A comfortable, cool and lightweight hydration backpack that Gravel, XC and Enduro racers will love.
While a lot of riders are choosing to carry spares, tools and hydration off their bodies and on the bike, there are many times when it’s simply not possible or practical to do so. The solution for many riders could be this lightweight hydration backpack by Evoc, known as the Hydro Pro.
Available in a 1.5L or 3L sizing, both options include the same 1.5L bladder but have different storage capacities. The smaller version we tested features two meshed nutrition compartments and a zippered pocket on the chest straps. Inside the pack, a bladder pocket seperates the Hydrapak Bladder from the storage area.
Evoc Hydro Pro 1.5
|BLADDER SIZE | 1.5L|
|TOTAL VOLUME | 3L (1.5L Bladder and 1.5L Storage)|
|WEIGHT | 230g|
|DIMENSIONS | 2cm x 23cm x 33cm|
|COMPARTMENTS | 2 nutrition compartments, 1 zippered chest pocket and 1 zippered back compartment|
|INTENDED USE | Gravel, XC, Enduro, eMTB|
|RRP | ± R2800 (pricing varies)|
|MORE | omnico.co.za or evoc.com|
To maximise comfort, Evoc have used their 3D Air Mesh Fabric on virtually the entire inside of the pack. Its a similar material to what is used on their protective apparel where a semi-rigid triangular shape inside the mesh creates small pockets of air to improve comfort and cooling.
A lightweight nylon material is used on the outside of the pack and the lower straps are made from a stretchy fabric known as Aeroflex. From the bladder, the hose channels neatly inside one of the shoulder straps and is secured with two clips and a magnet. The main pocket is secured with two zips that are opened with a single strap. A velcro strap and loop inside the main compartment stops the bladder from slumping down inside the pack.
I didn’t like the idea of adding weight high up onto my back and was a little apprehensive about using this pack. However, because the Hydro Pro fits so well and is very light, my initial hesitation didn’t last.
Organization and Pockets | Evoc set out to design a racer’s hydration pack and that’s exactly what they’ve done. The nutrition compartments on the front of the pack are perfectly positioned for easy access – even when the heart rate is high and things are getting awkward. The stretchy mesh closure system does a great job of holding bananas, bars and gels in place. My iPhone 12 easily slots inside the single zippered pocket on the shoulder strap – the oversized iPhone 14 Pro Max had no chance. Inside this same pocket is a tethered clip for keys and a seperate compartment which I never used – but it’s a good spot for cash, ID, credit cards, trail access cards, AXS batteries etc. The rear compartment has one storage area and a pocket to secure the bladder. It’s all uber minimalistic. Overall the design is easy to use and perfectly functional.
Fit and Ventilation | I haven’t tried every single lightweight hydration pack on the market however, of those I have used, this is easily the most comfortable. Riding aggresively, it does’t flop around – even when the pack is at capacity – and that’s key for me. Interestingly, even though the fit is body-hugging, I never felt excess heat or sweat building up with this pack. Admittedly, most of the testing has been in winter and spring but there were some hotter rides – in the upper 20’s – and the pack still feels cool and breezy. Surprisingly, even with the straping sitting higher on the torso than some other packs, I felt no restriction on breathing – even during some pacey sessions.
Summary | The Evoc Hydro Pro is a lightweight, minimalist pack that has all the functionality a racer needs with excellent fit and style to boot. There’s nothing quirky on this pack and during the test period I didn’t notice any design flaws, durability issues or things that needed tweaking. It’s the kind of pack I’d expect to see comfortably used on any endurance mission, race or trail session.