Fanny packs have never really gone out of style. What’s different now though, besides it’s unmistakable shape and the usual banter, are better designs and materials from back in the day.
Three respectable San Francisco-based companies just so happened to launch their interpretation of the ideal hip pack with decidedly different flavors. All are made in the good ol’ USofA. Let’s see if any of them will float your boat.
Ornot teamed up with fellow San Francisco-based Mission Workshop to produce theirs out of 500d nylon with a tpu coated liner backing plus a YKK urethane coated zipper tucked inside a flap. The $130, 2.5-liter pack also comes with a laser-cut back, side panels, and a super thin belt. There is also a zippered interior compartment, a key clip, a built-in u-lock holder and three colors to choose from.
With roughly four liters of internal space and a $135 price tag, Spurcycle‘s Hip Pack is the bigger and pricier amongst the three. Spurcycle focused on weight and durability. The end result is a 250-gram bag with a Dyneema-fabric exterior that is incredibly light, thin, waterproof and durable. Basically all you can ever ask for. Open its heavy duty zipper and you’ll find four interior pockets and a zippered compartment made out of X-Pac fabric. That’s not all, however. Also included are two adjustable shock cords near the zipper on top of the pack to tie down warmers, jackets, or maybe even a beer.
OUTER SHELL ADVENTURE
Bag specialist Outer Shell Adventure‘s take, the Hip Slinger comes in 11 colors and a choice of coated Cordura or X-Pac outer fabric for $90-$100. There is black, purple, graphite X-Pac, leopard, to name a few. Outer Shell’s version has four internal pockets plus a zipper compartment accessible via its front or rear water-resistant zippers, an air mesh back panel, rubberized hypalon wings for stabilization connected to an offset waist buckle, but perhaps the coolest feature is its roll-top feature that shape shifts on demand with elastic hooks providing the said changes from 1.5 to 3 liters.
The Holidays are in the rearview mirror and now all we have to look forward to is several months of short, dark days and questionable weather.
We can still partake in daydreaming, adventure planning and some good ol’ retail therapy. So in the spirit of the Holidays past we bring you a list of items to occupy your mind, enliven your spirit and thin your wallet.
As we head into 2019, with all the struggles of the Stock Market, the bicycle industry and the confusion over tire size, pressure and compound, we still remain huge fans of all things bicycle. And while we are still confused about all this indoor “bicycling” everyone seems to be doing, we hope this will lead us all to more adventures and miles outdoors.
Giro not only sweats all the little details in striving to make the safest helmet, but the Santa Cruz, California firm also understands the importance of aesthetics. Case in point, that new Aether MIPS. Gone is the oft pesky (but life-saving) MIPS plastic liner that we have all come to love and loathe, depending on who you’re asking, but the function of MIPS remains. How? Giro’s engineers incorporated it between two EPS shells, thus making it pretty much invisible, with no obstruction and more comfort. Besides the nine different stock colors, you can also make a one-of-a-kind custom Aether on their website. How about that for a fashion statement?
Kali’s Strike Knee Armor has you covered when things start to get a little “gnar.” The Strikes stay in place, are comfortable in the riding position and are slim enough to sit nicely under any and all of our fashionable baggie short choices. While we wouldn’t want to do chairlift runs in a pair of these, we found we had a plenty of piece-of-mind riding our local trails and ripping our local drops knowing we had our knees Kali covered.
Just read Outershells “About” page and, if you aren’t completely jaded by the world, you will just want to throw money at them. And I quote, “The ‘Outer Shell Adventure’ embodies our quest towards spiritual harmony with ourselves, nature and other travelers.” I mean. Come on. They make really sweet bags, have a satisfaction guarantee and will basically fix any problem into eternity free of charge. We threw down some coin on their Drawcord Handlebar Bag in hopes it would be the final dollar we would spend on trying to solve our “bikes and cameras…cameras and bikes” problem. And although we loved the construction and detail put into this bag, our hunt for the perfect camera bag continues. The size is perfect for our micro 4:3 camera, mounting is straight ahead and the drawstring allowed seemless access. We just don’t want our camera in a bag. If you are the type of rider who needs a little more room than your jersey pockets allow and you love to stop and take pictures… this might be the perfect bag for you.
Born in 2003 and rebirthed late last year, the Kenda Nevegal 2 Pro is back with all the classic stylings and modern accoutrements todays trail riders are looking for. The newly designed tire is fast rolling, protected with K-Armor and is surprisingly lightweight for a tire with this much enduro worthy pedigree. If you love to get after it, but also don’t mind pedaling to get there, this tire should be on your shopping list. If you are a full on Enduro contender, you might want to look elsewhere for something just a touch beefier.
These Mission Workshop Traverse bloomers are nothing short of amazing. They may lack the neon accents and full on bells and whistles of other shorts in this “segment,” but what they lack in bling they make up for in subtle superiority. The material is ripstopping and confidence inspiring, while remaining in the featherweight division. Two smaller side zipper pockets offer just enough storage for the one or two items you want immediate access to. And the “contoured waist belt” pushes this short from good to great while keeping the short right where we like them even in the trickiest of situations. Bravo, Mission Workshop. Bravo. Now we just need to try the All Mountain version of this short.
Fi’zi:k Aliante Open R1
The Fi’zi:k Aliante has been one very successful saddle since its introduction in the early 2000’s. Its TwinFlex shell is supremely comfortable akin to lounging on a hammock, a heaven for those who prefer to stay seated the majority of the time. The overall concept hasn’t changed much through the years, but Fi’zi;k decided to really shake things up a bit last year. The new Aliante Open R1 retains the gorgeous silhouette of the Aliante family, but adds an anatomical cutout in the center to alleviate unwanted pressure on those sensitive soft tissues. A wider, larger version is also available for those who need additional support. If cutouts are not your thing, Fi’zi:k is also offering a version with its full-length Versus relief channel, or you can always go to the tried-and-true regular Aliante, both also available in two widths.