Andy road tests his EVOC coaching pack
Met with my 2nd rider this morning, great to catch up with them on a sort of 1 to 1 basis, we could have talked for hours! Got plenty to plan and evaluate now so it’ll be back to tapping the keyboard for hours soon enough.
In the meantime managed to occupy a few hours by doing a very steady 30 mile XC loop with Nik, trying out the new Evoc FR Tour 30L back pack.
Loaded with coaching kit, a flapjack and a small bottle of Stan’s sealant it weighed in a 13lb (no water in hydration pack) it was a good weight to give it a test. From the off it was comfy with the straps being wide and supportive enough to give an even spread of weight. The large velcro waist strap was really comfy and supportive and allowed the majority of the bags weight to be carried around the waist taking it away from your shoulders, it also secured the pack so well there was no movement even over rooty n rocky ground. The downside of this was that the area around your waist does get a tad warm and I reckon will get rather sweaty as the weather warms up….it will I promise
It can be loosened to allow for some airflow and still gives a fair bit of support.
The rear panel and back protector really mould to the contour of your back and make it a proper snug comfy fit, this aids with the stability and lack of movement the pack has. Nik commented on this as we rode. It’s far superior to any of my other back packs as they have pads that don’t really mould to your contours they are there more to allow for air flow, which I really didn’t get the chance to test out as we were very steady today. Saying that even with the snug fit my back didn’t get overly warm or sweaty so I’ll just have to wait and see.
The length of the pack was just about perfect for my torso as it didn’t rest on the bottom of my back and I didn’t have any rubbing around the top of the shorts area that I’ve experienced before.
The only issue I did have with the pack was that the mouth piece of my hydration hose kept going under my arm, the clip for the hose has no up and down adjustment so all I could do was unclip it and let it hang loose…not much of an issue as it was still secured through the top strap and actually hung in the right place…this could be alleviated as mentioned if the clip could have some adjustment.
After 3 1/2 hours on my back today and the odd on the go adjustment I’m pretty damn impressed. The pack sits on my spin as though it was meant to be there, it holds the weight around my waist and not my shoulders and it doesn’t move around very much at all. Other than those couple of niggles that I can live with it’s a really well designed all day pack and even though it’s at the top end of a lot of our budgets it really is worth it.
Chris Says: I ride with an EVOC pack too and the best thing by far about it apart from the comfort and volume is the way the elasticated hip belt secures the pack. Riding in the peak or on jumps and drops it feels totally locked in place and hands down beats other packs in the same class. They look bloody good too!!
New coach Andy gets his hands on his first EVOC coaching pack
First impressions…..well it’s defo black and I really like the styling, it’ll go with all my kit and any bike I pull out the garage. Also it’s pretty light for a large overnight pack even with the removable back protector fitted. It’s got shed loads of large pockets with even more smaller mess pockets inside, there’s even a waterproof pocket that’s more than big enough for a large smart phone too.
At the base accessed from underneath is a ‘wet’ kit area (you can access it from one of the upper pockets too) with a draw string to separate it from the rest of the storage area. Also at the bottom is a zipped/velcro pocket that hides the rain cover and neatly stores away the straps that can hold a tent/pads etc. These need the zip to be open to use but the nifty aforementioned small velcro fastener keeps the pocket sealed and rain cover secure.
There are 2 zipped side pockets as well as a largish zipped pocket on the well padded waist strap that secures with velcro and clasp making it very comfy and secure…though it might get a tad sweaty when riding.
There is space for a 3L hydration pack and as mentioned the back protector is removable but it doesn’t have any straps so unless you have other kit that has space to put one in then it’s better left where it is…especially as its so light, you just don’t know it’s there.
Lastly there’s the expandable helmet pocket/holder on the rear which has a soft stretchy panel and will take most open/full face helmets….proper Enduro!
The bag swallowed all the coaching kit, tools n bit’s n pieces in the photo and there’s still plenty of space for extra clothing, sarnies, glasses and anything else I could potentially need on a day’s coaching. I’ve tried it out to see how comfy it is walking around the house and the straps n neoprene waist strap keep it snug and secure and most importantly it really feels comfortable and it doesn’t feel bulky either I’m gonna try it out on a short ride later this week to see how it feels on the bike and find out if it moves around much or not.
Verdict…So far it does exactly what I need it to do and more besides, it’s off the bike comfy and looks smart so I’d give it 8/10. If it’s comfy on the bike it’ll get 9/10. It isn’t cheap and drops the 1 point because it doesn’t come with a hydration pack as standard, but if your’e looking for that all day/overnight, trail, track, downhill, enduro ‘do everything’ back pack then this may just be the ticket!…Nik is that impressed she’s now researching the women’s versions