Vaude Aquarius 8+3 hydration pack £75

Airy feeling water pack with helmet carrier

BikeRadar score 3/5

We had some preconceived ideas about the Aeroflex frame of the Aquarius, and didn’t expect to like it. That’ll teach us to jump to conclusions.

The body is mounted to a curved frame so it sits away from your back – a light mesh panel with padding at either side is the only bit that touches. It keeps your water away from body heat, and although we thought it might feel rigid, it doesn’t. 

It disperses load well and there’s little sensation of weight. Not that you’d load this one right up – the bladder sits in the main compartment and limits the space for extra layers and so on, but there are two front pockets big enough to take tools, snacks and – if you’re really, really lucky – a gold bar.

We like the way the helmet carrier clips off when you don’t need it, and there’s a waterproof cover in a zipped compartment in the base.

This is a relatively heavy pack for its limited capacity, but it doesn’t ride weighty and is one to consider for anyone who traditionally doesn’t get on with a pack.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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