Singletracks put our Trail Pro 16L Protector Backpack to the test, reviewing its details, features, and fit. Here is an excerpt of their review. To read more, please see the link below.
Words & Photos by Matt Miller
I have yet to wear an EVOC pack that I don’t like. The EVOC Trail Pro 16 however, is one that I really like. EVOC released the pack as a lighter alternative to the heavy-duty Neo 16L, which we reviewed at the beginning of 2020.
The Trail Pro has a “Brace Link” on each shoulder strap, allowing them to self-adjust to the wearers’ shoulder width for comfort and ergonomics. The flagship feature on the Trail Pro 10 though is its lighter spine guard, the Lightshield Plus. According to EVOC, the protector is made from water repellent EPP foam and a thermoplastic polyurethane. By design, the Lightshield should defend the thoracic and lumbar spine, and the coccyx. If only Grandma Dynamite had been wearing one when she was ripping motos at the dunes. On top of the spine-saving properties, the Lightshield promotes ventilation and flexibility.
There are a few things that make a good pack for mountain biking, some are mandatory, and some are preferred. The pack should be reasonably lightweight, because mountain bikers like to complain about that sort of thing. The back panel should not be a heat trap, because who wants a soaked jersey at the end of the ride? The pack should hold at least 2L of water, because any less can be accomplished in a hip pack or water bottle.
The individual elements can move independently and adapt to the rider’s movement so it should always be sat very close to your back no matter what shape you end up in. Safety wise, it is tested to level 2 (EN 1621-2) standards.
One of the other requirements I see, and this goes for backpacking packs too, is that the weight of the pack and its contents should be supported by the wearers’ hips instead of their shoulders. Not only does this stabilize the load, but it makes for less pain on the wearer’s shoulders and upper body. The pack should have organization that is sensitive to a rider’s needs and have good cargo space. Every EVOC pack I’ve worn does a good job with these duties, but the Trail Pro 16 performs these tasks exceptionally well.
The pack is light, rests well on the hips with its fat hip straps, tools are neatly stowed and quickly accessible, and as a bonus, your spine gets a bit of insurance without sacrificing comfort.
There are five pouches on the EVOC Trail Pro 16 that riders will be primarily concerned with: The main pouch is open and spacious, with room for a rain jacket. I rode with an assembled camera, and didn’t need to break apart the lens and body for it to fit comfortably. The reservoir is stowed in a sleeve inside the main pouch.
The straps themselves are very cushioned and broad enough to distribute weight nicely across your shoulders. Key to shoulder comfort are the brace links, a feature seen more commonly on EVOC’s touring line-up.
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