The Mavic XA 3L is the largest bum bag of the French brand. With its consistent structure, it has a fixed place for everything – including two drinking bottles. Unfortunately there’s a catch …
Thanks to the simple color scheme and elegant look, the Mavic XA 3L looks slimmer than it is. The large, smooth surfaces and minimal amount of straps and cords underline the tidy overall impression. The compartment layout is clearly and cleverly structured. There’s a well-sized zip pocket on each hip fin: the right one has a key holder and a mesh divider. And between the main compartment and the pockets, a bottle holder made of stretchable mesh with a well hidden rubber holder. Besides our Best in test, the Mavic is the only hip pack in test with two bottle holders. If you don’t like water bottles on your hip pack, you can easily stash other bits, like a bar, wrapper paper or a spare gel.
The wide zipper in the chunky, padded cover flap opens up to a huge phone pocket lined with fleece. This will hold even the biggest currently available smartphone – no one beats the Mavic’s phone pocket! To close the lid, you have to pull the robust metal hook over one of the tabs. Once you opened the pack, you’re in for a surprise: instead of taking up the entire width of the pack, the main compartment only takes up two thirds of it. Above, you’ll find to adjustable straps for latching on a jacket or similar. This is great, because the garment is now underneath the main flap and protected from mud and splashing water. However, if you’re not carrying any spare clothing, this room is going to waste because you can’t use it in any other way.
The tool compartment is well organised. This can be opened completely and has a large mesh pocket for small bits and two rubber straps in front of the well padded back wall. There’s enough room for a CO2 cartridge, a mini tool and even a pump up to an impressive length of 25 cm. A third, additional strap would have allowed for an even more flexible distribution of the contents though. Apart from that, the compartment layout of the Mavic XA 3L leaves no wishes open. Everything has got its own place here.
The XA 3L is a very comfortable pack to wear although it’s not on par with the most comfortable models in test. The strap of the hip belt, which relies on a metal buckle, is super long but can be cut to the desired length. While the system requires some time to get used to, once you figured it out it works very well indeed. Should you inadvertently step on the buckle when the bag is on the floor, this won’t shatter in a hundred pieces like a conventional plastic buckle. When it comes to fit and stability, unfortunately, the Mavic XA 3L can’t keep up the excellent work it has done so far. The hip fins are not angled enough, which means that the pack doesn’t sit perfectly snug on the back. In addition, there’s the elastic strap at one end of the belt. And while this provides a better fit and thus a little more comfort, it will quickly buckle under the weight of the pack and affect its stability.
The Mavic XA 3L is a very elegant, comfortable hip bag with a well thought-out, structured compartment layout. If you always carry a jacket with you, it’s an ideal option. If not, the space is wasted because it can’t be used for any other purpose. Unfortunately, the elastic strap and the low angle of the hip fins affect the fit and stability negatively. Which is a real shame, because otherwise the Mavic XA 3L is just perfect.
- Extremely clever compartment layout
- Large, padded phone pocket on the outside
- No plastic buckles on the outside
- Protected jacket holder
- High quality
- Elastic band on the waist belt
- Restricted angle of the hip fins
- Jacket holder is wasted space when not in use
For more information head to mavic.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 (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 | 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)
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of ENDURO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality mountain bike journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words: Photos: Andreas Maschke, Christoph Bayer