EVOC The Talk

Words by Andrew Major

The EVOC Trail Pro 16 is a big pack. Not the biggest that EVOC makes by a longshot, but for my day-to-day use it's 50% larger than the personal pack I don't ever overfill. Why not review the Trail Pro 10 instead? Ignorance. Straight up. I've been using the same two multiple times repaired ACRE Hauser 10L roll-top weatherproof backpacks for years now. With a Camelbak Level-2 back protector in place of a hydration bladder. And while I've tried any number of packs in that time, I've never had a compelling reason to switch.

Given the opportunity to choose an EVOC pack to review, the Trail Pro series was the obvious standout in the lineup. These have a back protector which is a priority for me, and yet are relatively light. They also include a rain cover which is a must on a non-weatherproof bag. The harness system is very comfortable but with my 10L bag needs already settled, the larger 16L size made more sense from the perspective of having an option for bigger days.

The Trail Pro 16 isn't perfect but I did fall in love with it on my very first ride. I haven't ridden in my ACRE packs since...

And it's not like I've not tried a few different EVOC packs previously. From the back padding to the harness system to the back protector itself, the Trail Pro lineup is a clear example of small steady product evolutions eventually turning out a much better product. It's lighter than past EVOC protector packs and rides even lighter.

Like the best hiking packs, only cut for mountain biking, the Trail Pro takes some time to set up properly and at first the hug of the hip-belt setup felt a bit awkward. I adjusted it a bunch of times on my first climb before settling back into the same tension I'd initially used and just getting used to the tighter fit.

Once I embraced the EVOC's embrace, the pack disappeared in a way I haven't experienced. It never shifts around and much of the weight of my stuff just magically disappears when I put it on. I don't notice the back protector at all when I'm riding but I'm all-in on using one to protect my back from the trail and from my stuff.

Rain Covered

I've used the rain cover quite a few times now and it does a fine job of keeping everything dry. Rain covers always come down to a trade-off of security and convenience. Where the Trail Pro cover clips on both top and bottom and covers the waist belt pockets reliably, it's not something I want to be getting into regularly on a ride. Luckily, other than when I need to get out my camera, I don't tend to require a costume change or trailside repair often enough that it's a concern.

I use the hip belt pockets, including the one marked 'rain cover' to store spare gloves. If it's going to rain on my ride I start off with the cover installed, and if not I stow it in the main compartment.

Load Lightening

The Trail Pro 16 has enough room for all the tools and kit I carry plus snacks, extra gloves, and emotional support jackets for myself and my kid. I often carry an extra shirt as I tend to run sweaty, and lately I keep forgetting my shock pump in the pack even when I'm riding my rigid single-speed. Plus I usually carry my Olympus 4/3 camera and with the EVOC pack I'll bump up to my larger Pro 12-40 lens instead of the pancake I usually port in my other pack.

When we're gearing up and my kid carries my pack out, she grunts and grumbles about how heavy it is. Even after I remind her half the stuff in there is for her. It's "WAY HEAVIER" than how I set up the ACRE. Yet, on my back, it feels like it weighs half as much.

Does it make sense to save a few grams but lose the waist belt pockets by dropping down to the Trail Pro 10? I'm curious but I think I'd conclude that the Trail Pro 16 is my ultimate one-pack solution.

Who even wears a backpack anymore? According to the internet, next to no one. But I do, on every ride, and I still see quite a few of them out on the trail. If you're a pack person and seeking a fresh one, see if you can take a parking lot lap in a laden Trail Pro 16. It's great.



Regular price$260.00
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Next-level performance protector daypack focused on carrying comfort, weight reduction and flexibility

  • Next generation protector backpack
  • Liteshield PLUS (level 2)
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Next level carrying comfort, back fit and load distribution
  • Wide hip wings and Airoflex hip belt for optimum fit with body hugging
  • Quick access to separate tool compartment
  • Integrated Waterproof raincover
  • Compatible With Hydratation bladders up to 3L
  • Volume: 16L