Backpacks for MTB

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Has anyone tried out any products from USWE? It's a Swedish company.
The mighty Google algorithms connected me to them and the MTB packs look pretty nice, albeit a bit expensive.

I like how they can integrate a chest action cam mount and how they supposedly don't move around when you are in the rough stuff.
I've not used a backpack while on the trails, and when I am on paths and roads, add a seatpost rack and trunk bag with fold out panniers (with some minor adjustments).
With a dropper seat post (and my height) I can't easily use my Topeak seatpost rack, but the PNW Coast I got from @Stefan Mikes is an externally wired system, and is easy for me to remove it and put my Suntour NCX back on for any extended urban exploring.

I'm still trying different setups for carrying at least the basic maintenance gear, and it's especially hard when trail riding to carry the bare minimums.

Thoughts or experiences?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Look to Ortlieb Vario. I had it on my back with my expensive camera inside and it has survived the fall of today 😊
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Hey Randall, I like to carry a minimal amount with me as possible but always appreciate room in a pack that can accommodate extra gear. I'm not familiar with USSWE but have been using an Osprey Syncros 12 for a couple of years now and for me it strikes the perfect balance of volume, fit, size and functionality. It may fall a bit short in the area the hip belt but I've never found it to be a problem on any of my road rides. I do appreciate the airspeed back panel on hotter days and the magnetic clasp that's incorporated on both the chest belt as well as the end of the drink hose is a nice touch.

We also have the slightly larger Sycnros 14 which sports a beefier hip belt but does not have cooling back panel. My wife enjoys her ultralight Camelbak Lobo as I usually end up carrying her gear too. ;) I purchased both Syncros on sale at Sportchek and used my Triangle reward points.

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/camping-and-hiking/hydration-pack/osprey-syncro-12
IMG_20201108_1432410.jpgIMG_20200821_1352000.jpg
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Quality stuff for sure, but I don't need the pannier features.
Randall, I have been unable to understand how to convert Vario to a pannier :) (The upper part could be used: I cannot see the bottom pannier fastener there though). Just telling you: a large, comfortable backpack it is.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
The uswe harness is a love or hate thing , possibly related to torso shape? I'm pretty sure it isn't going to fit mine....

I love carrying pack weight around my waist, I guess that's where much of my weight is anyway? So I like the freedom of low rider style packs - eg my camelback skyline LR https://camelbak.com.au/packs/skyline-lr-10-3l-burnt-olive-kelp/

But I also like the idea of a built in back protector....so feel guilty when I reach for my skyline instead of my TORO. I tell myself it's primary protection- less likely to crash in the more comfortable pack....
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
The uswe harness is a love or hate thing , possibly related to torso shape? I'm pretty sure it isn't going to fit mine....
I wear a 48" jacket and have a fairly large chest to go with those shoulders.
And yes, there may be some beer results there too.

So, in regards to torso, am I getting your drift that more "sturdy types" should look elsewhere?
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
I wear a 48" jacket and have a fairly large chest to go with those shoulders.
And yes, there may be some beer results there too.

So, in regards to torso, am I getting your drift that more "sturdy types" should look elsewhere?

Central sturdy might be the issue....

I've always had a large chest and shoulders as well, but my waist is rapidly catching up. Having said that, the REASON is a particularly nasty accident with multiple broken ribs, shoulder, and some breathing issues made worse by a section of chest that doesn't work properly now, so perhaps I'm a bit fussier than mist about my harness?
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
When I need a backpack I have a Deuter Attack 16 Enduro - It has an anatomically designed back protector, a water system, padded and suspended hip belt with pockets, a holder for a helmet, is very well organized, extremely breathable on the back and is so comfortable you barely know it is there. It has the added plus of being a high visibility greenish yellow in color.


 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Has anyone tried out any products from USWE? It's a Swedish company.
The mighty Google algorithms connected me to them and the MTB packs look pretty nice, albeit a bit expensive.

I like how they can integrate a chest action cam mount and how they supposedly don't move around when you are in the rough stuff.
I've not used a backpack while on the trails, and when I am on paths and roads, add a seatpost rack and trunk bag with fold out panniers (with some minor adjustments).
With a dropper seat post (and my height) I can't easily use my Topeak seatpost rack, but the PNW Coast I got from @Stefan Mikes is an externally wired system, and is easy for me to remove it and put my Suntour NCX back on for any extended urban exploring.

I'm still trying different setups for carrying at least the basic maintenance gear, and it's especially hard when trail riding to carry the bare minimums.

Thoughts or experiences?
Pack fitment and features will ultimately come down to one’s personal needs. It might be prudent to pay a visit to a local bricks and mortar store to test fit the inventory. Nothing worse than ordering a product and returning it because it didn’t meet your expectations. Happened to me recently with a pair of cycling shoes. MEC, Sportchek, Valhalla Pure as well as various LBS would be a good start. If hydration compatibility is an important feature to you, just keep in mind that a full 2.5L reservoir will add 5-6lbs of weight that one needs to tote around at the outset. A full reservoir will also take up more space in the pack. A pack sporting a variety of compartments and pockets will offer better versatility and convenience over one with just one or two openings. Makes searching for items much easier if they are placed in a dedicated spot.

I do find the camera chest mount an interesting feature but think that I would lean more towards a helmet or an out-front bar mount instead.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
When I need a backpack I have a Deuter Attack 16 Enduro - It has an anatomically designed back protector, a water system, padded and suspended hip belt with pockets, a holder for a helmet, is very well organized, extremely breathable on the back and is so comfortable you barely know it is there. It has the added plus of being a high visibility greenish yellow in color.


That one got onto my list late last night while browsing the MEC site. For those who don't know MEC, it's sort of an REI in Canada. It's currently in turmoil as although it's a Coop the member/owners weren't consulted when it was sold. As little as 6 months ago it was my go-to place for this stuff, but between Covid and the sale, not so much anymore. The Deuter looks good, but they've also some private brand options that are well priced.

Thanks for your input
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Was in Cabela's this afternoon and although none of their stock was suitable, they did have a few Gregory packs to look at. Extremely impressed with the features and build quality of their products.
Went to the Gregory website to look a bike specific models and liked the look of this one. It's available locally at MEC as well and fits the budget.

Still early days however - this is prep for next spring's adventures.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
Looks like a winner to me! Gregory makes some nice packs and the Drift appears to have ticked off most/all of the boxes on a potential list of wants.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
The Osprey looks pretty good too, but is about $50 more.
It is 2L larger mind you, but I'm not sure I need the extra space.

Food for thought, thanks for your input.
If you're budget can accommodate a pack with a bit more volume, go for it. I will almost guarantee that you won't regret the decision. A pack that can perform double duty for biking as well as full-on day hikes when more capacity is appreciated, will surely be a good investment down the road.
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
To be honest, my budget can handle just about anything (of these types of things) and I'm very thankful for that. But the only hiking I do is on the golf course. Some days I can walk just fine, and other days I struggle to get from armchair to the washroom. The e-bike has really helped from a therapeutic angle, but my hiking days are gone.
 

Prairie Dog

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Red Deer
No worries. I was merely using the activity of hiking as a case for acquiring a slightly roomier pack. One would be surprised as to the amount of stuff/gear we take or return with. E-biking has definitely re-invigorated me to get out of the house more often. I’m now feeling a bit less compelled to ride my 30 year old MTB through to next spring. Sigh. 🙄
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
City
Calgary
Update:
During the Black Friday sales at MEC, I bought an Osprey Talon 11 @41% off.
Just got home from the store (in store pickup) and I returned it.

Too small in every way.
I've a large torso and although it would probably be OK in the summer, in winter it would be too tight through pretty well every dimension.
I've a small daypack I am using right now and it's maybe a liter or 2 larger, and it's probably as small as I want to go. It will do for now, but I'll keep shopping.

While there, I tried out a Gregory Endo and I liked it.
As I'm really not in any super hurry, I'll wait and see what happens for the boxing day sales.