American brand Wingnut has been refining its lumbar riding packs since 2005. Unlike most bags of this style, which are designed for carrying minimal gear, the MPS boasts 26l of kit-gobbling capacity — with a twist.
This ‘Modular Pack System’ has a removable main compartment, which can be detached to streamline the pack to a more day-ride friendly size.
The generously sized side ‘wings’ and outer stash pockets are easily accessible without you needing to remove the pack. An abundance of bungee cords and mesh stretch pockets allow you to lash plenty of gear around the outside of the bag, too.
The weight of all this gear is directed straight into your hips, making for an extremely comfy ride. Even when filled to the gills, I was surprised that the mass wasn’t anywhere near as noticeable as it would be in a regular backpack.
Made from a lightweight, waterproof sailcloth material, the Wingnut pack has seen off the worst wet weather and is easy to clean. You have to be careful when packing the main compartment though, because the lack of an internal padded back panel means badly placed items can poke you as you ride.
Even taking its two-for-one versatility into account, the MPS carries a hefty price tag, and it doesn’t include a bladder, which is a shame at this price. UK distributors Rough Ride Guide is currently selling it for £110 though, and if past experience is anything to go by, it’ll last a seriously long time.