High Above Announces All-New Lightweight Nova Hip Pack

Apr 25, 2022 at 12:22
by High Above  
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PRESS RELEASE: High Above

We started High Above in 2011 out of a back bedroom in Seattle after accepting some bad advice from a friend: "Start a pack company" he said, "it'll be fun". Following some good advice from his brother, Owner, JC Canfield started making mountain bike hip packs, which were different than, and had absolutely no similarity to fanny packs. It's really technical and we don't have time to explain the differences right now. Now deeply rooted in nearby Bellingham, we focus on what we do best, which is making high quality and domestically built mountain bike products for all of your dirt adventures. We are excited to announce an all-new lightweight, smart and clever hip pack - The Nova.

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The $90 Nova is our newest Hip Pack, built with the intention to take you further and lighter while spending less money in the process. The Nova is carefully crafted from lightweight waterproof X-Pac material, it features a super clever, integrated water bottle holder that easily folds away when not in use with the help of a low profile Fidlock magnetic buckle. A pared down design gives you nearly the same space as The Lookout Hip Pack, with a sleeker design and lighter weight. SOLAS reflective tape is strategically hidden beneath the lash tab for extra visibility at night, in addition to a place where you can easily attach a blinky light. Currently offered in Blue AF, Coyote, and Red colorways.


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Low profile magnetic Fidlock buckle that folds away when not in use.

Product Features:

- Dimensions: 9" x 3" x 5.25'" (LxWxH)
- Crafted from US made lightweight waterproof VX21 X-Pac
- Integrated water bottle pocket with Fidlock buckle to fold away when not in use
- Heavy duty nylon webbing
- Three interior pockets
- YKK Aquaguard #8 zippers for unrivaled weatherproofing and durability
- Internal key clip
- Extra-Long para-cord zipper pulls for ease of entry
- ETC straps to hold a jacket, knee pads, or your favorite local burrito.
- Option for additional bottle carry on left side
- Weight: 204 grams or 7.2 ounces with a buckle

bigquotesThe Nova has the quality materials you expect from High Above, but come in at a slightly lower price point. Will we ever compete with some $45 alternative or what you found at a thrift store? Absolutely not. We can try to maintain our brand's ethos of making great gear that we stand behind, even in a world of ever inflating prices.Owner, JC Canfield

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We proudly stand behind domestic manufacturing partnerships and supply chain, in addition to sustainable, low waste manufacturing practices. We build products that are able to withstand mud, dirt, blood, beer, and whatever else you put them through. However, from time to time, your bag may need a little extra attention, which is why they offer repairs if needed, gratis.For life. All products are shipped in 100% biodegradable mailers, and are hand sewn in Bellingham and Seattle, Washington.

For more details visit: highabove.net

Author Info:
HighAbove avatar

Member since Nov 13, 2017
2 articles

104 Comments
  • 43 5
 The best feature for a hip pack is the ability to carry a second water bottle, I don’t know why more manufacturers don’t include that option.
  • 9 1
 Hm, I think there are more than enough of them providing this option Smile (some can carry even two water bottles, whether you want to is another question…)
You can also check cross-country (nordic) skiing hip-packs, almost all of them carry additional water and are comfortable.
I am looking for a comfortable lightweight hip-bag without water bottle option but with a wider elastic strap… So far there are only two brands with this type, Evoc with Hip Pack Pro 3 (which I have but is too heavy, can carry two water bottles if needed) and Scott, but their belly-strap is tooo long for a skinny person…
  • 12 0
 @ice29: Fair. I really like drinks
  • 3 1
 think easier. 2L max bladder. sippy straw with magnets. hip packs can do water like your used to. i have dakines 5L and the only thing its missing is some molly on the sides for attaching modular tool kit stuff and a phone sleeve, maybe small folding saw case in spring, mini first aid kit, smoke kit, etc. makes it more into a like a cop belt with everything spread around and accessible
  • 2 0
 The Patagonia 5L waist pack is what you're looking for if you don't want to get a pack with an integrated bladder. It can hold 1 bottle on each side and has cinches to tighten them down, plus a massive main pocket and a smaller pocket on the front for keys and zip ties etc. I like taking that one on big rides - tube, CO2 canisters, tire levers, mini chain lube bottle, mini first aid kit, a packable shell jacket, a sandwich, misc snacks, and a big iPhone all fit in with room to spare.
  • 3 0
 Camelbak Podium Flow is what I use. It holds my wallet/keys/snacks/multitool and can also hold an included water bottle all for only $45
  • 1 0
 @Gregmurray50: This; it's low profile, snug, lightweight, and most importantly (imo) the water bottle doesn't flop around or make the bag feel imbalanced.
  • 1 0
 I chatted with the company about adding a second bottle option and they said it's possible. It was a chat via Instagram later in the evening so while I purchased the pack, I didn't follow up on how to make it possible. I carry a Osprey pack currently with the option for two and honestly I've been finding myself with one more often and just putting the second on my bike. Just my style and preference as I most of my rides are under 2 hours and I have yet to run out of water. I will say after getting a limited run Nova I am excited to try it, but feel my Osprey may continue to be my go to pack as it has features that I prefer over the High Above.
  • 3 0
 @ice29: I have an EVOC. It's an amazing hip pack. The overlapping velcro strap thing in incredible. But good luck getting a bottle back into the slot while riding.
  • 4 0
 The Rapha hip pack is really well made, feels like it disappears when I put it on and only costs $80…it takes 2 bottles.
  • 6 9
 @motdrawde There's this thing called jersey pockets and/or bib pockets that totally eliminate the need for a hip pack. It is an industry secret, but I thought you should know about it.
  • 1 1
 Osprey Savu carries two water bottles. And after owning it for almost 2 years, I finally realized I can stick one bottle inside my knee pads and pop the snaps to accommodate 2 bottles & knee pads for those long climbs to the top. It's pretty freaking versatile.
  • 3 1
 High Above makes multiple packs that can carry two bottles. I have the Venture that has a Fidlock mount on my right, and a cinch pocket on the left to carry an extra water bottle, or in most cases, a beer Smile
  • 2 0
 @vbjornsson: Does the price double? Cause...$90 for a mini-purse.
  • 3 0
 @unrooted: Yes, I like mine.
  • 7 0
 This one does! You can add an optional pocket for a bottle on the left side in addition the the integrated one on the right. We're just a rabble of mountain bikers over here and didn't run this press release through the PR firm before pressing send.
  • 5 0
 @blowmyfuse: its a mini purse if you want it to be. No-one here is judging you.
  • 1 0
 Why don't they just put bottle cage studs on both sides? Then I can add whatever I want and satisfy my "nO SPacE fOr a bOTtle cAGe?!" twice over.
  • 4 0
 @foggnm: I can’t ride without cargo bibs anymore. Lumbar pockets are amazing.
  • 2 0
 @ice29: Check out the Osprey Savu 5, the water bottle holders collapse completely when not in use. Pretty light weight but still has a solid lumbar/belt setup for comfort.
  • 1 0
 @HighAbove: let’s be honest, it’s a full-size purse, one wears on their hips.
  • 1 1
 @ice29: race face rip strip
  • 2 0
 @foggnm: also they only do them with lycra for obvious reasons but there's is a lot of riders out there (including me) that don't want to look like a sausage
  • 2 0
 @HighAbove: these honest wholesome replies got you another sale, even though my V1 from 2016 (I think?) is far from dead!
  • 1 0
 you mean the 2nd beer bruh
  • 2 0
 @blowmyfuse: It's a retro-mod fanny pack...$90 please.
  • 2 0
 @recneps57: Just for info for others, I have an Osprey Savu 2 and that even is pretty amazing, so I second that brand. It's held up during heavy crashes and never had a bottle fling out. I use it all the time. Another ultra lightweight option with water bottle holders is the Lab Austere hip pack that mtbyumyum loves.
  • 28 2
 Skipping the never ending debate about whether hip packs are a way forward/backwards, it is very impressive to deliver a high spec product made sustainably in a developed economy for $90USD.
Still gonna look like a dweeb tourist but I’m comfortable with that…
  • 6 0
 Sounds like you are over the age of 33? But is okay to call it a fanny pack.
  • 7 0
 @femto505: Not in the UK. Fanny has a different connotation vs US.
  • 2 0
 @paulskibum: So you can't say "Yo girl I'd like a Fanny Pack"?
  • 1 0
 @paulskibum: haha, yep, same in Ireland I found out
  • 1 0
 @paulskibum: a lot folks from the UK that head to Canada. Not sure if you learned the hard way?
  • 1 0
 Forwards vs backwards... they get the weight off your back and move it to your hips which is forwards for anybody with back issues.
  • 1 0
 @femto505: Most Brits are aware of the difference, many North Americans who go to the UK are not.
  • 1 0
 @femto505: Utility belt
  • 15 0
 Never ceases to amaze me that brands launch any kind of bag/"pack" with no photos of the straps or buckle system. One of the selling points of Evoc's bags are the straps, and basic straps on other bags have put me off them. For a bag like these they're even more important, so why not take a photo of them?
  • 2 0
 I've got a 1L Evoc pack which is amazing and goes everywhere with me. The straps are annoying though, you need to have 5 minutes to spare in a calm environment to get them set.

In contrast a mates DaKine pack can be tightened/loosened with one hand
  • 3 0
 @HankHank: I use the same Evoc 1l one and although the straps can be fiddly to set up, once they're set just stay as they are for me. The only time I ever really need to change them is when we have random weather swings (like we had recently, going from riding in 3 layers to just a T-shirt), or if I've been guzzling food and need a little extra 'comfort room'... The actual strap system works really well though in my experience, and the bonus pockets on the wings are super handy.

Just seems a shame that these guys didn't get their model to do a 180 during that 'lifestyle' shoot so people could see what the deal was.

Good to know about the Dakine one though, looking at potentially getting a slightly larger bag so may take a look into that one. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @CleanZine: yes once it's set its brilliant, and those bonus pockets are good for snacks.

You'd think taking a photo showing the whole product would be top of the list...
  • 4 0
 They offer many different ones, basic, cobra, and fidloc. Options too. Impressive for a company of that size to think through those details. Can’t customize Patagonia bags
  • 6 0
 Actually, they have 3 different buckle systems to choose from when you make your order. Standard, fidlock and cobra. The drink holders are pretty small and easily removable. I was hesitant due to it being a little pricey, but this is more or less a custom fanny pack handmade here in the states and I can get behind that. I got the Cascadia with 2 bottle holder and cobra buckle and am not at all disappointed. Would highly recommend.
  • 2 0
 And I've yet to find a pack with a strap system that doesn't eventually dig into my dad-bod belly. I'd really like something a little taller around the entire circumference of my stomach. Maybe something akin those those safety belts people wear in warehouses (in case of heavy lifting).
  • 2 0
 @dgsmith15: The Evoc Hip Pack Pro 3l (take a bow, marketing guy) has a deeper waist strap than most other brands I think. It's more of a wrap than a strap. May be what you're looking for?
  • 2 0
 @dgsmith15: the EVOC bag is the one for you then. Large stretchy strap thats pretty comfortable
  • 2 1
 @washedup: That's cool, but on their site there don't appear to be photos of most of the things you listed. I had a look at one of the other bags that also offered them, but there wasn't anything to show what a "Cobra" buckle even is. I've seen Fidlock through helmets before, but genuinely hadn't heard of Cobra before.

It's just a really low bar that they have seemingly failed to clear. If you're selling online then photos showing what people are buying - especially if you're offering something as a $30 upgrade - is the bare minimum.

This isn't a slight on the company or products themselves, it's just weird to me. That said part of my job is shooting product photos for online retailers, so...
  • 1 0
 the average consumer is more focused superficially on what the bag & compartments look like as opposed the attachment / suspension (which is definately more functionally important)

I've noticed this with backpacks as well. A plethora of bling pictures from the back and side.....because how fasionable it looks apparently is what really matters.
  • 1 0
 @CleanZine: Looks promising. My last pack was the Dakine Seeker 6L and man o man does it start to feel like a bungee cord after a while.
  • 7 0
 @CleanZine: Thanks for the feedback! We just transitioned to a new website, which could use photos helping illustrate the options we carry. They're on this hard drive somewhere...
  • 4 0
 @CleanZine: I have a Lookout Hip Pack from High Above and love it. I ordered it with the Fidlock buckle but then wanted to upgrade to the Cobra. They did it free of charge and were quick and awesome to work with. They have descriptions of the buckle upgrades on their website under accessories. But I do agree that it would be helpful to have these in the product descriptions themselves. Overall, they make a great product and I will be purchasing from them again.
  • 2 0
 @Machuntt: that's cool - should probably have pointed out earlier that it did look good, and I do appreciate what they're doing overall despite being a sourpuss about product photos!
  • 3 0
 @CleanZine: you're an expert on product photos, not a sourpuss! Where were you when we were transitioning our website!?
  • 15 1
 Nice product. I just don't care for fanny packs....I bring my 40L EVOC pack on every ride! Be safe be well, Incognito Robin
  • 1 0
 @notoutsideceo even the e-gravel rides?!
  • 6 0
 @Kyleponga: You know it. Better safe than sorry...take me home gravel roads!

Be safe be well,
Incognito Robin
  • 9 0
 So if it is pointed at your fanny it’s a hip pack and if it’s pointed at your belly it’s a fanny pack!! Ok got it tup
  • 13 4
 Why are the designs so plain and boring? I want zebra and tiger stripes with American flags.
  • 6 0
 Give me that Zubaz pants look!
  • 10 0
 Careful, pit viper lurks around here and might get more ideas!
  • 2 0
 Add Patches...make em ur own steez
  • 2 0
 Look up Jammy Packs Smile
  • 7 0
 The simple idea is that we want to make a product that will last longer than your Pit Vipers in function and appearance.
  • 1 1
 @sjma: at least they did until they got run out of the comments for plugging a job and then saying that it’s gauche to talk about money after someone asked them to disclose the pay range.
  • 2 0
 @sjma: am here, soakin ideas
  • 10 5
 For the ubiquitous cellphone a hip-pack or backpack has to be the safest way to carry it. Carrying a cellphone in the pockets of your shorts is uncomfortable and likely to break it in a crash.
  • 7 1
 I dont find it uncomfortable at all, I do have an iPhone 8 though since its a lot smaller than the current ones. Meanwhile I stopped using a small backpack cause it caused me loads of back pain riding, never tried a hip pack but very reluctant to put strain on my back, if I do go out into the wilderness I would just take a normal bag, and if I can't fit it in my pockets for a ride without a pack then I don't need it. Never broke a phone in my pocket either with a crash.
  • 8 1
 A lot of the riders in DH world cups seem to do just fine with phone in pocket. At least in practise/qualis based on photographs.
  • 2 4
 @toad321: front pocket? Side pocket? back pocket? Heavy object moving with each pedal stroke or bump.
  • 5 3
 just had a massive crash in the mountains at the weekend with my phone in my chest pocket of my MT500 top. Phone and me fine.
Then again, sticking a strap around your waist (restricting breathing capacity) and packing stuff like a multi tool, phone, air canisters, couple of water bottles. around your lumber spine sounds far more safe!
  • 3 0
 You can comfortable ride with a phone in your pocket provided that you have side or better yest rear pockets (endura humvee and old singletracks have the best rear pockets ever, don't know why endura stopped using them). My problem with hip pack is that a phone in horizontal orientation can be felt on your back, and there are almost no hip packs that allows you to carry a phone vertically, the only one I know is dakine stealth and I use it when riding with long pants (which regretably do not have proper rear or side pocket).
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: got multiple pairs of those Enduras with the side / rear pockets, super comfortable, carry phone, cliff bar, etc, never feel the stuff there, love em
  • 3 0
 I can attest to this. I had my iphone 6s in a side pocket during an enduro race. I crashed hard and it took a direct hit to a rock, bending the frame but not cracking the screen somehow. Now I put everything in a hip pack!
  • 3 0
 @iduckett: Maybe you should consider your iPhone 6 took one for the team? Bent phone frame is better than a bent femur.
  • 4 0
 @tigerfish50: I honestly think it prevented me breaking my leg - much cheaper than a hospital! On the plus side it made a nice hand hold... I used it for a full year after that too.

I will also say, all my Club Ride shorts and pants now have pockets that put your phone on the back next to my hamstrings.
  • 4 1
 Hmmm... "we" were ridiculed for our "BumBags" (marathonmtb.com/2013/07/12/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-euro-racing) and now it's the hottest shit? Ok,... to bad I skipped that "trend" Wink
  • 2 0
 Had my High Above pack for 3 years now, looks brand new.

Comfortable and looks as dope as a fanny pack can. The ability to lash stuff on top is great (sunglasses, jacket, keys to yo mama's house). You can add additional bottleholders (looks like you can on the new one too). You can almost certainly ask them to make you a custom color if that's your MO too.

Keep up the good work!
  • 2 0
 I’m a big fan of the new big shorts that have all the hidden tight pockets. Enough space for my cellphone and some food. Throw the baggies over and I’m g2g.
  • 2 0
 I guess with a brand name like that you aren't a value play. I'll stick with my fake beer belly fanny pack on top of my actual beer belly.
  • 1 0
 I had a hip pack that I really liked, but after someone I know suffered a serious spinal cord injury, I switched over to a backpack with some integrated spine protection.
  • 2 0
 I must have missed the pic of a water bottle in the pack?
  • 5 7
 If only someone would make a shirt that had pockets in the back that could carry more than a fanny pack, and design it specifically for riding bikes so items would stay secure and not fall out, and make these shirts slim fitting enough that they wouldn't slow you down. They could even add a zipper so it would be easy to open in the summer heat... Oh wait.
  • 8 1
 MTB stuff is bigger than road stuff, and things bounce out of jerseys on mountain bike rides, and they’re more expensive, and you look like a dweeb at the bar after.
  • 6 1
 Most riders shouldn't be seen in that sausage casing.
  • 2 0
 @rickybobby18: I think you'd look like a dweeb at the bar with your fanny pack too if you wore it there. Never tried making a fashion statement in my jersey, but I have finished 80 mile trail rides with it. I generally change clothes after I go on a ride - not sure who would wear lycra to the bar besides ladies in their active wear.

To each their own, I think hip packs are cool and fine but not really how I like to ride. Just a bit of a sarcastic joke that there's already a pretty good system for carrying anything you need to ride with. I am guilty of making fun of people wearing ridiculously large backpacks for their 8 mile loops, but I digress...
  • 2 0
 F’ing hotlaps bro!

I don’t ride with a pack but when I do…
  • 1 1
 "and are hand sewn in Bellingham and Seattle"

What poor bastard is gonna sit there all day hand sewing this stuff ?
no one, they use a sewing machine for sure
  • 1 0
 Sorry, to much yellow rope for me, they looks to heavy.
  • 1 0
 So how light is 'lightweight'? Like ... on a scale.
  • 3 0
 Great question! We left that out because it's proprietary information/ forgot.

The bag is 204 grams or 7.2 oz. Or .0321 stone, whatever the hell that is.
  • 1 1
 The Toronto Maple Leafs fanny pack from Zellers I still have works the same.
  • 1 0
 Be better if modelled with swimsuits so we can see how they sit.
  • 1 0
 Bonus points for the Pickle Rick sticker on the top tube!
  • 1 0
 I will stick with my Evoc thank you very much
  • 1 0
 Just got a seat box... problem solved..
  • 1 0
 Breaking news!
  • 1 0
 Osprey Savu is the play.
  • 1 1
 Whose grandma made this in their basement? BOOOOOORRRRIIIINNNNGGGGG!
  • 1 0
 Looks really good
  • 1 2
 $90?! Cool and simple but that seems high.... pass for me...
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