CamelBak FlashFlo LR Hip Bag Reviewed

Oct 2, 2013
by Mike Levy  
CamelBak FlashFlo LR tested



Lets get one thing out of the way right away: the FlashFlo LR has not been designed specifically for mountain biking. In CamelBak's own words, the bag is intended for "the fitness walker or hiker who prefers waist-mounted hydration.'' With that in mind, we wanted to spend some time using the FlashFlo LR to see if it also made sense for two-wheeled adventures, especially because we are starting to see more and more of these hip bags, otherwise known by their less formal name, fanny packs, being used by both racers and casual riders. Despite the questionable undertones that go along with someone who wears a hip bag, something that is probably due to people like our fathers wearing early canvas versions while also sporting leather sandals, these pint-sized packs might make a lot of sense for rides that don't go over the two or three hour mark.

While there are a number of hip bag options to choose from when looking at the running and hiking market, as well as a few mountain bike-specific models on the horizon, most of them either offer no way to carry water, or employ a simple water bottle cradle design. CamelBak's $55.00 USD FlashFlo LR stands out in that regard in that it features a 1.5L bladder and a drinking tube, much like you'd find on a mountain bike backpack, that allows the rider to easily drink while on the move.
FlashFlo LR Details

• Intended use: walking/hiking
• 1.5L lumbar bladder
• 3.28L total storage capacity
• Main storage pocket w/ two mesh dividers
• Secondary storage in divided bladder pocket
• Keychain strap
• 'Diamond Mesh back panel
• 'Center Cinch Fit System'
• 'Camel Clip Bite Valve' positioner clip
• Colours: black, blue, pink
• Weight: 240g
• MSRP: $55.00 USD

CamelBak FlashFlo LR tested

Compression straps (left) help to keep the bag's fluids from sloshing around, and a clip is used to position the hose correctly (right).



Construction

The FlashFlo LR is constructed with 70D Diamond Clarus and 230 Taffeta with DWR and 1000 mm PU coating, with all that tech talk meaning that while the bag isn't waterproof, it is very resistant to allowing water to pass through. There are two separate zippered pockets inside, with the larger inboard pocket being home to the bag's 1.5L bladder, as well as a divider that allows it to also serve as storage for a larger items like a pump or some food. The smaller, outer zippered pocket is home to two elastic and mesh pockets that can each fit a tube, as well as plenty of space for other supplies. CamelBak has also included a nifty teether that you can clip your keys to in order to prevent them from falling out when you're digging through the bag looking for a gel while bonked on the side of the trail in the pouring rain.

CamelBak FlashFlo LR tested

There is enough room for two tubes and plenty of supplies, with two elastic topped mesh pockets to separate the bag's contents.


Being a hip bag, there are obviously no shoulder or sternum straps, with a large waist strap and buckle being the only thing that holds the bag to the rider. The strap extends off of wings from each side of the bag, a design that provides more support than if there was more strap length. CamelBak has added two more straps to the FlashFlo LR in the shape of twin compression straps, one on each side of the bag, that help to compress the bladder and to keep the bag's contents from rattling around.

Fluids are held in a 1.5L bladder that is positioned directly over the wearer's lumbar region (that's what the LR stands for), with a slight triangle shape that allows its sides extend down into the wide lower section of the bag. It also features a number of CamelBak's bladder tech features, such as their wide, quarter-turn cap that makes it easy to both fill and clean, as well as their 'Big Bite Valve' nipple with an on/off switch. One thing you won't find, though, is CamelBak's 'Quick Link' hose attachment that would allow the hose to be removed from the bladder for easy filling with the push of a button.

CamelBak FlashFlo LR tested

The larger, inner pocket employs a divider to keep things separate from the bladder, and there is enough room for both a mini pump and a shock pump.




Performance

The pack hides its weight remarkably well when full of of fluid, which is to be expected given that there are no shoulder or sternum strap to apply pressure, and wearing the FlashFlo LR feels much more "free" than a regular backpack with the same amount of fluids ever could. None of that should be a surprise given that its footprint is quite a bit smaller than a conventional bag, but it is the bag's resistance to shifting did surprise us - we fully expected it to not only rock back and forth when using a lot of body English, but also to rotate around our waist. There was none of that when on the trail, though, with it feeling as invisible as five pounds of water and tools can be when strapped to one's waist. While it would be a stretch to say that we forgot we were wearing it, the bag is far more inconspicuous than a standard pack. Having said that, the top of the bag did have a tendency to rotate off of our back a touch when full of water, and this was especially true when in the saddle and hunched down low during a steep climb. No amount of tinkering with the waist of compression straps helped, but the fit foible also didn't make for any discomfort, and it doesn't happen when walking upright, which is how the pack was intended to be used. One fit tip that we found works well is to wear the bag slightly higher - just above your waist line - and a bit tighter than you would at first go with, a method that didn't lead to any discomfort whatsoever.

CamelBak FlashFlo LR tested

The FlashFlo LR shown at maximum capacity.


While you're not going to be stuffing a rain jacket inside, or strapping knee pads to the outside if it, the FlashFlo LR offers plenty of storage room for anything that you might need during a two or three hour ride. We had no trouble finding space for two tubes, a large multi-tool, two tire levers, both a mini pump and a shock pump, a spare derailleur hanger, an energy bar or gel, and even our phone, wallet, and keys. All of the above put the bag at pretty much maximum capacity, but it also was far from being ready to burst. The difference in storage between the FlashFlo and a conventional pack comes down to organization, with many bags offering some sort of zippered pouch arrangement that makes accessing things a bit easier than the FlashFlo LR's more open layout. That should only be a deal breaker for the most obsessive compulsive of organizers out there, though.

There are plenty of hip bags available that have been designed to either forgo fluids or carry one or two bottles (most have been designed with running or hiking in mind, though), but the FlashFlo LR is one of the few models that integrates a bladder into its layout. Using a bladder obviously means that it requires a drinking tube, which poses a problem due to there not being any shoulder straps to serve as a locating point for the tube. CamelBak gets around this by way of a small black clip and strap that attaches to your jersey or jacket and holds the hose in place, and while it looks a bit fragile, we had no troubles with it staying put. The strap has two settings; one that allows the hose to slide up and down through it, and another that holds the hose more firmly, with us preferring the latter as it prevented the hose from migrating down and flopping around. For the same reason, it is also important to position the clip at the correct height on your jersey or jacket, as getting it wrong will make it difficult to get the hose into your mouth.

CamelBak FlashFlo LR tested

Wearing the bag slightly higher than you might think is correct at first actually made for a comfortable fit.



Issues

Being a walking and hiking-specific hip bag, the FlashFlo LR utilizes a drinking hose that is just the right length for someone to take a sip when standing upright, but not quite long enough for use on a bike - sitting on your bike and holding onto the handlebar results in a more stretched out position that meant that the bag's hose is too short to make drinking possible without tilting your head down enough to nearly lick your own nipple. It's hard to fault CamelBak given that the FlashFlo LR works well for its intended use, but a hose that measures a few inches longer would mean that it would work great for cycling as well. We solved this issue by swapping out the stock hose for a tube from one of CamelBak's mountain bike backpacks, a $9 USD mod that is well worth doing.

If we had our way we'd add some elastic mesh bands to the face of the bag, directly over the outer zippered pocket, that could serve as storage for a windbreaker that's folded up small. We're just heading into our fall season and many of our rides will begin in a jacket that will be shed after an hour or so, but the FlashFlo LR doesn't offer any way to store one once we've taken it off. It's a minor inconvenience but one that some riders are likely to find annoying.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe FlashFlo LR is an interesting bag in that it allows you to pack enough supplies for a solid ride, as well as a good amount of fluid, while offering more comfort and a far more untethered feel compared to the status quo. Those facts means that we'd likely reach for the FlashFlo LR over a standard bag for all but the longest rides, especially after we replaced the slightly too short drinking hose with one from a standard CamelBak backpack, a mod that is required to make the FlashFlo LR mountain bike friendly. Will hip bags replace backpacks anytime soon? Doubtful, as some of us are far too concerned with how we look while pedalling bicycles in the bush, but they certainly should be used more given how much sense they make. That said, we expect to see more and more hip bags on the market soon, so do yourself a favour and give one a try before passing judgement. - Mike Levy


www.camelbak.com


140 Comments

  • + 102
 Does it come in mens?
  • + 9
 Mens version hangs between the legs Wink , no matter how good it is ,some things are not meant to be worn ,still prefer my pack more storage more water, and doesn't look like a second ass = better.
  • - 4
flag tjet (Oct 2, 2013 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 is "Hip" for Hipster??
  • + 8
 thats a bad ass fanny pack if i have every seen one.
  • + 6
 I am not sure if this was designed for biking.. Camelback has one here designed for SUP which could also be ok for rock climbing and hiking... www.camelbak.com/en/Canada/Sports-Recreation/Packs/Tahoe-LR.aspx

If it isn't broken don't fix it. a back pack is far better, ergonomically for your body. If you are worried about sweat on your back, you are in the wrong sport. If i haven't gotten sweaty (even without a pack) i'm not doing my best...

biking gives me slight lower back pain from being hunched over for long periods of time. this seems like it would add to it..
  • + 8
 Actually, having the weight lower and off your back, onto your hips even, would decrease the amount of back pain. It also lowers your center of gravity. The absence of a strap across the front of your chest would open up your breathing for climbing and be quite a bit cooler. But at the end of the day its still a fanny pack. Its not for everyone...
  • + 0
 That said, I might give one a try. Whats the return policy? Smile
  • + 3
 I damn near bought one of these this summer. I have a small Dakine hip pack I wear that (despite my friends making fun of it) makes perfect sense for riding and allows me to carry exactly what I need and nothing I don't. I'm stoked PB reviewed it, because it isn't a bike specific product, but seems to make sense. To me anyways.

Worth noting as well: They manke a gray/black/yellow version that doesn't look so girly.
  • + 2
 lol at the Fanny Pack!!
  • + 4
 I would get so much shit from my friends for buying this.
  • + 5
 fanny means something slightly different in the uk...
  • + 2
 thats why it was called a fanny pack... *slaps forhead

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_pack
  • + 2
 "Musician 'Weird Al' Yankovic mocks the wearing of fanny packs in his song 'White & Nerdy'." (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_pack)
If Weird Al makes fun of it, does that make it cool again? Kind of like a double negative...
  • + 37
 FlashFlo is a great name. For a toilet.
  • + 21
 Or laxative....
  • + 18
 Or tampon....
  • + 28
 Levy you are such a hipster
  • + 14
 I've been using an equivalent Salomon product with 2 water bottels for almost 3 years following an injury to my back. It's lighter, you don't have to take it off to get to the stuff inside, they're cheaper, they keep your back from sweating significantly, and the weight stays much lower. The only drawback is that it tends to collect mud on wet days, and the only time I would use a pack again is if I needed more than 2 litres of water. I'm amused by all of these comments that read, "Well, that looks like a really simple, comfortable, and convenient alternative to a product that we all use, but I wouldn't consider it because somebody I don't know might think I'm not cool". That logic holds about as much merit as my rationale for not wearing a helmet when I rode bmx as a kid. I see a flood of these hitting the market in the next year or two as people try them out....probably not long before we have a technicolor TLD option that's $189.
  • + 2
 Well said. I just picked up a small runner's pack that has a pocket for a water bottle. Ideal for shorter rides. I'm a fan.
  • + 2
 you're a fan(ny).
  • + 12
 This past season I worked as bike patrol at a resort in Blue Mountain. We were issued "fanny packs" instead of backpacks to hold our medical supplies and radios. The packs were first met with much negativity but they did grow on us as they were a great deal cooler than wearing a backpack and we were able to ride faster than with the old back packs filled with supplies. The three negatives I noticed was if the pack slide below your hips it would sometimes catch my seat almost causing a crash. The other was that although the pack was cooler than a bag I could not carry enough water to stay hydrated on hot days. Lastly the packs did offer very limited space which in turn cause me to have to leave behind a spare tube and multi tools so that I could carry all of the necessary medical supplies.
With all that being said I was very impressed by the added performance the "Fanny pack" allowed (as long as it was sitting on top of my hip bones) and how much cooler my back stayed when riding.
The bag we used was MEC Hip Pack, Camel Backs option does solve my problem of not being able to carry enough water and if some other brands catch on I think these packs could become a common sight at bike parks as they allow for gravity riders to ride more freely than they would with a backpack....at least if some big named riders started using them so that people would get over the image in which these packs portray at this point
  • + 1
 my only issue for long days at the bike park would be if the pack shifts around on the ruff stuff, i don't want the pack to shift around to my front side, in your experiences how well do they stay in place?
  • + 1
 As long as the pack stays above my hip bones it did not move at all, and was less noticeable than a back pack when it got rough or when I was hitting jumps.
  • + 10
 He'll yeah I have been waiting since the 80's to be fucking cool again. I'm just getting out my old one.
  • + 1
 HAHAHAHAHAHA Awesome!
  • + 2
 i stole one of my dads 80's nike neon wind breakers a couple of years ago.. totally banking on those coming back one day, and ill unload mine and ca$h out Wink


wore it around the house a couple of times. totally pointless when you dont have any one to point and laugh at you..
  • + 5
 The essence of being one of the cool kids is not caring what anyone else thinks, so think for yourself! If it looks stupid and it works, it's not stupid! Many of my endurance races are run in an Australian Summer. I want to carry as much fluid as possible without overheating. A backpack makes me hotter and sweatier so I try and carry water on my bike. I have two water bottle cages and I use the biggest water bottles I can fit yet I will finish a long race severely dehydrated. I used to use something like this trail running when I was a lad and it was much more comfortable than a backpack when everything is being jolted around. I love CamelBak products and service so I will be hunting one of these down... Summer is on its way. Thanks for the review.
  • + 3
 You have it backwards. Being one of the cool kids means you care more than the average person about what everyone else thinks! There is no sensible reason to not carry tools in the bike park. Just saying.
  • + 5
 These could be particularly good for riders who have had shoulder/collar bone surgery. I can only use a light pack as there's a steel plate over the top of my collar bone which makes riding with a pack that's full of water uncomfortable so i end up carrying less water! Will defo look at one of these in the future.
  • + 5
 Mike, i like how you didn't show your self in the pictures! I like the idea, save my back from sweating so much and can bring more water with me than my 1 bottle my bike can hold. Saw this one too from Camelbak: www.camelbak.com/en/Canada/Sports-Recreation/Packs/Tahoe-LR.aspx
Looks like it might hold that raincoat?
  • + 4
 I've had a camelbak fanny pack before and it was mint for on the bike. You spin it round to get your shit out and you don't get a pissed through back. It's far less noticeable on your hips too.
  • + 1
 Looks sharp
  • + 3
 They maybe valid points woody, but you're british and therefore it is not a fanny pack
  • + 2
 I completely agree but on here "bum bag" would most probably confuse.
  • + 4
 I wear one of these when racing my dirt bike so do a lot of the top pros, its amazing how much more free you are to move around and not have all this sh*t hanging off your back and jumping around. They make one that has the same design where it holds the water on your hips but still has a back part. that's what I use for mountain biking. Its called the camelbak octane LR.
  • + 1
 That series of packs looks quite good!
  • + 3
 been using mine for over 10 years... no sweat on my back... perfect for small rides with 1lt of water... more water makes the bag unstable... no need for that shirt clip. It has the holder around your waist... easy to drink & drive!! 2003: www.pinkbike.com/photo/10090153
  • + 3
 Dear two-dozen backpacks, saddle-bags, over the shoulder bags, and various other camelbaks that are sitting in my closet,

I regret to inform you that there is, once again, another riding bag that I must purchase. I am deeply saddened that I must abandon you all even though one day I may use you again to various riding. I hope that one day you all will understand that I am never content with just having ONE riding bag/shoulder-bag/camelbak/whatever else. As you "riding bags" all know, you are in my heart but I must conform to the pressures of buying another biking accessory, even though I will probably buy other 'interesting riding bag" come the next year. I sincerely apologize again. Please note that I will continue to wipe off the dust on you all, while you sit in my closet.
  • + 2
 I ditched back packs years ago except for more remote and longer rides. I picked up this same hip bag last year. I never did fill it with water because I use water bottles in cages. I also noted the top of the pack had a tendency to flip backwards. And this was with no water. Just my wallet, keys, phone, extra tube, co2 inflation kit and some snacks. I could never get comfortable with it so I quit using it after a half dozen rides. I would still be into one if they would make one bike specific use. I hate back packs but would like to carry essentials with me on short rides.
  • + 1
 Check out the Nathan Elite Surge. It's been working for me this summer. Not bike-specific but it performs well for the essentials plus a 24 oz water bottle and a shock-cord on the side for a windbreaker or tube on the outside. Yeah, it's bright white but whatever. I did an enduro last weekend in very muddy conditions and it cleaned up perfectly. (Some fabrics I've used stay dirty looking after one muddy ride - not so with this pack.)
  • + 5
 The brilliance of the fanny pack cannot be denied. Taunting cool kids with logic and convenience since before their time.
  • + 2
 i have been wearing a Deuter (i think that is how you spell it) pulse 4 for 2 years, it has bottles rather than a camelbak type reservoir and i wont be going back. As i do DH i really dont use the hose and clip system anyway.

Weight is lower and i feel less restricted especially if wearing back armour
  • + 2
 i look forward to seeing som bike specific options, i dislike wearing a rucksack and they have quite a few drawbacks , but sometimes you need to carry more than you can stap onto the bike.
Biggest problem with bumbags seems to be that when loaded the strap will become obtrusive enough across your abdomen to be distracting, hope they can fix this for bikers
Another plus is that if you have a lump on your collar bone it will not rub on it.

use what works for you Smile

Salute
  • + 2
 Its only a matter of time before theres more options. Ive been riding a Deuter hip bag all summer, perfect for shorter rides from the house. It carries 1 water bottle (which doesn’t fit on my frame) which is its limit, this one sounds good with the bladder idea. Basic tools, tube, pump, a small emergency kit I carry and an elastic draw cord that holds knee pads for the climb. Its comfortable, no sweat patch on the back, no mass on your back, a bag on the back feels awkward now. If I could improve anything itd be the elastic system, more of it; it wouldn’t add bulk to the bag but it could carry elbow pads and allow my knee pads to fit easier
  • + 4
 Buckle in front is not a good idea. But it is a better way to carry stuff on a bike than a backpack. I ride with Salomon's running fanny pack, and f.ck you, haters.
  • + 3
 Before there was a Camelbak people used hip backs that had water bottles on each side and you kept you tools, tube, weed, rain gear, beer, and everything in the pouch.
  • + 5
 Hulk hogan would love one of these
  • + 1
 I was using a hip bag(fanny pack) ten years ago due to ease of carrying gear I needed and hated the idea of wearing a back pack and sweating to death! I was always laughed at by buddies but I had cool breezes down my back while they were sweating bullets.
I've made the switch to a back pack due to frame without bottle mounts but have hated the pack since second one! I've grown more accustomed to it but now that there are more options then I'm going back to hip....I'm tired of sweating so damn much!!
Thanks for showing this, and if you're really concerned with how you look and the "fashion" then perhaps you need to do a less burly/autonomous sport and go play baseball and join a frat. Wink
  • + 1
 Great article and it would be good to see some other options made by additional manufactures. I know that dakine has a kayak fanny pack that would work ok as well. I have been running one all summer this year and am on my second one. I like fatter waist belt so that I can keep it positioned and doesn't flop as much, also more mesh pockets outside so that my bluetooth speaker can produce unmuffled sound as i rideSmile Santa bring me one.
  • + 1
 Been using OMM and Inov8 waist packs for years, mostly combined with a Camelbak backpack in winter when I want to carry extra food/clothes (I'm diabetic so have to carry sh*t loads of food). I find as long as weight is kept down they are very comfortable and barely noticeable when riding. I imagine having all that water sloshing around your waist may be a different matter....
  • + 1
 Although I understand the idea and I think it is an improvement over back packs I find the fashion argument hilarious. I can't remember the last time I sported a backpack to a bar and thought this is a hot look, the ladies will dig my Jansport. Nor have I dressed for the day and thought this outfit would look amazing if I just added a backpack as an accessory. All that being said I still think there is a better solution that we have not discovered yet. I think the camelback running vest or base layer with built in hydration makes more sense. The water actually keeps you cool. Mike could you review those options for us please.
  • + 1
 I'm liking the idea of not having to undo the buckles to take my pack off to get something out of it but I feel like with just one strap this would bounce around more than a pack with a waist and sternum strap as well as two shoulder straps. I'd give it a try but my camelbak is showing no signs of quitting.
  • + 1
 For dh when all we carry is a water bottle it makes sense. A tube, levers, some allens and c02 fit perfect. Sure it looks a little goonish. But it's more comfortable than a camel back and it definitely is better than walking down after a flat especially from the top of a long dh run.
  • + 1
 I use this pack all the time for shorter rides, and one thing that makes it much more convenient to drink out of is using one of those retractable security card clips hooked to the hose. That way you can have some water, just let go of the hose and it goes right where you want it. Works pretty well on regular packs too.
  • + 4
 wish it showed a pic while in the riding position to see how it would shape up
  • + 1
 I used something similar many years ago, and hated it. I found that the weight of the waters etc to pull down and pull the strap into my abdomen in an uncomfortable way. With rucksacks you don't have this problem. If i'm going on a short ride and want minimal kit i'll stick the essentials in my pockets (tool, co2) and for anything else i'll stick with my osprey raptor 10l, best pack on the market imo
bushcraftbiker.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/osprey-raptor-10
  • + 1
 I like my Osprey Zealot so much that i bought a Raptor as a short ride pack, it rocks. Until Osprey makes a bike-specific one of these, I'm not interested.
  • + 2
 ...and to be fair, I'm probably not interested then.
  • + 1
 I like to use waist hydration pack, they are much more convenient backpacks, especially in hot weather. But personally I do not like this model. Uncomfortable seating, inconvenient access to the tank, no side pockets for small items and a phone. I prefer the old model - Montara, but it is no longer available. Its only drawback was the small volume, in everything else, it was better.)
  • + 2
 and you all made fun of me at the bike park for rocking mine! I knew it would catch on. gotta go with the classic neon pink tho
  • + 1
 The review kept saying it is kind of small for everything - but why wouldn't you have a saddle bag with tubes, multi tool, lever? Then you would have plenty of room for a windbreaker, etc...
  • + 4
 In America, Fanny Packs are where nerds hide their guns. Seriously.
  • + 2
 Bonus.
  • + 1
 yeah, I was wondering if a full size 1911 would fit in there
  • + 1
 I carry IWB when I am down hillin'. Never know when one might need to bust a cap. Only time it sucks is when you washout and yard sale it down the trail. Did that once.
  • + 0
 The only clowns that are gonna be using this fanny pack at those on 29er's The bikes already look like circus bikes, so you might as well add it to the ridiculousness of it all. Mike, just because they're coming, doesn't mean shit!
  • + 3
 "as some of us are FAR TOO CONCERNED with how we look while pedaling bicycles in the bush" Pinkbike said it. sad isnt it
  • + 0
 Trade the (limited) spinal protection of a real camelbak, for a flop-around version that upon falling, will focus the impact on your lower back, causing your head and upper back to snap back. Great idea! More whiplash over here please!
  • + 2
 Maybe a Wingnut pack is more desirable for some people. Look up some pics of how they fit. Pricey though. www.wingnutgear.com/products-page
  • + 3
 My kid is going to want one, he said he wanted an "Uncle Grandpa" fanny pack....
  • + 2
 I had a original hip CamelBak back in 99 and I love it for short rides. The lower position is great for downhilling and it was comfortable.
  • + 3
 Bum bag type thing, not really my cup of tea. It's good that they are innovating though.
  • + 3
 I don't care who judges me, I'm rocking the DaKine version as soon as I can get one!!!!!!!!!!!! Screw backpacks!!!!!!
  • + 2
 I also heard that they're making one as well.
  • + 1
 I saw them on interbike
  • + 0
 2 bottles on cage and small saddle bag will get you through with average spending of £15 20$
taped tube on the frame for 90 percent of the time is my new way
you guess the 10 percent ?
  • + 8
 That's 100% true, but there are plenty of bikes with only a single bottle location, and many of those are under the down tube. Worse yet, there are a few bikes out there with no bottle solution whatsoever. This bag should be used instead of a standard backpack, not as a replacement for the one or two bottles that your bike carries, and even than its drinking hose as far more convenient than reaching for a bottle, meaning that you'll drink more during a ride.
  • + 4
 You are right for sure . It's clear that there is no time wasted on particular design as looks very promising for short rides also it's nice to have more options in the market . Design comes in price till you get there you can create your own

whit :http://www.wiggle.co.uk/elite-vip-bottle-cage-clamps/
  • + 3
 you don't want those clamps, got them on my cross bike for training rides when I ride to a park that's far away and the cage never stays in place, if this bag is xc then just put a bottle in your jersey pocket (assuming xc jerseys have the three back pockets like road jerseys)
  • - 2
 Or just put on your finest lycra, folding bottles from vapur, an under gilet with a top pocket for your phone and you are done.
These bags place too much stress on your stomach, which restricts your breathing compared to the option above.
When its wet, use a waterproof gilet like what sombrio offer.
For your pump etc. A micro pump, patches, lever and small multi tool is all you need, this fits well in small bags offered by deuter, which you can either velcro to your bike (comes on the bags) or put them in your pocket.
Great setup for all day in the mountains.
Protein bars and nuts/raisins is all you need for food, easy to take 1000 kcal that is all good for you.
  • + 3
 Get some nuts!!!
  • + 1
 As true as it is, I train with at least a "half load" in my Osprey Raptor 14 because a lot of the events I ride (I'm not fast enough to race but enjoy the competition) are over 30 miles, even 50+ miles, and the bike handles differently with the extra weight. Besides, you never know when you're going to come up on someone that wrecked and needs a tube or minor first aid.

On that note, I could see one of these being handy when I don't feel the need to carry lights and batteries in my pack on training rides.
  • + 1
 For any Europeans reading, they're talking about a bum bag. Across the Atlantic they call them fanny packs. Because fanny means your arse over there... not your minge'
  • + 0
 This thing is a joke. Talk about discomfort.
My backpack with it's 1/2" thick foam straps, once saved my shoulder from some serious breakage. Since then I will wear nothing less.
  • + 2
 My question is: why would you review something that clearly wasn't made for mountain biking?
  • + 11
 For a few reasons: hip bags are coming, and we wanted to test the theory on one that uses a bladder because it is one of the few that do so. And the only thing keeping this bag from being mountain bike specific (or multi-sport friendly, I guess) is a longer drinker tube. It was an experiment that panned out well, if you ask me. Expect a handful of hip bags marketed towards mountain bikers in the very near future.

Sometimes it's good to think outside the box. I now reach for either the FlashFlo LR or the Delany for any ride under two hours because I did just that.
  • - 3
 Camel backs etc made these things obsolete. As mentioned previously they sucked when you tried to carry anything in them. Once a proper camel back with storage came out I threw my fanny pack away.

This really sounds like product marketing vs review. Just like the Fox CTD 2013 stuff was awesome and then sucks as soon as the 2014 came out. Do you ever review a product and say don't buy it?
  • + 14
 Oh boy, a '13 CTD reference.. I'm going to ask you to back that statement up, my friend - find something I wrote saying that it was "awesome".
  • + 6
 You would be surprised how good running specific packs are for riding. The running version of the charger LR (ultra LR) has a better system to prevent bouncing. It has less storage, but a cooler design (less material) on t he back, but extra bonus of two pockets on the shoulder straps for small bottles, extra water!

I use a hip pack with a bottle cradle when I go for long SS rides when I need extra water, more mobility and less sweaty back....also when I go for a short lap on my mojo hd when I'm not into riding with a full pack. Mike's right...they sit funny unless you crank it tight, but very little bounce, if none at all
  • + 1
 That's kind of a dumb question. So something has to say "For mountain biking" on it to be of use? It's no wonder companies can get away with creating multiple versions of the same product and then charging as they think that market group can afford. running equipment is cheaper, as soon as they write "for mtb" on it, these will go up in price.
  • + 3
 I used one now forever - went to the back pack - and hated it - who needs all that extra space? For what? A mini pump, three hex wrenches, tire lever, patches and tube - And I have loads of extra room. The extra weight, the sweaty wet back and the increase in weight where it shouldn't be - keep it lower to the center of gravity on your body - Easier access to stuff - never take mine off, just swing it around and plenty of water. - Say what you will, back packs are overkill.
  • + 6
 I am hoping that seraph only rides in sock MADE FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING, and a jersey MADE ONLY FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING, on trails MADE ONLY FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING and has eyewear and shorts and tubes and tools and lighting systems and hats and music and movies and energy food and beer MADE ONLY FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING.
  • - 2
 @samsemtex and @sngltrkmnd I think you're missing the point. Pinkbike is a mountain biking site. I come here to read about mountain biking products and watch mountain biking videos. I feel like there are enough cool new products out there designed specifically for MTB that we don't have to review cross-discipline products that might kinda sorta work for mountain biking.
  • + 3
 But backpacks that are designed for mtb often only "kinda sorta work" too. In fact lots of mtb clothing and accessories are absolute crap. So if something works ,which this does, then why not review it?
  • + 0
 But it doesn't really work. If you read the review you'd see that the main complaint is that the hose isn't long enough to reach your mouth when you are in a riding position. To me that isn't "working".
  • + 3
 @sngltrkmnd: Not just for "mountain biking". It has to be for "enduro", if you want to fit in with the cool kids.

@seraph: Hose not long enough to reach your mouth? That's just... sad.
  • + 1
 It's designed for the wearer to be upright when using the product. When you're leaning forward it's not long enough.
  • + 1
 "When you're leaning forward it's not long enough."

--TWSS
  • + 1
 seraph, you're taking this all way too seriously. Lighten up and go for a ride.
  • + 0
 I asked a simple question. You jumped down my throat. Now I'm the one who needs to lighten up? You're a joke.
  • + 0
 Mike its the tone that was exhibited at the time when 13 stuff was reviewed and the apparent retraction when the 14 stuff came out. As I said its the way it comes across.

I know running a site requires funding and stuff to review. If you give harsh reviews too often people won't send you stuff to review. But if your turn the site into a rubber stamp "oh this is another great product" then its hard to call them reviews. I pretty much only look at the product reviews.
  • + 8
 @bcboy - The tone? A retraction? Below are some quotes from 2013 CTD equipped bikes that I wrote about. The 2014 CTD stuff is absolutely great so far, by the way. Night and day difference. Hope this comes across a bit more clear. There is no rubber stamping.

From the Rocky Mountain Element review: " We feel like we're beating a dead horse when we talk about FOX's CTD-equipped forks, but a bike's front suspension plays such a vital role that we can't not mention it. We were forced to run much higher than recommended air pressure in order to hold the front end up under braking or on steep sections, and the 'Descend' mode employs so little compression damping that it will be near-useless under an aggressive rider. We left the fork in the 'Trail' mode 90 percent of the time."

From the Ghost review: "Unfortunately, the 120mm travel FOX fork has a tendency to gobble up more travel than it should when on the binders or on a steep portion of trail."

From the original CTD First Look article: "The reason for us staying in the Trail position the majority of the time was due to what we feel is too light of valving in the Descend position. It was light enough, in fact, that we actually spent nearly all of our time descending with the fork in the firmer Trail setting, defeating the purpose of offering three different damping levels."
  • + 8
 Continued from above...

From the recent Norco Range review: "While the bike's handling shines in many places, its 'Evolution' level FOX 34 TALAS CTD fork can feel overwhelmed on fast, successive impacts. This means that choosing to plow through any chunder can result in the fork seeming to lose its place in its travel, with an undamped feel to the stroke..."

From the Votec review (admittedly a Terralogic fork): "...with it tending to eat up its travel quickly after the first impact, likely a large factor in the bike's overly quick handling when aiming down steep chutes."

From the DB Mason FS review: ''Up front, we preferred a firmer setting for the FOX 34 fork..." which is a reference to the fork's underdamped feel.

From the Yeti SB95 review: "While we've aired our concerns over the lack of low-speed compression damping inherent in FOX's CTD-equipped forks, the extended trail-time that we've now spent on them has allowed us to come to a quick setup that gets the most from the design. Depending on the terrain and rider, adding at least 10 to 15psi over FOX's recommended pressure settings for the SB95's 34 fork, along with rotating the CTD Trail Adjust dial to the firmer middle selection, allows an aggressive rider to use both the 'Descend' and 'Trail' settings of the fork."
  • + 4
 @Mikelevy - don't bother defending yourself - there'll always be bcboys that you just can't please.
  • + 2
 Mike thanks for responding. I re-read the 2013 CTD article it does paint a little more negative picture than what others may have read at first.
  • + 2
 @seraph: I was looking at buying one of these for my Gravel Bike. So glad to see a review of someone using one for riding, exactly what I wanted to see. Broaden your horizons man!
  • + 1
 looks like a very functional pack, I'd def like to try one, but It'd be hard to get used to not having the back protection a 3L bladder gives your spinal cord
  • + 1
 Been using a Mountainsmith Tour lumbar bag with add on shoulder straps for years on the bike. Platypus bladder. Can't beat it IMHO.
  • + 3
 A shirt clip. You've got to be kidding me.
  • + 5
 I know, I though the same thing. I would have bet $100 that I would have pulled if off sometime within the first few rides... Zero issues, though.
  • + 2
 I actually kinda like it. I think it makes a ton of sense. When I first opened the link I was thinking "do I need to unthread a hose from the pack while riding to take a drink?" It's a good solution. Good to know it works!
  • + 1
 relax guys it's catered to the market of old spandex hikers with ski poles, although it looks convenient to use
  • + 0
 No thanks. I dont need extra pressure on my diaphragm. My wingnut keeps weight low, and doesn't hinder my inhale (belly button out).
  • + 1
 This would open up room in the traditional camel pack. However, How is it on your back!
  • + 2
 It's not a "Hip Pack", silly it's a Fanny Pack lol
  • + 0
 hahahhahaha. does it come with hammer pants?
man i'm so old I'm seeing something this dumb come back to popularity?
awesome.
  • + 1
 how is it dumb?
  • + 2
 "...lick my own nipple"??? I wish....
  • + 1
 Ive tried a hip bag and for shorter rides theya re a lot more comfortable than a full on backpack
  • + 0
 Although they seem very convenient I would never get one for fear of being judged lol
  • + 1
 You should seek help. Seriously.
  • + 1
 Fannypack is the new pocket-protector.
  • + 2
 You mean fanny pack?
  • + 6
 It's weird having a pack for one's vagina
  • + 1
 The fanny pack is wonderful in all it's forms!
  • + 1
 can't bring fanny packs back. Please do not try!!!
  • + 2
 fanny tas tic !!
  • + 1
 OH god, Not again
  • + 3
 ...and the nipple-clip is just wrong
  • + 2
 Unless the chick wearing it is REALLY hot.
  • - 1
 My mates would never let me get away with wearing one of those lol
  • + 8
 You need new mates!
  • + 1
 or, you should just stop being a pussy and dress yourself for once Wink
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