The K.U.D.U. Protector 20 is a high-ish volume pack that, with a whip of a zip, turns into a standalone back protector. This is great if you want somewhere to stash kit while you go and bang out some laps without sacrificing any protection. There’s room for enough gear for multi-day trips into the mountains, with careful packing.
Removing the main body of the pack so that you can use the back protector on its own is an easy job, although the zip is exposed to mud and can get gritty. The protector is as wide as the pack itself and well ventilated.
With the waist strap providing the bulk of its stability, I found I had to cinch up the twin chest straps and shorten the broad, ventilated shoulder straps to stop the protector riding up to maintain a close, secure-feeling fit. This pulled the shoulder straps in quite tight towards the neck and, even on my relatively broad shoulders, used almost all of the chest-strap adjustment. Smaller-framed riders may be better off looking at the more compact 10-litre version of this pack instead.
There are two jersey-style pockets on the back protector, but their mesh construction means anything you carry can get wet and muddy. Because of this, I wore the protector under a jacket whenever possible, but that’s not practical in warmer weather.
No bladder is included, so if you want to add hydration, you’re looking at forking out another £40 / $35 / AU$75 (for a 3-litre CamelBak Crux reservoir) on top of an already high price.