If you’ve travelled on a plane recently, no doubt you’ll have seen international mountain bikers wheeling their EVOC branded bike bags through the airport. You may have even got a little green with envy. Well thanks to Bikecycle.co.nz EVOC is now available in New Zealand and the range isn’t limited to bags that carry bikes. We’ve just begun testing this 20l Freeride Trail backpack. It has so many features it’s ludicrous (3l bladder, vented harness, helmet pouch, rain cover) but I guess its big selling point is the built-in back protector. It’s a requirement for all the European Enduro races that you must ride with a back protector, so a removable Liteshield back protector comes stock in all EVOC Freeride packs. Given that there are two multi-day Enduro events coming up in the near future, it just seems like perfect timing that we can get these packs now. There’s a range of sizes and colours available for purchase online now. The 20l model we’re testing is $199. You can check out the full EVOC range at bikecycle.co.nz

This is EVOC’s blurb on the Freeride packs.

FR stands for FREERIDE and it represents a line of EVOC backpacks with integrated LITESHIELD back protectors (available in 3 sizes: S, M/L, XL according to body height). The flexibility of the LITESHIELD protectors enables the backpack to adapt perfectly to the contours of your back, providing an ideal fit. The CE-certified (EN 1621-2) integrated back protector in the FR TRAIL is even detachable and can be worn as a fully functional separate protector. The LITESHIELD protector elements in all FR models can be removed and replaced in case they get damaged or dirty.

The FR TRAIL and FR TOUR are also equipped with the revolutionary 2-step zip system which makes it possible to open the main compartment either as a top load or completely. This enables you to pack it systematically and also provides quick access to things when you’re on tour. The “mobile workshop”, the fold-open compartment in the front, provides well-arranged pockets and nets for your tool kit, pump, repair kit and tubes. The flexible hip strap and the anatomically shaped shoulder strap ensure a high degree of wearing comfort – so does the soft and wide cut neck section. The zips are equipped with hypalon zipper ports and pull tabs with integrated reflector elements. The ultra-light double PU-coated Ripstop Nylon outer material is extremely durable. All EVOC backpacks are also provided with a white signalling whistle, which is integrated in the chest strap – ideal to call for attention in emergencies or to show your companions which way to go.

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