ION Tran­som 16 back­pack £139.99

Mountain Biking UK - - WRECKED & RATED -

ION’s Tran­som pack has some neat fea­tures and of­fers masses of wellor­gan­ised stor­age space. What re­ally makes it stand out is its ‘Air_Con­di­tion’ air­flow sys­tem, which lets you switch it be­tween ‘up­hill’ and ‘down­hill’ modes. Plas­tic slid­ers within the waist strap al­low you to push the pack out­wards and fix it in place away from your lower back, to boost ven­ti­la­tion when climb­ing. Re­lease the buckle and the pack slides snugly against your back, for bet­ter sta­bil­ity on the de­scents. In prac­tice, the sys­tem does a de­cent job of keep­ing your lower back sweat free, but the large, rel­a­tively rigid waist strap and shoul­der blade pads still get clammy. We also found it quite dif­fi­cult to switch modes while rid­ing.

The 16l vol­ume is con­ve­nient for big days out when you need to carry lots of gear and there’s space for a 3l blad­der, though one isn’t in­cluded. We like the plethora of pock­ets and com­part­ments, es­pe­cially the re­mov­able tool sleeve. De­spite the pack’s hefty 1,560g weight, we found it com­fort­able when rid­ing and se­cure when de­scend­ing, and the straps of­fer heaps of ad­justa­bil­ity to help you get the fit right. Al­though the fab­ric gives de­cent weather re­sis­tance, a rain cover is in­cluded for down­pours. Luke www.ion-prod­

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