Backcountry's Mid Mountain 2L Hip Pack is the perfect riding bag for a long day on the bike. Charlotte Percle photo.
Product : Backcountry Mid Mountain 2L Hip Pack - $48.96. Find it here.
The first time I saw Backcountry's Mid Mountain hip pack, I was a bit perplexed. A lot is going on. It's got all kinds of straps and pockets that you don't typically find on other mountain bike riding packs. Most of my other hip packs resemble sophisticated fanny packs, whereas the design of the Mid Mountain pack feels like a miniature version of a backpacking bag. Is this overkill? After using it for a few weeks, I don't think so, and here's why:
Once you get the lay of the land, it's quickly apparent that there's a groove, pocket, and strap for everything you might want to bring with you on the trail. I personally love how you can thoughtfully organize your tools in one zone. With other packs, there's usually one big flat pocket for your repair kit. The problem with this is your hip pack can turn into a maraca with everything bouncing around if the tools aren't properly strapped down. The Mid Mountain keeps everything in its designated spot, and I like that all the tools stay on the front flap leaving room for other things in the main pocket.
What sold me on this hip pack was the tool storage. You can keep all your gear neatly organized. Katie Lozancich photo.
The main pocket is a bit like Mary Poppin's bag, you'll be surprised by the amount of stuff you can fit in there. For most rides, I tend to bring a healthy amount of snacks and a light jacket for a surprise thunderstorm. With those things alone—plus my tool kit—I've still got plenty of room for extra stuff like a first aid kit or breakfast burrito. And we're talking a proper burrito, not something weak sauce. Or maybe I want to bring a long-sleeved layer just in case the temps drop? The straps on the front can easily tie down an extra garment, making this a no-brainer adventure ride pack.
Left: The tie-down straps make it easy to carry another layer. Right: The Mid Mountain can comfortably fit all these goodies—with room to spare!
When it comes to hydration storage, the pack can carry two bottles. Or I prefer one sleeve for a water bottle, and the other to bring a post-ride bevy. Given that this pack is more conducive for longer adventures, it would be nice to see a version that accommodates a hydration bladder. Still, the double bottle holster lets you carry a fair amount of water, which pairs well with a bottle cage on your bike frame.
The Mid Mountain is a bit bulkier than most packs, but for a good reason. Hannah Russell photo.
I've only got a few qualms with this hip pack, one being the waist strap. It buckles on the side of your hip, and I've found it tough to tighten. This gets annoying because the pack will shimmy all over the place if you don't get it snug. It's also a burly hip pack. While that's not necessarily bad, it wouldn't be my top choice for bike park laps or a ride where I want to keep things lightweight. If you're looking for a hip pack that's suited for long adventure rides on your bike, then put this bad boy at the top of your list.
Meet the tester
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