USWE PATRIOT 15
It is hard to go past the humble backpack for your fluid and spares needs. Or in the case of the USWE Patriot 15, the highly evolved mountain bike specific backpack. Those who don’t like riding with a backpack normally have a few pet hates: a sweaty back, stability of the bag, and protection from what’s inside. USWE manage these bug bears quite well with their all-day Patriot 15. One of the features of all the USWE bags is their No Dancing Monkey harness system. The central attachment is not only a cinch to use with gloves, but as the straps are also elasticised it’s not a rigid fixing. The padded straps go over your shoulders, and have an elasticated point before the clip. The wide Velcro straps come up from the base where there is another section of elastic. You can adjust the length on all four straps, and there’s a hose holder right near the clip, with options to route a hose from a bladder over either shoulder. No bladder is included. The back system has raised padding to help ventilation, but it’s the CE-certified central back protector inside that’s of real interest. The flexible viscoelastic foam hardens on impact, and save for adding a bit of weight to the bag (1.11kg on our scales) it’s not noticeable when riding. But if you crash onto a multi-tool, pump or even just a big rock on your back it might provide that extra bit of protection you need for your spine and spinal cord. Two main pockets take care of most of the storage. The front one has two zippered compartments, a mesh section and the open part for things you need easy access to like snacks. The main compartment has access for a reservoir, a small pocket with a key clip that’s ideal for keys, a place for emergency ID to be written, 5 different tight mesh pockets to arrange tools, a pump, levers, spare hanger and more – plus a cavernous gusseted section for clothing and more. There’s an open space between the two for jamming a jacket or trail lid in, plus there are attachment points for a full face helmet. Best of all, given the stable nature of the bag attaching any of these doesn’t feel totally rubbish! There are also two straps at the base to roll up a jacket or even a trimmed down sleeping pad if a summer time overnight epic tickles your fancy.
ON THE TRAIL
With a day’s worth of gear, the pack is heavy to pull on but light on your back, thanks to the stability. Compared to any other backpack I have
- Stable and safe - Carries a range of gear comfortably - Solid construction
- No deal breakers!