The stealthy looking Portage from Fox has clearly had a lot of their mountain bike and motocross experience poured into it. Once on, the cinch-down straps, chunky waistband and padded rear provide a comfy fit. Even fully loaded, the pack was comfortable on all-day rides. It also offers double hose routing for carrying two bladders.
The bladder itself is Fox’s Hydrapak-branded 3litre unit and it works well, is leak-free and slots in and out easily. All the de rigueur pouches and cubbyholes are present and correct, including one for an MP3 player, pump and a netted internal one. In fact, it seems to be entirely made up of pockets which is okay to a certain extent but doesn’t necessarily equate to loads of space.
So if you’re wanting to stash larger or bulkier items in your pack you’ll find it a struggle, but for lots of little bits it’s great. We really like the shock cord lock system – it employs a chunky elastic chord and toggle to lock leg armour in place. The Portage can take a good bashing and its tough construction is still tear-free after months of use.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.