Amplifi might not be the first name that pops into your mind when you think of riding bags or protection…
Amplifi isn’t most people’s first brand when they think of pads or protection. The Stratos MKII pack and Core Knee Pads are the pick of a very extensive range. Pete will be putting them through their paces over the coming months.
Amplifi Stratos MKII Pack.
The first thing that strikes you about the Stratos MKII pack is the size. Size equals storage though, and at a total of 23l of storage looks far bigger than the numbers indicate. This isn’t a pack for a bimble around a trail centre, more for a adventure into the hills which is where the back protector comes in handy too.
Pockets on the Stratos are numerous, with pockets for seemingly every purpose, including a soft-lined glasses pocket and a tool roll. There is space and attachments for a bladder system, although there isn’t one supplied. On the plus side, you can choose your favourite system, or you’ll need to finally clean out that mouldy bladder in the cupboard. 4 colour options are available.
Features are high though and this makes the Stratos a solid pick for an all-day outing. The CE certified back protector should keep you safe if things go wrong and is made from a material originally designed by British scientists for military applications. The list of features beyond that is extensive:-
CE approved, lightweight, ventilated S-Cell protec tor with multi impact characteristics (EN 1621-2:2012)
– Intelligent, progress ive shock absorption system
– 3D shaped back protec tor for adaptive shock absorption management
Free vent 3D molded back panel for a perfect wearing cllimate
– High ventilated, pre shaped shoulder straps
– Hydration ready – can be worn on both shoulder straps
– Hip fins with double compress ion strap to regulate the load and compress ion
– Hip fin pocket
– Helmet carry system
– Hideable compress ion straps which can carry the downhill gear as well
– Multiple stash pockets/key clip
– Separate tool pocket
– Adjustable raincover (can cover the helmet as well)
– Reflective pipings / flash light fixation
Knee pads might well be one of the most over-subscribed markets in the cycling industry. Every man and his dog seems to turn out knee pads of wildly different quality. The Core Series is the base level below the MKII series but there is nothing unnecessary about the Core series, all the frill trimmed back.
These Core knee pads look to do the business of the protecting your knees well enough. These are a low-profile pad with a shallow cup, dropping well below the knee joint. Top and bottom closures with grippers on the closures should keep everything in check.
Black is the only colour option, but they’ll be covered in mud before you know it, so no real worry there. The pad itself is injection moulded that allows air to travel through it, keeping your knees cool. Kevlar inserts should keep them looking good no matter how many times you stave them into the turf.
Knee pads often come down to personal preference with there being so many available. Hopefully we’ll not have to test them for their intended purpose but the true test of a good pad is one that can be forgotten about. At £50 they land at the sensible end of the price spectrum, so time will tell if they stand up to some Scottish winter abuse.