Haters are inevitably gonna hate but like it or not, the age of the Fanny Pack is upon us.
Bontrager’s Rapid Pack is an excellent option for the Enduro Snatchel enthusiast.
The Bontrager Rapid Pack is – whatever you want to call it – a bum bag, fanny pack or a hip pack for quick rides that don’t need loads of tools, food or spare bits.
You clip it round your waist just on top of your hips, and there’s 1.364l of room for a water bottle, your keys and phone, an energy bar and a few basic bits. The pockets are large enough for a surprising amount of stuff and Bontrager claim will fit all sizes of inner tube, including for fat bikes.
Bonty recommend it for “rides lasting two hours or less” meaning it carries the basics but no more.
Need to know:
- 1.364L capacity
- Lightweight, stretchy woven material
- Two zipped pockets
- Space for a water bottle
- Internal mesh pockets for “easy gear organisation”
- RRP £44.99
Less is more
You, like me, might well have lost your enthusiasm for lugging loads of crap around on your short rides.
I want to nip out for a quick spin after work, on my lunch break or on a Saturday morning and I know I can survive without loads of food, extra layers or tools. I also know I can do a full ride without taking my jacket off so I don’t need loads of storage space.
The Rapid Pack has, like many hip packs, been a great way to ditch my bulky bag and slim down on to what I really need carry on the trails. I’ve used it for most of my riding since the end of the summer and for anything but those big ‘middle of nowhere’ rides it works very well.
Wide and low
The Rapid Pack’s design sets it apart from many of today’s Freeride Fanny Packs.
The pack has large, wide straps which create lots of contact with your back and make for a very secure, very comfortable fit. That, in turn, keeps the pack low and flush to your back.
It doesn’t flap about, rattle, slip down or push your shorts down like many similar packs. It’s also very comfortable to wear.
Space for a water bottle
The pack has space for a water bottle which sits snuggly in a tube shaped hole in its centre. It puts your heaviest item (your water) comfortably in the middle of your lower back and it sits securely without wobbling around. Your bottle is easy to grab in a hurry and with a bit of practice can be stowed away again without needing to take the pack off.
The downside is that in wet weather your bottle (and the whole of the pack) will get covered in cack from your back wheel. That’s easily solved by a bottle with a cap over the nozzle or just drinking from ‘mouth’ of the bottle. In really, really muddy conditions and anywhere involving animal poo covered trails it can be a bit of a write-off though.
And two large pockets for everything else
The pack’s main storage is in two large zip-up pockets. These wrap around from the pack’s rear to its sides, putting the weight on top of your bum and round onto your hips.
Each pocket has a large, empty space for your biggest items and some stretchy pouches that you can slot items like your phone or allen keys into without them bouncing around. Larger items naturally slide down to the rear of the pack.
Each of the pockets is large enough for a few useful items – your phone, a bar, a second pair of gloves, an inner tube and that’s about it.
A nice effect of the design is that the pockets curve round your body which pulls them tight when the pack is worn and keeps your gear held in place.
But pumps and jackets are tricky
The Rapid Pack isn’t quite big enough for your jacket or a decent pump – so you’ll need to plan your rides around that when using it.
You could, of course, fit a very small pump or gas canisters in the pockets but for anything more you’ll struggle. We found that you can hang a pump really securely to the outside of the pack but it felt like a bit of a faff and would get covered in crap.
You’ll also need to keep your jacket on when you’re wearing the Rapid Pack – there’s no room in the pockets to stow it away if you get too hot. Worst case you can tie it round the waste strap but, again, that’s a bit of a faff.
That said, those things haven’t been a problem so far. The Rapid Pack is best used on those short rides of familiar trails – the sort of rides you can survive without a pump and just put up with keeping your jacket on.
What do we think?
If you like nipping out on quickish rides on familiar trails then I’d thoroughly recommend the Bontrager Rapid Pack.
It’s comfortable, very quick and easy to chuck-on as you leave the house and has plenty of storage for everything you need and nothing you don’t.
Great for local laps and shortish blasts.
- Very comfortable
- Carries everything you need and nothing you don’t
- Makes backpack-free riding a doddle
- Doesn’t move around, slip or bounce on the trails
Not so good:
- Gets covered in muck in wet conditions
- No room for a decent pump
- No room for a jacket