With a whopping 18 litres of storage space, Hydrapak’s new Jolla backpack looks ideal for all-day rides and just eats up kit.
The two cavernous main compartments have enough pockets and slots for everything you could ever need to carry on a ride, and mean that you can properly separate out clothes and tools.
Additional side pockets are water bottle-shaped, but with a bladder in place we used them for bars and gels instead. Unfortunately they aren’t accessible on the fly.
The obligatory media pocket with earphone exit is smartly padded to add protection for your precious electrical goods. Rounding the storage off is an external pocket big enough to take a jacket that can be cinched back to reduce the overall size of the pack when it’s not fully loaded.
The 3L reservoir sits in its own external compartment and is quick and easy to fill via the removable slide fastener. It's isolated from the back by a comfortable, dimpled foam layer.
A slide-to-seal roll top closure makes cleaning it a breeze and the bite valve is leak-free. The best bit is the Quantum Clip – a magnetic clip that holds the drink tube in place on the sternum strap, and works well.
The sculpted foam on the back of the Jolla and light padding are comfortable, without being overkill, and the ergonomic harness sits just right across your chest. The padding on the shoulder straps doesn’t hamper movement when riding and the waist strap can tuck away neatly when not in use.
As with any large volume pack, the temptation is to load the Jolla full. But when we did, we were aware of the weight and it didn’t quite go with us when twisting through singletrack. The slim hip-level wings and waist belt didn’t suck it up as much as we’d like either.
Having said that, when you're carrying a lighter load, cinching down its four compression straps does make for good trail stability. All the straps have Velcro or elastic tidies to reign in flappy bits.
There are better 18L packs for general trail riding out there for less money. However, we know riders who like the Jolla since they can stuff it full for commuting. It’s also voluminous enough for multi-day jaunts, or to fit knee and elbow pads as well as a helmet for all-mountain or freeriders winching up the hill.