A hip pack (known in another life as a fanny pack) is a great way to carry extra gear on your ride, and if your ride is particularly long or on a hot and humid day, a big part of that load should be water. Water is heavy, and it moves around while you ride, which can make it difficult to carry comfortably. But not bringing enough can be a surefire way to ruin any good ride. That’s why we love the Hydro Flask 5L Hip Pack, available spring ‘21.
The company famous for water bottles is bringing insulated hydration to hip packs, and thus, your bike ride.The best part about wearing a hip pack when you ride is how it cooperates with your body’s riding geometry. Our shoulders often sink towards our handlebars, shifting weight forward, and our whole upper bodies often move side to side. Backpacks can slip off, or bang into your head. This is especially true for heavy loads, and at 2.2 pounds per liter, water can be quite the heavy load. Alternatively, a hip pack sits on the flat part of your back and cinches around your waist to lock into place while you ride.
That’s why storing a bladder in your hip pack low on your back is such a great solution for staying hydrated on long rides. This Hydro Flask pack comes with a built in, flexibly insulated, 1.5-liter bladder. While not vacuum insulated like many of their bottles, the pack will still keep your water cold for hours, even keeping heat from your body from seeping into your water. No one wants back-warm water.
The pack has a long hose that easily reaches your mouth but tucks away into a clever hose clamp. The hose comes out of one side of the bag, wraps around your waist then clips on your other hip until you are ready to use it. This keeps the nozzle from getting caught up in your wheel or dragging in the dirt. We also enjoy how the clasp of the actual belt is off-center, far closer to your left hip than your right. This prevents the buckle from snagging or irritating on the front of your bibs, zipper, or any other seam.
With a 5-liter capacity and 1.5-liter bladder, the pack also has a ton of room for storage. An easy access front zippered pocket is great for a phone and the larger main compartment has a ton of space that is well divided, including a mesh zippered pocket, key ring, and elastic gear bands to secure things like tubes and tire levers. If you’re not using all the space though, the pack has cinch straps to keep your bike tool or phone from bouncing around. They’re also great for tucking and cinching other gear like a light raincoat or tire pump.
The pack is also supremely comfortable. We like the padded mesh back that helps manage sweat and keeps anything in the pack from poking through to your back. The belt itself is also incredibly wide, in some places about 4 inches. This helps prevent the pack from cutting into your hips. Instead it wraps around and grabs your hips solidly while avoiding any skin irritation. Those wide hip belts also have clever small zipper pockets easily accessible, without reaching behind you, that are perfect for keys, credit cards or small snacks.
If you’re looking for hydration, and to carry a few items while you ride, without weighing down your shoulders or cycling jersey, the Hydro Flask 5L Hip Pack is a great combination of carrying capacity, comfort, and long sips of ice cold water.
Available Spring 2021. For more info, visit: hydroflask.com