Following the massive popularity of the Evoc bags last summer, we've got in a few new brands, models, and colours for all you gear fanatics to drool over...
The three brands we carry are Evoc, Vaude, and Camelbak. They all do the same basic job - they carry tools, helmets, and water bladders. Here's an overview of their differences. You can see all of our backpacks here.
First up are the good ol' Evoc bags. Anyone riding the trails, or 3 Peaks, knows just how popular these bags are. Here's why:
1. They've got pockets and dividers for everything, plus a water bladder sleeve, so you know exactly where your tube and CO2 cartridge are when you blow out halfway down your timed section.
2. They've got helmet carriers and straps, so you don't have to wear your DH full-face on the sweaty uphills.
3. They've got integrated back protectors, so you don't get speared by that inconveniently-located tree stump when you stack it.
4. They come in different lengths - short ones for shorter folks, long ones for taller folks. This stops your head mushing up against the top of the bag when you're leaning right out over the back wheel.
Here's a link to a great long-term review of an Evoc Freeride 20l pack.
Vaude also make a range of very competent Enduro capable backpacks. They have helmet carriers, pockets and dividers, bladder sleeve, but there's no back protector, and they're not as colourful. On the other hand, they are quite a bit cheaper than the Evoc bags, so make a good entry-level option for all-round trail riding and even commuting. There's a short review of this pack here.
Finally, we've also got a selection of Camelbak's latest offerings. In case you didn't know, Camelbak were the first company to make the now-ubiquitous water-bladder bag. Millions cheered - no longer did we have to reach down and grab our water bottles whilst negotiating the trail one-handed, and no longer did we get a mouthful of mud thrown up onto the sipper-lid from the front wheel. Camelbak are still leading the design and innovation of these bags; we keep the brand-new K.U.D.U in stock, and functionally it's pretty similar to the others - water bladder, pockets and compartments, helmet carrier, back protector. They're a little more expensive than the Evoc bags, but there are two functional differences - they come with a 3l water bladder included, and they have a lifetime guarantee. There are detailed reviews of the K.U.D.U. here and here, and this is a really interesting article about Camelbak's R&D process.