|When it's packed properly, wearing the Hauser is what I imagine it feels like to get hugged by a koala, offering supreme comfort and wrapping securely around the waist and shoulders to reduce any side to side shifting. It does take a little extra effort to achieve that level of comfort, and careful packing is key. Because the back panel offers minimal protection or support, if the main pocket is loaded haphazardly the pack will sit awkwardly, and solid objects like a camera or goggles will poke into your back. The Hauser also loses some of that koala-hug comfort when stuffed to its limit, since its height can make it shift forward on steep downhills if the shoulder and waist straps aren't firmly cinched down, but leaving a few inches of room at the top of the main pocket and paying attention when loading it up is all it takes prevent any issues. According to Acre, plans are in the works to offer a more supportive back panel this spring, one that will also be available as an upgrade / retrofit for existing packs. |
Tool organization is often a sticking point for hydration packs, but Acre's decision to go with a tool roll handily takes care of this, and ended up being one of my favorite features of the Hauser. Several different sized zippered pockets keep everything organized and readily available, and spreading out the tool roll on the ground during trailside repairs creates the perfect place to put those little odds and ends - valve caps, master links, etc..., that tend to disappear the instant they're set down. The rest of the pack is well laid out, and the cavernous main pocket has enough room to hold food and layers, although smaller objects do have a tendency to drift towards the bottom. In inclement weather the Hauser does well at shedding rainwater, although I would recommend running it with the top portion folded over and buckled rather than in the roll top configuration in order to help keep water from sneaking in through the zippers. On the durability front the pack passes with flying colors - it's holding strong, with no rips, tears or seam separations to be seen.
When it comes down to it, the Hauser is a little different from the other packs on the market, but for some riders that's what will make it so appealing. There are a couple of quibbles - the back panel could be more supportive, and the ventilation could be improved, but otherwise the rugged construction and weatherproofing are top notch, and the tool roll is icing on the cake. Understandably, not everyone will be able to look past the price, which is nearly double that of similarly featured alternatives, but for those who place value on where a product is produced, that Made In USA tag could help make the Hauser's cost seem a little more justified. - Mike Kazimer
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