EVOC's beginnings date back to 2008, and it wasn't long after their inception that they became one of the go-to brands for quality riding bags and luggage. The reputation was built on innovative, functional and hard wearing products. This Stage 12L Team is part of the latest 'Technical Performance' range that is aimed towards riders who want the best performance regardless of price. Looking at the specs it sounds like everything is covered - large water capacity, good ventilation, compartmented storage and even a whistle.
Stage 12L Team Details
• Intended use: all-mountain / trail
• Brace Link
• Attachment system for protection, open and full face helmets
• Tool compartment
• Integrated rain cover
• Hydration systems up to 3 litres
• Weight: 900 grams
• Size: 28 x 50 x 9 cm, 12 litres
• MSRP: $140 USD
The main feature of all the packs in the Technical Performance range is the 'Airflow Contact System', which is designed to evenly distribute the weight of the pack while maximizing ventilation at all contact points. There is no CE certified spine protector which puts it out of contention for a racing pack at events where this is obligatory, but I'm sure it adds a little more protection than nothing. The 'Brace Links' auto-adjust to fit different shoulder widths and is designed to accommodate neck braces. There are fixations for open and full face helmets, knee/elbow pads and an integrated rain cover, all of which are neatly hidden away from sight when not in use.
The hydration compartment is closest to your body and will take up to a three-litre bladder. Hoses can be routed out to either shoulder strap under small fabric hoops, although the plastic hose clip is fixed on the right-hand-side; if you're a lefty you may be left with a flappy tube. The main compartment is the size of the outline of the pack and is enough to store a jacket and some food, but isn't super deep so larger items can be difficult to squeeze in. At the top of this section, there is a small mesh pocket which has a handy carabiner to securely hook your house keys into. Two mesh pockets towards either hip are ideal for stashing gloves, gels or bars.
At the front of the pack towards the top another pocket divided into three, which is suitable for wallets, normal sized smartphones and cash. The tool compartment has a load of individual pockets for a pump, tire levers, multi-tools, patches and whatever else you might need. A zip on either side, linked by a cord, quickly opens and closes, with a Velcro backed flap at the top. Issues
The white fabric on the Stage's outer compartment has a tendency to look dingy very quickly, especially since the fabric is part of the tool compartment, where grubby hands are frequently in close proximity. In addition, the tool compartment's velcro closure didn't close as securely as I would like and small items could potentially fall out. Finally, I prefer the chunkier and non-flexible waist strap of EVOC's Protector packs. At the expense of breathability, the velcro closing is quicker to find a comfortable fit and is stiffer, giving the effect of a weight-lifting belt on longer trails.Pinkbike’s Take:
|Aside from a couple minor quibbles, this pack scores a nearly perfect review from me. I like its clean look and how all the extras are hidden from view. It's intuitive to use, the fit and stability are superb along with the ventilation. It is the ideal size for a good day out on the bike and the multiple mesh compartments keep everything in place and easy to locate while adding little extra weight. - Paul Aston|