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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pouch vs backpacks

Utilizing the multiple straps and my usual DIY fashion with the help of a couple carabiners, external storage includes gloves, guards and the usual stuff one puts on once at the trail rather than left in the pack.

Having tested out my "upgraded" pouch system a few weeks, reckon I'm gonna be sticking with this for a long time. With a bit of ingenious strapping it carries just about all that my biggest and most comfortable Vaude hydropack can but a lot less klunky to haul around on epic day rides.

In retrospect, overall hydropacks just doesn't cut it anymore for me.
  • (a) smaller slim ones usually do not have enough volume. Straps to match bag profile means its usually too thin. Discomfort.
  • (b) big ones are too cumbersome and if there aren't enough things in there, too much rattling around.
  • (c) Reaching into bag for things means having to remove pack from body.
  • Displaces one's C.G. when riding style needs lots of body movement

Started off with the Boblbee but realized it is just a tad small after awhile with a full load including trail tools. The Mountain Smith TLS Tour did all I needed by now.

Reaching out to the back for the bottle was getting to be a PITA so I re-jig with a Camelbag 3L bladder. Getting the last bit means reaching back to give it a squeeze but otherwise all's good.

With all the essential stuffed within, there's still space for more. Would easily accommodate my folding spade and more hydration if necessary.

Whether carrying more or less, the center-of-gravity when lowered... the main reason for wanting to get away from the hydrobags for better handling on the bike apart from the hot and sticky sensation on the back after awhile. Terrible humid tropical weather where things never dry up makes me wish I'm back in temperate zones.

I pack small items tightly together but certainly not some pen sized 40gm carbon pump for my big ass tires or a tiny Swiss knife to hack at fallen branches and trunks. But even with these and a full 3L bladder, the main compartment still has about 1/3 of unused space left. Have a habit of keeping things compact...  a number of some stuff some not clearly shown)  - first aid, spare pair of brake pad, 2 pivot bolts, 2 tire levers, master link pin, patch kit, large inner tube, spare hanger, small pliers an 850L torch, an mp3 player, Lezyne Huge Ass Pump. Big hex key set that goes to a  size 10mm key, 3m of duct tape , Zip-ties, 14" total length folding kukris (folded 8"), 3m of paracord. These are the  SOP items.. others like a spare dee on long epic rides or half  a dozen gelpack or even a spare change of clothing are thrown in as the need arise.

(I'm still testing this out for the longer term and yes this is totally self funded but loving every minute with the use of this bag/pouch watchawannacallit for all my riding/ outdoorsy paraphernalia).

20  Dec 2013 - Update

No doubt, this is the carrying-system I would be sticking with. Carrying the same kind of haul-it-all load like a normal backpack, having the weight low and most of it off your shoulder makes a HUGE difference.

Apart from my usual rides, here I was in a 3 hr race... Had my usual stuff with 3L water, gel packs and all.... easily  5.5kg (>12b). Would probably have melted if it was a normal hydropack under the midday sun at Lor. Asrama.

3 Mar 2014: To test it out once and for all... I decide to bring this along for this year's CM DH rides... thought there might be a remote chance I would find it unsuitable and also bought along my std hydro bag... Nope.. the Mountain Smith hip bag stayed with me for the entire vacation-- high speed balls to the walls ride as usual of Chiang Mai riding. Sans problemo. Hardly even register I was carrying a pack shooting down the mountains.... guess I can stockup another 1 or 2 more if there is a sales going on somewhere...

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