldn’t be better. The foundation of the design is, ahem, inspired by the weightlifter-style belt used for years by Evoc. At 80mm wide, it’s much broader than most hip packs, and this extra surface area increases friction and spreads the load more evenly. The advantage of this is that the Trail Hipbelt is totally stable and utterly comfortable. There’s no movement from the belt itself, and it never once started to dig in. And when filled up, there are compression straps that can be used to cinch down the load and keep it locked in place.
Storage is handled by a large main compartment flanked by two smaller wings – one zipped for easy access to multi-tool or snacks, and one Velcro fastened that can also accept a water bottle. Inside the main storage is room for a tube, mini-pump, tool, packable jacket and more. It’s generous without being excessively large. Slim zip pockets on the inside and outside allow for further separation of kit, and there are two webbing straps on the bottom that can be used to hold pads.
Decent value at less than £50, the Scott Trail Hipbelt FR 5 is one of the most comfortable and stable hip packs on the market – better than rivals from Camelbak and, ironically, Evoc.