First Look: USWE Airborne 2 Hydration Pack.

When you think of hydration packs, USWE probably isn’t the first name that comes to mind, but the Swedish company has the Syndicate on their books and some very smart looking packs on offer.

Pete’s just taken delivery of this Airborne 2, their lightest, hydration-only pack, focusing on short blasts where storage isn’t a priority.

‘No More Dancing Monkey’ is the main selling point of all the USWE range. Rather than a classic waist strap combined with a smaller cross clip strap on the chest, USWE use a harness strap to keep the pack static.

This Airborne 2 pack is designed for those outings where water and a key pocket is all you need. A 2l bladder comes provided and should keep you well lubricated for an hour or two’s gallop. Pete will be running this through the mill over the coming months.

USWE Airborne 2 Hydration Pack Madison Wideopenmag

The Airborne 2 is USWE’s lightest and understated pack. I say understated, in that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that most modern packs sport. With a view to saving weight and trimming anything unnecessary for those shorter blasts, water and keys is pretty much all the Airborne 2 will carry. For many, that will be plenty.

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It’s worth noting that this isn’t a bike-specific pack per se, not that it should detract from the on-bike experience, but anyone who dabbles in a bit of running or adventure sports should take a look at the Airborne 2.

USWE Airborne 2 Hydration Pack Madison Wideopenmag‘No More Dancing Monkey’ may sound like a gimmick-laden tag line, but past experience with USWE’s own, or the USWE-derived Leatt offerings have proven it to live up to the hype on the trail. An adjustable, elasticated harness strap is, when properly adjusted, far more snug and comfortable a fit than the waist and chest strap setup. The closure seems slightly different to previous years, but first impressions seem easy enough even with gloves.

 As above, weight is something that has been trimmed to offer only the necessaries. 314g claimed weight minus the bladder (and water, obviously). Even with 2kg of water, this will be a lightweight compared to many other packs out there. A decent shout for anyone who needs water for a lapped race, but doesn’t want to fire a bottle in the cage or in the jersey.

We’re looking forward to putting the Airborne 2 through its paces over the coming months. Previous experience with harness strap packs have been good, so keep an eye out for a full review in the coming months. Can USWE compete with the big dogs like Osprey and Camelbak? There’s only one way to find out!

Head over to the USWE Sports page for full details on the Airborne range, or head to Madison’s site for dealer listings. Why not check out our other product reviews too?