I’ve not always been a fan of riding with a backpack, and I’m normally more of a pannier, tailpack or tankbag kind of guy. But in hot conditions and especially at altitude, good hydration is absolutely vital. And now that I’ve done quite a few thousand kilometres in both, I can attest to the fact that having a backpack with a water bladder really does help in that quest for thirst quenching. A bladder and tube encourages you to drink without having to stop and pull a water bottle out from somewhere and I’m now a big fan of this method. It’s not the stopping that’s an issue – I enjoy that -it’s rather that the constant drip feed of water saves the headaches, both literal and when when you find the bottle has leaked in your luggage…
The bag itself is extremely well made, something that is in common with all Kriega kit. The zips are high quality and waterproofed, there are 100% water-sealed compartments within and the chest and waist straps create a superb limpet effect on your back. There are numerous cinch straps to keep things in place and adjust the bag to your own particular contours. When the bag is on, you simply don’t feel that it is there at all. You can get bigger (20-25 litre) versions of the backpack but for me small is beautiful, and I really treasure the pack now that I own it.
I have used the R3 waist pack for a couple of years – brilliant for essentials like money, lip salve, passports and permits etc – and have found it very useful. My main problem has been that if work with a normal backpack the R3 tends to get pushed down and you keep having to tighten it. But, this year in combination with the R15 backpack (which sits far higher above the waist and is designed to work with Kriega’s waist packs) the problem immediately went away.
The waist pack is entirely waterproof and has a roll-top and Velcro closure system inside the outer skin of the pack. The same excellent build quality is applied as with all Kriega kit, and you have the feeling that this little bag is going to last for many years.
The aesthetic of the bags has also been thought-out well, and they look pretty stylish with buff straps on black panels.
R15 Backpack £109.00
430(h) x 250(w) x 150(d) mm