If the name is utterly unfamiliar to you, don’t be surprised. Acre Supply is an offshoot of San Francisco-based Mission Workshop and, while it’s done plenty of commuter packs before, this is the first time the company’s seriously had a go at technical trail kit. The result is beautifully made and well thought through, but the 'handmade in the US' price tag takes some getting over.
This Hauser pack comes in two sizes, the 10l we tested here and a slightly larger 14l model. The outer is made from Dimension-Polyant 210d nylon VX Ripstop fabric – basically the same super-durable waterproof material used for yacht sails.
That weatherproofing is backed up by an internal lining of lighter weight waterproof laminated nylon and waterproof zips throughout. On the trail, the ability of this pack to withstand the elements is somewhat questionable. The Hauser lacks seam taping, but still it kept most moisture out. The weak points are the small gaps at the top of the zippered compartments, which lack shrouds to keep rain from finding its way in.
The way the pack is put together is smart too. The perforated padded back panel doesn’t lift the pack off you but gives reasonably cool yet very comfortable wraparound support, while the strap fixing points can be adjusted to suit different back lengths or removed entirely in the case of the waistband. This back plus the rolltop closure design enables the main compartment to be stuffed full without turning the pack into an uncomfortable sausage shape.
There’s no bladder included, which seems a bit tight given the price, but it’s compatible with most 3l bladders and the separate internal compartment has hose guides and clips for left and right hand routing. There are plenty of external pockets, including a neat side compartment that can be quickly accessed by slinging the pack off one shoulder, but we’d like to see waist pouches for easy access to gels or your multi-tool.
The Hauser's beautiful handmade construction, from top notch materials, goes some way to justifying its eye-watering price tag. It’s undeniably comfy and has a number of smart features. The rub is that apart from the waterproofing, there’s nothing the Camelback Charge doesn’t do better – and for much less money.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.