Patagonia Nine Trails Hydration Pack - Review

Jan 4, 2018 at 12:17
by Richard Cunningham  
Patagonia Hydration pack


Patagonia says its re-entry into mountain biking is targeted specifically at the adventure and trail segment of the sport. That's what their people resonate with most, which explains why one of the first accessories to spring forth from Patagonia is this hydration pack. Dubbed the Nine Trails hydration pack, this medium-sized design features a breathable back panel, padded shoulder straps, contoured to minimize claustrophobia, with a side-closure hip belt that has padded wings and built-in zip pockets.
Nine Trails Details
• Lightweight construction, reinforced at wear points, two-liter storage
• Two-liter hydration bladder, quick-release hose
• Padded, ventilated-mesh harness and waist
• Colors: grey, green and blue
• Weight: 1.34 pounds/610g
• MSRP: $139 USD
• Contact: Patagonia

We reviewed the new 14-liter model (storage options increase from 14 to 36 liters throughout the range). Storage is ample, with extra room in the partitioned bladder compartment, and the usual zip-access main compartment which houses an organizing pocket, a key clip, and elastic mini-pump loops. Outside, one rear pouch and a pair of side pouch-pockets made from stretchy material let you stash quick-access items like spare gloves and a windbreaker. A pair of compression straps on the sides of the pack also double as a helmet retainer. The Patagonia branded two-liter bladder has a quick-release hose and a wide, slide-style seal opening. Color options are Forge Grey, Sprouted Green, and Strait Blue, with two sizes available: sm/med (reviewed) and lrg/xlrg. The MSRP is $139 USD.


Patagonia Hydration pack
Padded shoulder straps designed to contour around the torso. The chest strap clips to web ladders sewn to the straps.
Patagonia Hydration pack
Side zips in the waistband.
Patagonia hydration pack
Offset buckle on the hip belt.
Patagonia Hydration pack
Molded back panel covered by breathable mesh. Padded wings transfer load to the hips.

Patagonia Hydration pack
The main compartment has pump loops, a key clip, and one non-zip tool pocket.


On Trail

Patagonia's angle on the crowded hydration pack market is to offer up a simpler, more comfortable alternative. I liked the side closure and single-adjustment waist band right away. One ribbon of dangling webbing is much better than two, and the side buckle is more comfortable to wear. Shoulder straps are contoured in a way that minimizes their presence on the body and the chest strap clips onto military-style webbing ladders, so once set, it doesn't wander. Overall, the Nine Trails is designed and executed very well. It doesn't bounce while descending and it distributes its weight evenly and effortlessly between the shoulders and hips.

The two-liter bladder seems small for a mid-sized hydration pack. With many riders returning to bike-mounted water bottles, it seems that the value of wearing a pack would be to carry more fluids than may be practical on a frame or in cargo bibs. The bladder did not taste like plastic and, if that's how you roll, its slider-sealing mouth is large enough to add ice cubes. On the down-side, the smallish bite valve flowed well if I got it right, but when I did not, it offered up a pathetic dribble.

Inside the pack the lack of a zippered pocket had me concerned that my tools, CO2 paraphernalia, and spares would be playing musical chairs while I banged through the rocks, but so far, everything has stayed put. As a precautionary measure, I was mindful to keep the pack upright when not wearing it. The bladder compartment is separated in two roomy spaces. I stashed my wind jacket inside to pad my camera and give the pack some shape. I occasionally used the stretchy, open-ended outer pocket when I was shedding layers on longer rides. It would be great for irregular-shaped items.

The pair of small, quick-access pockets on each side of the pack were thoughtful, but less than handy. Their angle is such that loose items can be ejected while riding, and that included a pair of gloves that I still miss. While walking, however, the side pockets sit at a better angle, so I would recommend using them when hiking only.

Patagonia Hydration pack
The stretch-fabric outer pocket extends the Nine Trails' capacity for all-day rides and winter layering.


Patagonia Hydration pack
Open quick-access side pockets proved problematic.
Patagonia Hydration pack
Smallish bite valve can be switched off for transport.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesPatagonia's Nine Trails does not re-invent the wheel, but it is one of the better medium-sized hydration packs I've worn in the past three years. I'd like to see a larger bladder and a zip pocket inside the main compartment to secure essentials. That said, its strong points are its versatile design, how comfortable it is to ride with, and how lightweight it feels, even when loaded up.RC



72 Comments

  • + 25
 I am a huge Patagonia advocate aside from their bike access policies, but their backpacks in both cycling and skiing leave something to be desired when compared to others. Just stick to sick puffy jackets and pants.
  • + 0
 How is Patagonia anti mountain biking? If you're going to level an accusation, back that up with some substance.
  • - 3
 @meagerdude: I second that.
  • + 5
 @meagerdude: that’s funny, I never mentioned them being anti MTB, completely different subject than their access policies.
  • + 9
 @andnyleswillriot: Yep, they're not exactly outright against MTB, it's their stance on turning millions of acres (i.e. Utah) into massive Monuments or National Parks, which does not allow mountain biking. Their company is protesting Utah leadership and even left their booth at the Outdoor Retailer Show to march on the capital.

They've twisted the word conservation into a, "If you don't support us, you hate polar bears" kind of thing. There is no compromise. Patagonia refuses to listen to local Utah Navajo tribes that they don't want certain designations as it will remove hunting.

www.good4utah.com/news/local-navajo-rally-against-plans-to-designate-bears-ears-area-as-national-monument/460998903

Patagonia can do what they want, but intentional or not, their leadership has made moves that would result in mountain bikes being pulled from trail access.

I for one won't buy Patagonia products.

They're not against MTB, but they're no friends of the STC type of viewpoints.
  • + 12
 @MattMan33: Monuments don't disallow mountain biking. There are 6 other tribes advocating FOR Bears Ears?
  • + 1
 @MattMan33: Thank you for being rad!
  • + 12
 @MattMan33: The issue is not mountain bike access in Utah, it's about mining and drilling access. The reduction in the size of those Monuments exactly corresponds to the areas that contain exploitable resources. Highly doubt that the owners of said oil rigs and mining operations will want any riders in their vicinity. Access correlates directly with dollars given to politicians. MTB are grouped in with environmental groups, our access will be similar to theirs; basically, we'll be screwed.
  • + 1
 @deaner2: Monument designation generally does disallow MTB. While some do allowing biking in a VERY limited way, most are banned.

I do find it funny that designation happens with a stroke of a pen with little to no studies on environmental and local economic impact and everyone thinks it's great. Then when you reduce (not reverse) the designation people lose their minds.

As a local that has spent a lot of time in both Bears Ears and Escalante, I can tell you that I'm not opposed to the monument designation, it's the size and haste that the moments were created that I oppose.
  • + 15
 I came here for the politics. Gotta go grab my ethically sourced popcorn. Be right back!
  • + 13
 Osprey thinks this looks familiar….
  • + 17
 very similar to my Raptor 14. just slightly worse and more expensive
  • + 3
 @arrowheadrush: if you buy this you can #resist though..
  • + 0
 It's green
  • + 5
 Patagonia made a back like this a decade ago. Really liked it but it is wearing thin. Maybe Osprey idea not so original
  • + 7
 I feel like it's worth mentioning that Patagonia's product backup is phenomenal, if you break or damage it for the lifetime of the product they'll repair it for free, which is rare these days. Also it's good to support a brand pushing for positive changes in the world both in terms of manufacturing impact on the environment and working conditions for employees.
  • - 5
flag Gregorysmithj1 (Jan 5, 2018 at 20:17) (Below Threshold)
 They are a goods seller they are in it to create more products with their logo on them.
  • + 2
 @Gregorysmithj1: you mean they want to sell stuff so they can pay their employees? What a-holes.
  • + 7
 Looks like a pretty generic backpack to me. Hydration packs for runners are a million times better designed for mountain biking, such as those made by Solomon. I love my Skin Pro 15L. It's super small and light, moves with the body really well due to elastic straps across the chest. And for the life of me I can't figure out why some companies still are not putting small pockets on the forward portion of the shoulder straps. I can easily fit a small sandwich on one side, and 4-5 energy bars on the other. That way I can eat on the go, and don't have to take my pack off during my ride and I'm able to eat and drink. I just don't get why hydration packs designed for runners are SO much better than packs designed for mountain biking...
  • + 3
 I guess it just comes down to what market wants. The running world is all over Trails and Ultra's, mtb is all about Enduro, water bottles, fanny packs and sticking multitools in every cavity of the bike. The only trend that seems durable in mtb backpacks is those with some back protection, hence bulkier and harder than a superlight running pack. Not gonna miss my wet cold Camelback pushing in my neck when going steep TBH.
  • + 5
 I love all my patagonia gear I’ve got second hand because the local Patagonia store will fix my old used shit for free as if I’m the original owner,that lifetime warranty is legit. all of you people buying the retail Patagonia stuff and selling it used to me on craigslist,kudos
  • + 4
 How about breath-ability. I usually have Camelbak but since finding Deuter, I will stick to that system that keeps the pack away from your back and has support in case of an OTB episode along with vented shoulder straps. The Race Exp AIr is an awesome pack.It is also much less in price than this pack (Cdn 76.00) and is a 12 + 3l pack.
  • + 1
 Been eagerly waiting for the pack to arrive into stock in the UK and it has today.. To my surprise it retails at £150 ??????? How can this be Patagonia when it retails on your US site at $139?????? The exchange rate is $1.4 to £1 english pound. This means the US price would be $214. Even for a die hard Patagonia fan thats a disgrace!!!!!
  • + 3
 They want to sell stuff for Mt. Bikers, but they are against trail access for Mt. Bikers! They only want to profit from our sport!
  • + 19
 I'm not familiar with this, please elaborate. Not trolling, genuinely curious.
  • - 10
flag laxguy (Jan 5, 2018 at 8:21) (Below Threshold)
 fuck pattagucci, they're doing nothing for us.
  • - 3
 Lol at $130 something that’s cheaper than most other brands mtb specific packs @laxguy:
  • + 9
 yes, please expand on where Patagonia are working towards pushing bikes of trails!
  • + 7
 @tblore: that's definitely not true
  • + 8
 Did you know you can buy stuff from Pagagonia and if it tears or breaks you can ship it to them and they will fix it for free or very cheap. @laxguy:
  • + 5
 @mtb505: go onto their social media or website. They are a very environmentalist brand, and they think that bikes are destructive to nature along with motorcycles and other off road vehicles.
  • + 7
 @mtb505: They are a typical outdoorsy company that are against wilderness trail access in the US. It seems that every outdoor company that is not a bike company is against our trail access in the US. If you are not a mountain biker you just don't understand is what I say.
  • - 5
flag connorjuliusjohnson (Jan 5, 2018 at 9:24) (Below Threshold)
 @tannerd: Going to hope in this convo and say thats outright not true. They do take political and or environmental stand ie Bear Ears and with good reason.
  • + 8
 @connorjuliusjohnson: I agree with you. Many here have already put on their blinders, and regardless of their opinion, ride primarily at resort bike parks and established trail centres anyway, not "wilderness". So many fail to realize the term "wilderness" is loaded with philosophical and sentimental meaning that differs greatly from the government policy meaning of the term, in the US and around the world. But, hey - this being the internet...
  • + 2
 Can we move the buckle from a central location that can be actuated by different limbs to a more offset location that inhibits use and sits on the one bony prominence in the vicinity?
  • + 4
 EVOC! nice and sturdy materials, you can feel the quality, and it's breathable!
  • + 1
 Evoc packs are slightly stronger, but they are ultra heavy and everything but breathable. Yes they do look nice, but that's not the main point of a backpack, right ?
  • + 1
 Probably sprayed with perfluorocarbons (PFC) for water proofing like every plastic clothing. PFC is never broken down is just accumulated in nature until it finds its way back to us. One teaspoon of PFC in an olympic swimming pool is toxic to humans. Imagine that. But hey, go marketing! Disgusting...
  • + 0
 FAK, thats disgusting
  • + 13
 I'd say if any brand is aware of what's going on with the current state of DWR coatings it's Patagonia. Just read here: www.patagonia.com/blog/2015/09/our-dwr-problem-updated

They are on C6 as most brands are now, and like all progressive brands are looking at C0 as the next step. It's a balance though of what consumers expect from a waterproof treatment, vs. what it's environmental footprint is. Patagonia is a large enough brand to help drive the message across the outdoor industry, and has enough reach and sales volume to make any changes meaningful. If small brand X does something great regarding use of non-PFC coatings and it only benefits 500 customers, is it as impact-full as a brand like Patagonia that could reach 1000x as many people?
  • + 18
 If you're starting an argument with "Probably", you should refrain from stating anything at all.
  • + 2
 Did anyone read about those two bikers arrested in Marin?.....that was interesting. www.mbr.co.uk/news/trail_news/illegal-mountain-biking-marin-370173
  • + 1
 I saw “Patagonia “ and figured it’d be like $800. Imagine my surprise to see a sub $150 pricetag... well done PataGucci
  • - 2
 I wonder if they have ever traveled down here, you know, just to honor the region they their name from...
  • + 7
 @southoftheborder: do some reading on Yvon Chouinard and family on just what they have done there. Tireless in their efforts.
  • + 1
 NOT I THE UK.. Its retailing at £150 which exchanges into $214!!! Gutted
  • + 1
 I just bought a Teton Oasis 1100 2 liter. 39.99 on Amazon prime. Tons of space and not that big. Perfect for riding and a solid durable pack for anyone looking
  • + 1
 USWE packs or everything else looks like a Dora backpack from Walmart.
  • + 1
 Nine trails eh, that's a pretty short lifespan for a pack
  • - 1
 F U Patagonia, you play all sweet and nice buy making mountain bike gear all wile funding the war against mountain bikers in the wilderness.
  • + 2
 'Co2 paraphernelia' LoL
  • + 1
 If i put on the Patagonia Nine Trails Hydration Pack i turn into a FROG.
  • + 1
 No need to read. Since they went political I'm not longer a customer.
  • + 4
 Move to Utah and you'll see why
  • + 0
 @connorjuliusjohnson: Whats really changed in Utah since Trump got in? Besides #resist protests? Is the forests getting paved and salted? I just went on a ride looked the same as they did before Trump got put in...
  • + 4
 @Gregorysmithj1: Obviously change doesn't happen in the span of a month... give it 5, 10 years. Check back then and see if anything has been sold or leased and to who and then you can respond with your snide comments.

FYI @NCByron, you better boycott TNF, REI, and many other outdoor companies if you're truly upset about them taking a political stand.
  • - 3
 @connorjuliusjohnson: Exactly in 5-10 years someone else will be in charge and it will all go back to what it was.
  • + 1
 @connorjuliusjohnson: what if he does.. Brand fanboism is terrible.
  • + 2
 I like it!
  • + 1
 Got my trusty CamelBak
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