Review: EVOC Trail Pro 16 Protector Backpack

Mar 10, 2021
by Daniel Sapp  

EVOC have a comprehensive line of backpacks and the Trail Pro series is the latest model in the mix. A pre-formed, lightweight and flexible pad called the Liteshield Plus is designed to provide extra spine protection in the event of a crash. If a crash generates enough force to damage the pad EVOC will replace it free of charge.

The Trail Pro is available in 10, 16 (tested), and 26-liter volumes and two different lengths, S/M and L/XL, for varying torso sizes.
Trail Pro Details
• 10, 16, and 26l capacities
• S/M and M/L torso sizes
• Multiple hip pockets, depending on size
• Helmet attachment
• Compatible with 3l hydration bladders
• Fleece-lined glasses compartment
• Nylon-Polyester Kodra material
• TÜV-certified
• MSRP: $220 (10l), $240 (16l), $260 (26l)
www.evocusa.com


Evoc Trail Pro 16l Lightshield Plus back protector
The back protector is slim and lightweight.

The Trail Pro (left) has a lighter weight and less bulky protection system than the Neo (right).


Design and Features

There are pre-formed 3-D pads on the back to save weight and improve comfort while also increasing air circulation by creating space between the backpack and the rider's back.

Fit is well thought out, with extra space for the neck and clearance to keep it from interfering with a rider's helmet. A wide hip belt tapers from the mesh pads in the lumbar region of the pack to sit snugly against the rider without hindering movement, and there is also a breathable, medically-engineered Airo-flex belt to further help keep things in place.

The backpack also uses EVOC's 'Brace Link', which allows riders to adapt the padded shoulder straps to their preferred width via variable connector elements. There are no seams on the shoulder straps in the neck or upper shoulder area to reduce friction and pressure.

There's a rain cover, a tool compartment that is accessible from a large pull strap, and lateral compression straps to round out the package.



Performance

Coming from riding EVOC's Neo 16l for the last year, I was excited to get my hands on the Trail Pro in the same size. The Neo was my go-to for its fit over anything else. The pack didn't shift on me when riding technical trails and was easy to manage various weights, whether loaded down or running light, it fit well, something other packs struggled with. My main complaint with that pack was the heat from the back protector.

Enter the Trail Pro. Although my riding with the pack has been limited, it's been enough to get a really excellent impression of how it performs. The pack stays in place and doesn't move on rough terrain. The hip belt is comfortable and supportive, and the overall weight of the pack is substantially less than the Neo, a huge plus. It seems much more ventilated, which is also a benefit on warmer days or on rides where you're putting out a lot of effort.

Storage in the pack is well thought out, although I would like to see a bit more depth in the front compartment so I could fit a full-size hand pump, shock pump, and hand saw in with tools, etc. The double zipper closure with flap makes loading extra gear in the front of the pack, especially when it comes to stuffing a wind shell in, a bit tricky and I wish there was an outer stuff-compartment for that purpose as I hate putting a muddy shell in with my semi-clean tools.

All of these are minor qualms but, when someone is paying a premium price for a premium product, it's worth pointing out.

The wide waistband helps keep the pack secure and in place.



Pros

+ Full-featured
+ Comfortable and lightweight
+ Rides well

Cons

- Storage layout may not suit everyone
- It's expensive




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesEVOC have again delivered a worthy option with the Trail Pro, and while I do have a few qualms with the layout of the storage compartments, overall, the pack is one of the best I've ridden. It's comfortable and offers a good deal of protection, something that's always good to have, especially if I'm far enough out in the woods that I need a backpack. Daniel Sapp








47 Comments

  • 40 0
 Compatible with a bladder? For that price it should come with a bladder.
  • 4 1
 at least the evoc bladder in the hip bag was total crap, too thin material so I wouldn't miss it. Just use a Deuter/Source bladder which is far more durable.
  • 1 0
 Same.
On my EVOC 16 L I use a Source (dual) with a Camelbak valve, on the Hi Pack a Decathlon one, also with a Camelbak valve!
  • 6 0
 @reo-driver: choose a bladder and be a dick about it. I feel like pinkbike should do a bladder shoot-out (no, not what you are thinking...).
  • 2 7
flag danielsapp Plus (Mar 10, 2021 at 7:29) (Below Threshold)
 It is compatible with a bladder.
  • 33 1
 Backpack $220 for 10L - $22 bucks a liter. Carton of beer $50* for 9L - $5.56 bucks a liter. You do the math.
  • 5 1
 Damn you guys are getting hosed down there. A 30-rack of 12 oz Miller High Lifes (~10.5L) goes for $18.99 USD (~$25 AUD) at the liquor store down the street. Works out to about $1.80/L of sweet, sweet cheap beer.
  • 5 0
 @sjma: It's been a decade-plus but when I was in OZ they had just bumped the taxes on beer to curb binge drinking. We did wine bongs instead.
  • 5 0
 @sjma: Well if we are comparing water prices, it only costs about 0.2c/L in Aus
  • 3 0
 @tysoe753: haha! got eem
  • 1 0
 @tysoe753: water? you mean the stuff you need to take a shower?
  • 26 4
 my old camelbak from 5 years ago had back protection built in too! if you crashed and landed on your back, you had the bladder full of water to cushion your landing! bonus for it cooling you down too...
  • 6 19
flag ybsurf (Mar 10, 2021 at 3:32) (Below Threshold)
 So the way you see you hydration bag is not drinking the water to protect your back? Make sense.
  • 15 0
 Expensive for sure, but I got 2 evoc backpack since 6/7years, I'm doing absolutely everythink possible with them and they are indestructible. Real pleasure to buy that kind of product !
  • 8 0
 Quality is second to none in every aspect; details, materials used, seams, etc
It's incredible.
  • 1 0
 @t-stoff: zips get in bad condition after approx 3 years of use
  • 5 2
 My primary problem with evoc packs is that they are too long and sit too high when the hip strap is on. This causes collision with any fullface helmet on the steeper sections of trail causing a huge discomfort, especially when wearing goggles (it seems that a fullface with goggles tends to sit more in place). Tried M/L ans S/M. S/M fits better but the belt is just too short (I am rather slim guy measuring 180cm). S/Ms are clearly designed for people around 170cm and less.
So if you have a bit shorter torso, go borrow this pack and take a ride with a fullface before buying.
  • 3 0
 I have the same problem with an Evoc FR Enduro Blackline (the construction is different though). It keeps sliding up and pushing my open face helmet down in my face, of course always in the steepes and trickiest parts of the trail where you want it the least. Real bummer. I did cut the cord so that it can't get hooked in the helmet (another terrible thing to happen when you ride tricky stuff- not beeing able to move your head anymore cuz your helmet is attached to the backpack).
  • 3 0
 @mtb-journal: I think their sizing guide was a bit off when I bought FR Trail 20L in M/L size. I'm 175cm high and the backpack was definitely too long. Gave it away and also bought FR Enduro Blackline (16L) like you, but in S size. Much, much better in my opinion. Also the hip strap was never even close to being short, wearing whatever clothing (I'm slim though). In regards what lkubica writes, seems that maybe they've changed their sizing again as the FR Trail and Enduro models are few years old now?
  • 2 0
 @mtb-journal: same backpack and same terrible event! Steep descent and new helmet (IXS Trail RS EVO), my helmet got hooked by the backpack and I couldn't move my head until I stopped and realized what happened. I'll consider to cut it as well, thanks for the suggestion.
  • 2 0
 @Archimonde: Ok, the hip belt was not too short, just shortish. I could fasten it, but there was little overlap.
  • 2 0
 I'm 1.85m and I tried on a Neo in M/L size. I had to return it cause it kept touching my helmet in the downhills. It seems that it happens when the setup is not correct, I guess the bag is supposed to stay low in the back. But still I think there is something wrong with the sizing.
  • 2 0
 @granjak: This happens with previous gen Evocs as well, even with open-face helmets. The pack will slide forwards on the steeps.
  • 1 1
 That’s funny, my problem is most packs are too short BUT the Evoc Blackline comes in long and longer.

EVOC makes great packs, look for them on sale in the winter.
  • 1 0
 you should try a "stage", they are shorter and waaaay more comfortable
16L, but no back protector
  • 6 1
 But can I fit a bottle cage?
  • 1 0
 I have one of the older evoc protector packs and it seems the new ones still feature my biggest bugbear with them. The hip strap is really dense and hot. It probably acts as a kidney protector, but it's just annoying on a hot day. Yes, I can undo it and wrap it behind on the climbs, but I'm already faffing with my goggles at the bottom of the descent, and the trails are just too short here to bother...
  • 5 0
 I have the FR ENDURO and I really like the hip strap for the feature you dislike! It is really useful in cold days to keep my belly warm, where I would suffer with cold temperatures and wind.
  • 3 0
 That is a major plus for me as most backpacks have thin straps that are either loose and the backpack moves all over the place or are uncomfortably cutting into my belly when tightened.
  • 1 0
 The Camelbak K.U.D.U. has a similar waist strap. It does a good job of keeping the pack from moving but it does get hot.
  • 1 0
 I've an EVOC stage for my soon and overall I really like...and He like it too! Personal opinion about the color.....On this one why not to push little more far for more shiny colors....In the end in case of problems a red, orange or something similar would be much more visible on the trails....this color is like a camo in the middle of the woods.
  • 5 0
 This is all well and good, but how's that EXT fork review coming on?
  • 4 1
 But is there room for my spare wheel? What about the extra crankset I carry? I never leave home without a few extra derailleurs...
  • 1 0
 Sorry ,and yes they do make you sweat a little bit in the low back not so much in the front waist but in the back yes ,but i guess they all do even that new trend of waist funny packs ,but I can’t ride without a backpack anymore it’s strange ,cause in the summer I can get home in my flip flops and put my riding shoes stored in the pack :-)))
  • 1 0
 I wonder if I put the backpack protector ( CE2) in my Evoc Explorer 30l it will works the same?
I hear the systems that are ventilated and are away from your body will accelarate during impact before hitting your back. Still better to have protector and distract that energy for wider area. Anyone got experience with that?
I also read in some MTB tests that backpacks full of clothes with hydration bladder works pretty much the same as CE1 protector stand alone.
  • 5 0
 Tüv sagt ja
  • 4 1
 Totally
  • 1 0
 ik zeg nee
  • 3 1
 I don't see any certification here against impacts. TÜV means exactly nothing. It's just institution that gives a green light that it is safe to use.
  • 4 0
 It's CE Level 2 according to their website
  • 4 0
 @Attilauk: Thanks. EN-1621-2 CE Level 2 is a good protection level.
  • 4 1
 I just couldn’t imagine wanting to take a bag this big on 98.7% of the riding I do...
  • 1 1
 Using the fr16 with the back protector for 3 years and it’s fine but getting old like real old ,the thing that it’s connected to the zipper (plastic)just almost are breaking (sun and water make them to break),the Velcro that holds the water pack just doesn’t work anymore (solve that please evoc ,make a strap thing like in the chest area,click last for ever ),the “guides” that holds the straps adjustments are to stretch and there for can not do their job ,leaving you with flying straps all around ,but the rest is very good it has all the space for almost every tool and the space for clothes are not bad at all (it can carry 2 bottles of wine real fine,one of each side of the water pack Smile ) )the tool compartment could be maybe 2cm higher till the close zip (but ok)the helmet store is fine ,and the knee pads also ,I bough the same pack this year cause the Neo seems to be a little to much and I think it doesn’t hold the helmet and the pads at the same time (good on the rain cover,but I pass that,and you could offer one in the others packs and a water pack (like you used to) ),but this new one I think it’s more refined in tools store department but it lacks the somethings that the fr has ,it’s not cheap but for the treatment that I have doing to it ,how could I say ?make them cheap and offer a water pack and why not a rain cover (pick 2 ?- water pack and the rain cover )
  • 2 0
 Sold all of my evocs for one USWE. While the latter is far from perfect, has a few kirks and lacks some pockets, it's way more comfortable without any hopping around.
  • 2 0
 Imagine all the sandwiches I can carry in that thing!
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