Unfortunately, not all bikes come with a bottle cage. If that’s your case, where are you going to put your water? The Bontrager Rapid Pack is a wonderful solution for everyone who doesn’t have a bottle holder on their bike but doesn’t like the idea of riding without the water.
As soon as you wrap it around your waist, the Bontrager Rapid Pack gives a very positive impression. The workmanship is first-class, all materials feel high-quality and robust and the compartment layout is well thought-out. There’s not a single superfluous feature or detail and the pocket arrangement makes perfect sense – even at a first blush. The Rapid Pack falls into the category of medium sized packs. And while this means that there isn’t enough room for a full-size pump, a light windbreaker will fit. The Rapid Pack is clearly built around the central bottle holder: this works perfectly and holds the bottle in a stable position – you won’t even notice it. Access is easy, but sometimes you’ll have to use both hands to insert the bottle in the holder.
In principle, the partition of the compartments is symmetrical – one smaller and one larger partition per side are made of stretchable mesh and can hold a minitool, a CO2 cartridge, keys and other small bits. The Bontrager Rapid lets you access the contents even without looking, because you always know what is where, and reach for the item you need just with one hand. In the right pocket there’s a neoprene insert for a smartphone, which holds even larger smartphones like an iPhone 7 Plus. The outer walls of both compartments are made of sturdy, slightly stretchy soft shell-like material. This allows you to stow a spare jersey or even a light windbreaker without the bag feeling overloaded or uncomfortable.
In terms of comfort, there’s not much we can complain about. The Bontrager Rapid Pack provides a stable and very comfortable fit, even when you’re carrying a full water bottle in it. On the other hand, it tends to get rather hot on long rides and absorbs the sweat, holding on to it for a relatively long time compared to other models. Having said that, it still is one of the best-fitting packs in test. The adjustment system is attached directly to the hip fins and works much better and more intuitively than other systems that rely on a more traditional buckle adjustment system.
Super solid, well designed and functionally flawless. If you’re looking for a hip pack with a bottle holder and don’t mind swapping your pump for a CO2 cartridge, the Bontrager Rapid Pack is an excellent option. While the pack tends to get warm and absorb sweat on long rides, the superb and very stable fit makes up for the warm climate – € 50 well spent!
- Top material quality
- Very comfortable and stable
- Sensible compartment layout
- Big phone compartment
- good value for money
- No room for a pump
- Back dries rather slowly
For more information head to trekbikes.com
The test field
Click here for an overview of the best MTB hip pack in test
All hip packs in review: Bedrock Bags Greysill Hip Pack (Click for review) | Bontrager Rapid Pack | CamelBak Podium Flow (Click for review) | CamelBak Repack LR 4 (Click for review) | Dakine Hot Laps 5L (Click for review) | Dakine Hot Laps 2L (Click for review) | Dakine Hot Laps Stealth (Click for review) | Deuter Pulse 3 (Click for review) | Deuter Pulse 2 (Click for review) | EVOC HIP PACK PRO 3l (Click for review) | EVOC HIP PACK RACE 3l (Click for review) | EVOC HIP POUCH 1l (Click for review) | EVOC RACE BELT (Click for review) | High Above Cascadia (Click for review) | High Above Lookout (Click for review) | High Above Das Radpack (Click for review) | ION Hipbag Traze 3 (Click for review) | Leatt Hydration Core 2.0 (Click for review) | Mavic XA 3L Belt (Click for review) | Mavic Crossride Belt (Click for review) | Mavic Deemax Belt (Click for review) | Race Face Rip Strip (Click for review) | SOURCE Hipster 1.5L (Click for review) | SOURCE Hipster Ultra 5L (Click for review)
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Words: Photos: Andreas Maschke, Christoph Bayer