Even though EVOC is based in Bavaria, they don’t shy away from the fact that they make a lot of their packs in Vietnam. They tell us that they actually do a lot of mountain bike kit testing there as well. Riding in that hot and humid environment, far away from home, EVOC have a few new packs that are all about staying comfortable, keeping heavy packs off of your sweaty back, and still hauling all the gear you need on the trail. Their Hip Pack Race takes that to the extreme with a modern fanny pack that carries water, tools, and spares low and securely around your waist, with a few tricks to make it both more secure when bombing down the trail and well vented on your lower back. The new CC series of bags add more hauling capacity and a more conventional backpack layout, but also get a new design to keep your back cool…
Hip Pack Race
The Hip Pack Race was a direct response to EVOC’s own team of mountain bike racers. They felt that for the shorter segments of enduro and even some cross country racing, a regular hydration pack wasn’t really necessary. And even getting rid of the backpack meant they were sweating less and needed less water. The result is the 3l hip pack that also works well for those short rides in the morning or after work.
It takes EVOC’s corrugated and perforated foam/mesh Air Flow Contact back padding from their standard backpacks and wrapped it around the lower back for a comfortable secure fit around the waist.
Then on top of that to keep you cool, the hip pack gets a new Venti Flap adjustable section in the waist band that lets you secure the pack regularly at the main buckle, but on each side there are openings that when you loosen the side straps lets the pack loosen around your lower back and let more air in. Open the side straps to let more air in while you are climbing, then cinch it tight for a more secure fit while descending. It’s kinda like a lower tech, simplified version of the system we saw on ION’s Transom backpacks last year.
Inside the Hip Pack Race gets a simple fold out flap for easy access to tools, plus storage in side for spares, extra layers and a 1.5l Hydrapak hydration bladder specially designed for a hip pack.
On the waist belt you get a couple of smaller pockets to stash a wallet or some snacks, an external mesh water bottle pocket, plus a neat magnetic clip for your drinking hose that secures the hose and bite valve across your waist but easy to reach as you ride. You can even clip the magnetic holder to a jersey or jacket if you want to have the valve closer at hand.
The 375g pack (+130g for the bladder) comes in red, black, and olive green versions. The Hip Pack race sells for 65€ by itself, or 90€ including the 1.5l bladder.
CC series backpacks
The Climate Control series of backpacks aim to solve the same issue of sweaty backs, but for riders looking to haul a lot more gear on their longer rides. The way they do that is with a new Air Pad back setup. The new back design for EVOC adds 6 big padded pods to the backs that space out the pack away from your back so air is free to move around. The pads themselves are made of a super fast drying mesh that is said to not really absorb sweat, and they seem to do a pretty good job of distributing the weight of the packs over your back.
Also to keep things light and airy, the CC backpacks use lightweight mesh shoulder straps and waist belt, with perforated foam padding over the top of the shoulders to balance comfort and heat buildup. Where the narrow straps meet the top of the packs, EVOC has added these small soft rubber Brace Links (blue in the photo above) that let the straps work fairly well with riders of different width shoulders without more complicated adjustability.
The CC packs are available in three sizes: 6, 10 & 16l that each offer many of the same nicely integrated pocket details and features. All three are designed to carry a 2l Hydrapak bladder inside, plus get separate external pockets for a map, a fleece-lined one for glasses/electronics, and internal mesh pockets.
The 10 & 16l packs add a fold down tool pocket on the outside, as well as a light mesh helmet carrying sleeve that packs down under a velcro flap at the bottom of the bag when not in use.
The lightest CC 6l weighs just 525g (again without the bladder) and comes in red, blue or black. It sells for 70€ on its own, or 95€ with the 2l hydration bladder. The mid-sized CC 10l offers the pretty much all of the storage bells & whistles while climbing to just 655g. It comes in white/yellow, slate/olive, or black and sells for 85€, plus 25€ with the 2l bladder. The biggest CC 16l is more of a daypack optimized for riding, but still weighs just 695g. It comes in white/olive, slate/red, and black and retails for 95€ or 120€ with a 2l bladder.