6 of the best bumbags

Carry your trail essentials with these rucksack alternative

With so many bumbags (or fanny packs if you're in the US) to choose from, it's difficult to know which one to choose for your rides. We look at a selection of six in terms of price, practicality and that all-important comfort.

Mavic Crossride Belt

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Mavic Crossride Belt
Mavic Crossride Belt

• Price: £53

So good: Mavic’s bumbag is super-comfy, thanks to its ergonomic shape and unusual triangular bottle. This is enhanced further by the elasticated waist strap and the large gaps in the foam back padding, which allow some airflow. 

A rigid cuff on the angled bottle holder makes it easy to relocate the 600ml bottle while riding. The long zip pocket is perfect for a pump.

No good: Its capacity isn’t huge and the angled bottle holder reduces the amount of usable space. 

Be warned – should you lose the triangular bottle, Mavic don’t sell replacements. Also, the Crossride Belt is a fair bit pricier than its (non-reservoir) rivals.

Bontrager Rapid Pack

BikeRadar score4/5

Bontrager Rapid Pack
Bontrager Rapid Pack

• Price: £45 / $ 60 / AU$100

So good: There is a lot to like about the slim, minimal design of the Rapid Pack. Two zipped pockets with internal mesh compartments offer plenty of easily accessible storage, with a space between them for a standard bottle. 

The large foam back panel holds the bag in place securely and the waist strap doesn’t have any flappy loose ends.

No good: With 1.4 litres of storage, you can only pack the bare essentials. No bottle is supplied and the tight fit of the bottle holder makes it difficult to slide your drink back into place while riding. Meanwhile, the back panel can get quite sweaty.

Lowe Alpine Lightflite Hydro

BikeRadar score4/5

Lowe Alpine Lightflite Hydro
Lowe Alpine Lightflite Hydro

• Price: £28

So good: This bag gives you 4 litres of storage, which is enough for racing and even longer days in the saddle if you pack light. 

There are two exterior mesh pockets where you can stash smaller items such as energy gels and multi-tools within easy reach. The bag comes with a 500ml bottle, and the slightly angled bottle-holder makes it easy to grab on the go. 

At £28 it’s by far the cheapest bag here and for the price it’s hard to find much to fault.

No good: It’s not a bike-specific pack and its less figure-hugging shape means it tends to move around a little when fully loaded.

Source Hipster

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Source Hipster
Source Hipster

• Price: £69

So good: The Hipster’s removable harness (not pictured) does an excellent job of reducing movement, making it the most secure pack here. 

The single-sided strap adjustment keeps the loose end tucked away, and there are bungee cords for a jacket, and the hose for the 1.5 litre reservoir is insulated.

No good: Without the harness, the pack slumps a little. There’s no support from the back panel and no side straps to pull the weight in, so it bulges away from your back when loaded, which makes it move around more. Also the three front pockets are very small.

CamelBak Palos LR 4

BikeRadar score3.5/5

CamelBak Palos LR 4
CamelBak Palos LR 4

• Price: £75 / $75 / AU$110

So good: With a 2.5-litre capacity, front tool-roll and side cargo pockets, the Palos has space for as much stuff as you’d want to carry around your waist. 

Hidden compression straps do a good job of pulling the 1.5-litre reservoir tight into your back so it stays in place while riding. CamelBak’s Big Bite valve is easy to use while pedalling and there's a nifty sliding magnetic clip on the hose.

No good: Although the compression straps help keep things in place, the back panel could do with being a bit more rigid to stop the pack sagging a little when fully laden.

EVOC Hip Pack Race

BikeRadar score3.5/5

EVOC Hip Pack Race
EVOC Hip Pack Race

• Price: £57 / $95

So good: There are plenty of places to stash stuff in this 3-litre pack — a big rear pocket, two zipped hip pockets and a tool pocket with mesh compartments. The back panel is quite rigid, so the contents stay put even when you’re fully loaded. 

Widely spaced pads mean this bag is fairly well ventilated, but the best feature is the side straps, which you can cinch down to pull the pack into your lower back and stop it bouncing around.

No good: The valve for the 1.5-litre Hydrapack reservoir is tricky to close while riding, and the magnetic hose tab isn’t as secure as CamelBak’s clip.

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

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