Evoc Ride 12L Review
Cons: No rain cover, only comes with 2-liter bladder
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Evoc Ride 12L
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|Pros||Good storage, easy to access bladder, hip belt pockets, comfortable bite valve, lightweight||Breathability, excellent storage, comfort and support||Excellent storage and organization, breathable back panel, adjustable hip belt||Big volume, lightweight, great price||Lightweight, sleek, solid performance in a minimalist pack, nice price|
|Cons||No rain cover, only comes with 2-liter bladder||Expensive, thin hip belt||Heavy, expensive||Fewer pockets, lacking breathability||Almost no storage, shoulder straps are snug for users with wide shoulders and lats|
|Bottom Line||It's hard to find many faults with this well thought out pack that has a great blend of storage capacity and comfort||This comfortable, breathable, supportive, and full-featured hydration pack earns our highest praise||A comfortable, high-performing pack with plenty of volume and nearly every available storage feature||A simple bag with a functional design and an excellent volume to weight to price ratio||Not just a classic, but THE Classic in minimalist packs and our recommendation for minimalists and those on a tight budget|
|Rating Categories||Evoc Ride 12L||Osprey Syncro 12||Gregory Endo 15L||Gregory Nano 18 H2O||CamelBak Classic|
|Ease of Drinking (20%)|
|Ease of Filling (20%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (10%)|
|Specs||Evoc Ride 12L||Osprey Syncro 12||Gregory Endo 15L||Gregory Nano 18 H2O||CamelBak Classic|
|Pack Size (liters)||12 L||12 L||15 L||18 L||0.5 L|
|Bladder Capacity (liters)||2 L||2.5 L||3 L||3 L||2.5 L|
|Weight (measured)||24.0 oz||34.0 oz||38.4 oz||25.6 oz||11.2 oz|
|Weight (claimed)||20.8 oz||27.5 oz||32.0 oz||18.4 oz||5.0 oz|
|Waist Belt||1" webbing with light padding at back and 2 pockets||3/4" webbing||Padded with two zippered pockets||Removable 3/4" webbing||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The German company Evoc may best be known in the mountain bike world for its bike travel bags. Those familiar with the company should not be surprised to learn that their hydration packs have the same thoughtful, high-quality design as their bike bags. The Evoc Ride 12 is deemed an "allrounder" pack, geared towards mountain biking and everyday life. The 2-liter bladder sits inside its own sleeve, which is easy to access via a large compartment that unzips nearly the entire length of the pack. The large bite valve has a twist on/off switch and has a very good flow rate, and is easy to drink from. When it comes to storage, our testers appreciated the pack's interior mesh pockets to organize our tools, wallet, keys, and snacks. We found the pack very comfortable on the back, thanks to its design that flares away from the back at the base. The Ride 12 performed well in all of our metrics, and we found ourselves reaching for it time and time again.
Ease of Drinking
Evoc's bladders are made by HydraPak, who recently redesigned their High-flow Blaster™ bite valve and hose to allow for a higher flow rate. The bite valve twists to turn it on or off and has a very good flow rate, especially when all the way open. The rounded shape of the bite valve is comfortable to drink from and can easily be pinched together to allow water to flow freely for Fido to drink or to mix electrolytes in a water bottle.
The hose uses a clip on the right side of the pack to hold it in place, which does pinch the hose, meaning you must unclip it to take a drink. This is easy enough to do while hiking but is a bit cumbersome while moving on the bike.
The pack comes with a 2-liter bladder which is typically not enough for all-day adventures but can also hold a 3-liter bladder instead.
Ease of Filling
The Ride 12 has one of the easiest to access bladders of all the packs in our testing, thanks to the design of its compartment, which unzips nearly the entire length of the pack. When the pack is loaded, you can partially unzip the compartment and pull the bladder out of its sleeve to remove and reinsert into the sleeve.
The hose connects at the base of the bladder with HydraPak's Plug-N-Play system, which prevents water from leaking out while the hose is disconnected. The bladder is held shut by a Slide-Seal bar that goes over a baffle which is reminiscent of a heavy-duty ziplock bag. This baffle and Slide-Seal combination is very effective at preventing leaks and is easy to use. A nice feature of the Slide-Seal is an integrated leash that keeps it attached to the bladder.
The bladder has two small handles called Dual FlexGrip™ that you can slide a few fingers under to hold it open while filling, although our testers found it relatively easy to pinch the top of the bladder open and to fill.
The base of the Ride 12 is unique in that it flares away from the user's back, making it feel like a smaller pack. This was quite noticeable for our shorter tester, who found longer packs to be uncomfortable because they hit her low back or the top of her hips, but the design of the base of the Evoc pack made it very comfortable on her smaller torso.
The back panel features Evoc's Air Pad system, a combination of mesh panels and ventilation channels that help with the pack's breathability. We wore the pack in temps ranging from the 40s to the mid-70s, and the back panel provides enough airflow to keep our backs relatively sweat-free and comfortable. Throughout testing, we never had a sweat-drenched back at the end of our activity.
The pack fits close to the back, which helps to stabilize loads while mountain biking and helps prevent it from getting caught on branches while bushwacking or hiking. The sternum strap easily adjusts up and down, making it easy to find the best placement for your torso and the buckle even has an integrated whistle for emergencies.
One of the more unique features of the pack is the hip belt which has pull tabs on it for adjustments. This system took some getting used to, but once we figured out how it worked, it was a breeze to adjust. We also appreciated the elastic loops found on all the straps that keep the pack's straps tidy and out of the way.
The Ride 12 has 12 liters of storage space which we found to be more than adequate for half-day hikes and four-hour rides. Inside the main compartment, the bladder's sleeve is on the back panel, and the front unzips nearly the entire length of the pack, revealing mesh storage pockets. These pockets are great for keeping track of small loose items, a wallet, and keys, for which there is a key fob inside the top zip pocket. The rest of the main compartment is shaped like a rectangle and does not taper at the bottom. This shape allows for plenty of storage space for a first aid kit, puffy coat or rain jacket, lunch, and more. There are even Emergency Plan instructions printed on the inside of the main compartment that provides emergency numbers for the US, Canada, the EU, and Switzerland; and even gives talking points to use when you need to call for help.
On the front of the pack are two pockets, one zipper and one that is expandable. The zip pocket is great for sunglasses, snacks, or other small items. And, the expandable pocket is great for storing quick-access items, such as maps, jackets, or a chin bar. This is a great feature for mountain bikers, who want a chin bar for their helmet on the descent, but don't want to wear it on the climb. We carried our chin bar in this pocket on climbs up to rowdy descents and had no issues with it jostling loose or moving on the ride. Once the chinbar is in place, you can cinch everything down tightly using the side compression straps.
We stored our multitools and snacks in vertical mesh pockets located on the back of the hip belt. We liked how easily we could reach into the pocket, and the depth of the pocket prevents items from bouncing out while mountain biking. We did not worry much about these items impaling us in the event of a crash because they are located on the side of the pack instead of on our chest.
The only thing missing from the pack is a rain cover. However, we did hike in light rain, and the pack shed water fairly well. Overall, we are impressed with this pack's easy-to-use storage and its slim profile on the back when loaded, which helps it earn high marks for this metric.
On our tester's digital scale, the Ride 12 weighs in at 24.0 ounces (1.5 pounds) with the included bladder (6.4 ounces). It is significantly lighter than the other 12-liter packs we tested. Due to its rectangular shape, it is easier to load and can more easily store square or rectangular items, like a small storage container or first aid kit.
Ease of Cleaning
The 2-liter HydraPak bladder is incredibly easy to turn inside, which makes cleaning a breeze. Evoc recommends lubricating the Plug-N-Play system to keep it working smoothly. We also recommend cleaning any bite valve regularly to keep bacteria at bay, and small, flexible brushes will help you clean the inside of the hose.
A damp cloth is all that is needed to dirt, mud, and dust off the pack, and by unzipping the main compartment, we can easily shake out any dirt from inside the pack, which makes cleaning pretty easy.
The Evoc Ride 12 is priced very similarly to other packs in our review. When we compare the Ride 12 to its competitors, it weighs less, has more storage capacity in the main compartment, and has an easy-to-clean bladder system, and this combination of features makes it a great buy.
The Ride 12 is a great multi-activity hydration pack. We wore it hiking and mountain biking, and its comfortable close-to-back fit, sturdy construction, and storage capacity are top-notch. The bite valve is easy to drink from, and the hose has an excellent flow. Having the option to carry a helmet or chinbar on the pack is a bonus for mountain bikers, and hikers can lash trekking poles to the pack using the mesh side pockets and compression straps. Best of all, this pack weighs significantly less than other 12-liter packs in our test, making it a great choice for an all-around hydration pack and earning it one of our top awards.
— Tara Reddinger-Adams
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