Damn near everything a pack can and should be.
We love backpacks. Especially in the context of mountain biking, even basic packs are practical. Then companies like Evoc come along and somehow manage to increase the usefulness of the backpack so dramatically that the term hardly seems to apply anymore. Take, for example, the Evoc FR Trail Team Protector Hydration Pack, as a prime example of what a cycling backpack can become.
For one, you've got a barrage of perfect materials for the job. A blend of highly abrasion-resistant ripstop ballistic nylons that are PU-coated for water- and debris-resistance make up the majority of the paneling, and a highly breathable Air Mesh back panel keeps you cool even on hot days. There's an easily accessible tool compartment and a deployable rain cover to whip out if the rains get particularly heavy. On the rear panel is a helmet carrier strap, and at the bottom of the pack are straps to carry additional protective gear. The pack can accommodate up to 20 liters of cargo volume, not including the hip pouch on the waist strap, along with a hydration bladder up to three liters in volume (not included), so it has room for supplies and tools to ride all day, every day. And, just in case those days turn into nights, a host of reflective details, from zipper pulls to areas of special webbing, keep you visible to passing vehicles at night.
But that's only half the story. No description of an Evoc FR Protector pack would be complete without highlighting the technology that gives it its namesake. All Protector packs are CE-certified with Evoc's Liteshield Back Protector, a system featuring a super-light plate of temperature-insensitive materials — like an EPS core and foam damping layers — that reduce shock to the spine by up to 95% in the event of an accident. In the case of the Trail-series Protector packs, the cargo/hydration compartment can actually be separated from the Liteshield, enabling you to wear on the back protection when necessary, like on race day. Completely replaceable in the event of being damaged, the ISP (Integrated Spine Protection) plate and its associated materials only add approximately 150 grams to each pack into which the system is integrated, making the decision just that much easier for riders who ride hard and push their limits.
The Evoc FR Trail Team Protector Hydration Pack comes in three sizes: Small, Medium/large, and X-Large. The recommended total height range for each is 155-170cm, 170-192cm, and 192-200cm, respectively. The pack comes in Evoc's special team edition Red/Ruby colors only, and it weighs approximately 1300 grams.
- Q & A
Comfortable and capable!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I bought this pack for long rides during which I need 1) a LOT of water, 2) more snacks than usual, and 3) extra space to stash tools, etc.
I just completed a long ride in hot, dry California with this full of 3L of water, lots of snacks, sunscreen, etc. and it performed above my expectations. The weight of 3L of water is not typically something I want on my back when I ride, but the way this bag distributed the load to my hips made it feel much lighter than it was. The back protection plate is not even noticeable and for that reason I don't plan to ever take it out (which is an option).
The hip pocket was perfect for my energy jelly beans and my trail map. The rain cover and helmet and knee pad carrying capability are extra touches that put this pack over the top!
This really is a go-to pack for anyone who wants a step up from a smaller hydration pack. Well worth the investment!
Love this pack!
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I got this pack to replace a Camelbak KUDU. I really liked that pack, but it had a nasty issue with it running against the helmet on downhills AND it had a nasty habit of not fitting well when empty... So, had a brief experience with an EVOC pack on a recent trip, so I decided to give this bag a try.
As a 6â3â guy, I went with a large, and fit is great. I havenât loaded it up for any backcountry trips, but tried a commute with a full load and it was just as comfortable as it is running it light. A fan of the ease of getting to tools when needed in the back, which is FAR better than the set up with the KUDU. Thereâs also more than enough space to fit almost anything youâd need for a big day out on the trails. Bagâs got great quality- feels like it should last a good long time.
Minor issues is no bladder, but I donât really care, as Iâve got one from another brand that I love to death, and the belt can run hot, as I found out personally on a 90Â°Â day ride. But Iâd rather have some sweat then have a bag that doesnât sit well and flops around. On long fire road climbs Iâll run the belt loose which helps with lowering the temp.
When my smaller Camelback finally dies, Iâll look first to EVOC to replace it first! Iâm a big believer.
It has a "deplorable rain cover"? Sign me up!!
Ha! AND ballistic ripstop nylon?! This pack is sweet! Thanks for pointing that out!