We put EVOC’s full featured Hip Pack Pro to the test, read on to find out if this is your next pack…
Words: Toni Walbridge
Photos: Misti Walbridge
Many riders who switch to riding in a fanny pack are clearly taking the “less is more” approach to what they carry while riding. Overstuffed backpacks crammed with 5 lbs of shit you don’t need are a great way to make a fun ride miserable. But maybe you need a little more space, what if you’re riding 4 or 5 hours, or more? Maybe you need room for a few extra tools, jacket, camera, water, sandwich, and maybe a beer. Whatever the case may be, if you want to carry all your crap and still rock a fanny pack like the cool kids, EVOC has a compelling solution, the Hip Pack Pro 3L.
I’ve been using the Hip Pack Pro almost daily the past several weeks and have been duly impressed with it’s ability to swallow a ton of gear yet resist bouncing all over the place when ripping a fun descent. EVOC has jam packed a ton of features and tech into the Hip Pack Pro that enable it to be comfortable on the climbs and rock solid on the downs. It’s a bit more than I need for a casual after work spin but just the thing for an all day weekend ride.
For some, dropping the backpack and moving to a fanny pack is as much about cutting out the sweaty back a full pack tends to leave you with. Despite it’s size, ventilation is one of the Hip Pack Pro’s strong suits with a fully ventilated back that keeps the air moving on those hot days.
In addition to the ventilated back, the Hip Pack Pro feature’s a strap on each side that allows you to give a little slack so that the pack falls away from your back on the climbs, further improving ventilation. When you get to the top, just pull the straps in the opposite direction to tighten the pack down again. This all happens without ever adjusting the waist belt and takes just a second to do.
The waist belt design another big part of the Hip Pack Pro’s impressive ability to stay planted. Extra wide, heavy duty elastic waist bands overlap and pull the pack tight, then a secondary buckle ensures that the it stays locked in place. Never once did I have to re-adjust or re-tighten the pack during a ride, this is easily the most secure belt system I’ve seen. Another nice feature of the belt is the tidy routing of the hydration hose and the magnetic hose clip to keep it in place. Compared to packs that clip the hose to your shirt, I far preferred this setup.
The belt pockets have plenty of room to keep snacks handy and your keys safe. I kept my keys and a couple Honey Stinger Waffles on in the pocket on the right and my trusty Sony RX100V in the pocket on the left. Having a real camera right on my belt came in handy on numerous occasions for quick trail side shots.
Inside the main compartment, there’s room for a 1.5L bladder, a light jacket and a full day’s worth of food. EVOC sells the Hip Pack Pro with or without a bladder should you prefer to use water bottles.
There’s a large tool flap on the back with plenty of organization for all of your tools. Inside the flap are a couple quick access mesh pockets for bulky items like a tube and a large zipper pocket perfect for small spare parts. I’m not sure how much more anyone could want for in a full sized fanny pack. With more than enough capacity and features to replace a high-end backpack, quality materials, and a street prices hovering right around $115 USD, if you’re looking for a full sized pack, the EVOC Hip Pack Pro is worth a look.
EVOC Hip Pack Pro 3L
MSRP: $115 USD (with bladder)
3 colors (Sulphur / Moss Green tested)
Airoflex elastic waist belt
Ventiflap uphill/downhill ventilation mode
1.5L hydration bladder (available with or without)
Magnetic bladder hose clip
2 water bottle pockets
Large main pocket
2 waist pockets