2016 MTB Enduro backpacks
The requirements for Enduro racing have some additional needs that set them apart from the standard mtb trail backpacks. Alpine riding, exposed trails, steep rocky descents and extra equipment all add additional complexities when planning your ride and competing in Enduro events.
Whilst to many this sounds like their standard trails in their local area, the benefits of buying now, an Enduro mtb backpack makes sense. Not just for the pro’s or in race mode, the features such as padded back protection are excellent safety features that could just be the difference between limping back to the car park, rather than requiring a med-evac.
Larger capacities to hold spares, food to last you throughout the day, wet weather clothing for the unpredictable alpine environment. A 16-20L pack seems to be the standard size for All Mountain rider and Enduro racer.
What is the main difference between a MTB trail pack from a MTB Enduro Pack and why should I care?
In a nutshell, its greater capacity and back protection which appear to be the standout differences between the standard trail pack (eg. CamelBak MULE vs a CamelBak KUDU). Some packs have all of the below features, whilst others have 2 out of the 3.
1. Back Protection:
A lightweight and flexible protective layer (EVA foam or similar) is used to aid in absorbing shock from impact, during a fall.
2. Helmet Holder
The option to carry a full face helmet for the downhill sections has been accommodated in these packs with many having the helmet carrying feature.
3. Larger Capacity
The larger capacity is needed giving the environment that Enduro racing is conducted in. Extra spares, clothing, food and body protection require a larger capacity pack, around 16-20L.
What are my options for an Enduro MTB Backpack in 2016?
See below selected models that have been specifically created for the Enduro / All Mountain rider. All the big hitters are here, as well as a couple of outliers to throw into the mix.
The EVOC pack grows from strength to strength with the bag makers carving a larger piece of the pie with their focused offering. The blackline is their freeride/enduro specific pack which includes the back protection and larger capacity space.
The Dakine Nomad was a popular model for many years, but I must admit the styling seems to miss the mark this season. However there are plenty of Dakine bag lovers to keep the dream alive. No back protection on this one, but still a solid performing pack .
The CamelBak KUDU is the large capacity (18L) mtb enduro focused bag, featuring a back protector insert and straps and pocket designed to carry safety equipment such as helmets, knee and elbow pads etc.
Back protection with 16L of capacity, the POC VPD 2.0 ticks all the boxes for the hard charging All Mountain rider. Note however you will need to provide you hydration system of choice – with compatible pockets and openings to accommodate.
Whilst not widely available, The SCOTT trail protect 16 is a worthy addition to the list. Featuring the reactive D30 back protection technology, adjustable hip belt and helmet carrying capabilities, it is worth tracking this one down as an option.
The deuter Attack 20 is the largest capacity backpack featured with back protection, a beefed up hip belt and an integrated rain cover for those unexpected downpours. this bag is fully featured with high quality build materials. If you can handle the size, this would be an excellent choice.
What are your picks for 2016? Leave your comments below.