Vaude’s a brand that’s concerned with providing good working conditions and fair wages to its workers and is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. It also produces environmentally-friendly products, denoted with the Green Shape label – and the Hyper carries this tag.
The bag’s also coated with its Eco Finish that provides a level of waterproofing and is an environmentally-friendly alternative to fluorocarbon finishes that cause water to bead.
Vaude Hyper 14 + 3 backpack specifications
It has a headline capacity of 14 litres that can be increased to 17 litres by opening a zip, the bag’s also got an in-built helmet carrier and three separate pockets: two larger ones and one smaller.
There’s a bladder compartment in the largest pocket and two organiser compartments in the middle section. There’s a padded hip strap with a zipped pocket on the right-hand side and an adjustable chest strap to keep it secure, too.
The pack has a mesh back contact area that elevates the bag’s body away from the wearer’s back to create air flow.
There are guide loops for bladder straws on the shoulder straps and two elasticated side pockets as well as clip straps that can hold items such as knee and shin pads. The pack comes with a waterproof rain cover.
Vaude Hyper 14 + 3 backpack performance
When packing the bag with my tools and kit for a day’s riding it became quickly apparent there weren’t enough separate compartments and organiser sections to keep everything divided up. Only one compartment has divider pockets to keep valuable items out of harm’s way.
A bladder isn’t included in the price of the pack, but when I installed a 3-litre one, full to capacity, it took up a lot of space in the bag. Impressively, however, the bag disguised its weight well, putting most of its bulk into my hips through the padded hip strap rather than over the shoulders or into the chest.
The hip strap is very comfortable to boot, even with the bag’s bulk pushing through it.
The pack was easy to adjust to the correct fit and get tight enough so that it didn’t swing or sway around on rowdy trails.
The chest strap did tend to ride up despite multiple re-adjustments. The in-built bladder hose clip kept it in control, but it’s worth noting the bladder’s hose needs to be long enough to work well with the bag’s design.
The gap between the bag and back created by the mesh section really helped reduce and control the amount of uncomfortable sweat build up on climbs, and on hot days this feature proved invaluable.
The helmet carrying system isn’t great, though. Open face lids are attached by inserting the chin strap into two hooks either side of the bag. The hooks don’t clamp the strap, so over very rough terrain the helmet could bounce out.
The extra weight of a full-face lid caused the clips to deform and they couldn’t keep the lid attached to the bag. This is disappointing and it wouldn’t have been hard to make the clips stronger or spring-loaded so that lids don’t crash off the bag.
If you’re carrying a helmet you also lose easy access to the smallest and middle-sized pocket, but the side pockets are big enough to store a convertible lid’s chin bar or you can clip it to the bag using the side clip-strap.
The bag’s rain cover is waterproof, but the Eco Finish kept water from penetrating its interior without the need for the cover in all of the showers I encountered.
Vaude Hyper 14 + 3 backpack bottom line
A comfortable pack that hides its weight well thanks to the solid hip straps. It lacks storage compartments and helmet fastening was less than ideal.
However, it’s made by a company that prides itself on being environmentally friendly and supporting workers’ rights, which I like.