Hip Pack Incoming
Welcome to 2017 or a repeat of outdoor gear history. One of the latest trends in hydration packs is the growing popularity of hip hydration packs or fanny packs if you serious about your 1980’s regalia. There are currently several options on the market such as Source Hipster Hydration Belt, Camelbak Palos and EVOC Hip Pack Race. So far, the Source Hipster Hydration Belt has impressed me the most. I also have good riding buddy that swears by his and he told me the other day that he will never wear a regular Camelbak again.
If you’ve personally run a hip pack while mountain biking you might agree that some of the benefits include a lighter riding feel, distributed weight away from your shoulders preventing shoulder fatigue, and my personal favorite – the reduced heat away from your back and core. If you live and ride in a hotter climate during the summer months like we do here in Central Texas, I’m sure you can agree that any advantage of mitigating heat away from your body while riding is big plus for the longevity of your rides, and also to just help prevent from you passing out on the side of the trail from heat exhaustion.
One my first rides out using the Source Hipster Hydration Belt I immediately noticed the light feel and additional cooling effect from the wind passing over my back. It was the first time in a long time that I can remember my ride jersey not being soaked from the summer heat. Besides these two key benefits here are some of the other reasons why I think the Source is a game changer, and one of the best pieces of mountain biking gear I have purchased in a long time.
There is something very freeing about riding light, and not having a backpack strapped to your back while mountain biking. I like to run Source Hipster Hydration Belt without the shoulder harness, and keep the pack loaded lightly with gear. After the advisement of earlier said riding buddy, my recent approach has been to strap a spare tube on my bike frame and use an additional water bottle in my bike bottle carrier, especially during the summer months where additional hydration is key. I think this approach accomplishes two things: first it keeps the pack from weighing down on your waist and moving around, and second it keeps you from riding with a bunch of junk you don’t need.
When I run a Camelbak or other type of traditional hydration backpack I always wind up with more items in it than I actually need. Using this approach with the Source Hipster Hydration Belt, and having proper adjustment on the waist strap, the pack seems to consistently stay in place on the arch of my lower back. Even when the trail speed goes up, and the terrain gets nasty I don’t really feel it moving side to side or sliding up or down.
Dirt Shield Valve Protection
The water valve system on the Source Hipster Hydration Belt is awesome! It comes with a nifty plastic cap tied to the valve to keep dust and other junk off of it when you are riding. In addition, the water valve easily twists open or closed and does not have a problem with water flow while drinking. There’s even a nice magnetic attachment point to secure the hose and valve end to the waist strap of the pack so its kept in place while riding. If you choose to use the shoulder harness it will also have a hook at the chest strap to secure the hose in place.
1.5L/50oz Water Reservoir
I was a initially a little hesitant that 50oz of water would be enough for a typical ride on my home trails. My first 3 hr ride out with the Source I was pleasantly surprised as I did have enough water with a slight amount to spare once I was finished riding. The 50oz capacity seems like just the right amount for smaller rides so you are striking a balance of having enough water without over loading the pack. Personally, if I’m riding more than 2 – 3 hrs or pulling some kind of big mountain epic I absolutely want to have an additional bottle on the bike just in case.
Riding With The Pack
Two Source Hipster Hydration Belt Bros out for a ride stopping to point at who knows what….As you can see the pack wants to sit in the arch of your back. These guys sure are happy mountain bikers.
More On The Features and Use Direct From Source
If you would like to know more about the Source Hipster Hydration Belt you can check out the video below. If you are ready to jump and change your riding life Amazon has a nice deal on them here. Please let us know what you think about the Source or other hip packs in the comments below.
Via: Source Outdoor