2018 is Evoc's 10th anniversary, and to celebrate (aside from the party they threw that mostly destroyed their booth) they have an all-new backpack protection system that combines the best of everything they learned since day one.
The Neo 16l pack features their latest Airshield back protector that is a one-piece solution to many pack problems. The Italian-made 'lattice structured Xelion Nanotec Elastomer protector' promises to do it all: offer a flexible fit that can contour to your body, gives 95% absorption protection from impacts and is CE Level 2 certified, it ventilates thanks to the honeycomb-type construction which also distributes forces across the protector, and grips to your body with the softer compound blue pads to avoid movement.
The protector is placed outside the pack, and attached via toggles so it can be removed, Evoc found through testing that getting the protection as close to the body and spine as possible is one of the most important factors of protection.
The Airshield protector – and now all other Evoc protection products – have a lifetime crash replacement policy, the vulcanized rubber material can take multiple shocks but in case of a large impact, it can degrade as it absorbs energy, simply take it back to your dealer and they will check its condition and replace if necessary. Evoc says that just like helmets, a back protector is there to save vital parts of your body, and should always be replaced if there is any question it is not 100% ready to take on the next crash.
One of the most interesting facts I learned from Evoc is that there a CE certification for standalone back protectors, and a separate test for protector backpacks. Most brands take a back protector (including Evoc's other packs) and put it in a pack, the only bags we know of on the market that have the protector backpack certification are this Neo and some packs from Deuter, and Orthovox for snow sports. Evoc says this test is basically a pain in the ass, costs a fortune and takes 18months to complete, so simply putting a protector inside a bag is much easier. The Neo Airshield gained the CE Level 2 standard, which is higher than level 1.
The rest of the pack takes nearly every other feature found across their range, and combines them in to one package: Airo Flex hip belt and padded hip pockets, adjustable waist belt height +/-5cm, fleeced eyewear pouch, compartmented tool pocket with two waterproof sections, water bladder compatibility, a pull-out rain cover, antibacterial Polygiene coated shoulder and waist straps, helmet and pads carriers and S/M and L/XL sizes.