While very few manufacturers trim their hip bags for uncompromising racing performance, the EVOC RACE BELT goes against the tide and provides exactly what racers need when they’re under pressure: super-fast access to a CO2 cartridge, minitool or energy bar.
Every second counts on race day and that’s exactly why the pros try to attach as many tools and spares as possible directly to their bike. Hip bags can be tricky to access and chaotic compartment layouts can cost you precious seconds when looking for a tool mid race. However, that’s not the case with the EVOC RACE BELT: Thanks to the many compartments, you can easily memorise the position of each item and access it on the fly with one hand while fencing off your opponents with the other.
On the left side there’s a wide mesh compartment for an energy bar or gel. On the rear, there are two more vertical tool pockets as well as a square pocket, which is big enough to hold a spare inner tube. As a unique feature, on the right side there’s a holder for a CO2 cartridge. However, the Velcro fastener of the cartridge holder sits quite far up, which means that CO2 inflators with an angled head should be stowed either upside down or attached to a large 25 g cartridge. On the right hip fin there’s also a zipped pocket with a key holder. All in all, the compartment layout is cleverly solved and all contents sit snug against the body.
As with the HIP PACK PRO 3l, the hip belt itself is made of AIROFLEX material, which means the velcro strap is elastic and well ventilated. In this case, however, the Velcro fastener is the only closure system and there’s no additional strap or buckle. At first, we were a little sceptical and didn’t think that a Velcro strap alone could support the load of a full hip bag over an extended period of time. We were soon proven wrong. Not only does the RACE BELT offer a secure and very stable fit, but also feels extremely comfortable. So comfortable in fact, that you’ll forget you’re wearing it after a short time – perhaps the most pleasant surprise we had throughout this test.
The RACE BELT is also very versatile – at least in a racing scenario. All compartments are easily accessible and once you’ve worked out your own system, you’ll get to all your bits quickly and easily even in under pressure. The only drawback: The Velcro fasteners of the compartments are quite rough and scratch your hands and gloves whenever you get something out of the bag. Of course, you can use the EVOC RACE BELT outside the racing track, provided you can live with the fixed compartment layout. However, there’s no room for larger items, which means the RACE BELT is not as versatile for more leisurely trail riding. While there’s theoretically enough room for a mobile phone, you wouldn’t be able to secure it properly and the pack would feel too bulky.
The EVOC RACE BELT does its name justice. No other waist bag gives you quicker access to the contents. And then there’s the excellent wearing comfort! Even if you fill it to the brim, EVOC’s minimalist hip won’t bother you in the slightest and you can focus on the race. If you race frequently or if you simply need to carry a minimal amount of contents but still want a comfortable fit and clever compartment layout, the RACE BELT is your best possible option.
- Super comfortable
- Fastest access
- Best option for racers
- Inflexible layout
- No option for a mobile phone
- Rear padding absorbs sweat
For more information head to evocsports.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 (Click for review) | 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 | 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