Here at Spoke HQ we have embarked on a journey, a journey of self discovery if you will, a journey to find the best bum bag on the planet. You'll have to wait till December to check out the results of the first ever Spoke Bum Bag Shoot Out but the latest entrant in the running just showed up for some hardcore winter testing and the Ortlieb Hip Pack 2 looks like it could be seriously competitive little number! If you're not familiar with Ortlieb products, you've probably never been into a city or you have never been cycle touring. Ortlieb make the best messenger bags in the world and I'd hazard a guess that at least 70% of the world's cycle couriers use Ortlieb's rugged and waterproof roll-top bags. The same goes for cycle touring; 9 out of every 10 panniers you see on that crazy German's bike on the West Coast are Ortlieb. There is a good reason and that is their stuff works and it keeps your shit dry. The Hip Pack 2 utilises everything good about Ortlieb and shapes it into a lightweight bumbag, perfect for running, hiking and yup, all-duro-mountain riding.
Just like their messenger bags and panniers the Hip Pack features a roll-top closure on the main compartment, admittedly it's not the quickest pocket to access but if you want stuff to stay dry then that's where it lives. There's a quick access zipped pocket on the outside that fits a smartphone and two bottle holders on each hip. Thanks to the bungee cord on the bottle holders you can use them to store a lightweight shell. Everything cinches down tight thanks to just the right amount of compressions straps.
The bag itself is nice and stiff with wide straps at the hips to ensure the bag stays upright and doesn't flip or roll when riding, the hip pads are extremely well vented and also features mesh pockets for keys, credit cards etc. Tightening the bag around the waist is done like modern hiking packs and the straps are pulled from the hips to centre and tighten the buckle around your waist.
And there are even a couple of little cherries on the top like this removable wallet that Velcros into the inside of the bag, it's handy for tools, tyre levers and patches. Also the the main bag can be detached from the waist belt for easy cleaning.
This bag will be going up against a classic from CamelBak and my Dakine Enduro Hip Pack, on paper looks like it has what it takes to dodge Poison Oak in Santa Cruz as well as shred Mt Vic in Wellington with enough baked muesli bars inside to satiate my appetite!
If you can't wait to till December for the full results of the Spoke Bum Bag Shoot Out then hit up these guys to find your nearest retailer now.