Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ortlieb Hip Pack

Cycling companion: My Ortlieb 2010 Hip Pack
It took me a while to grasp the concept of lugging a hip pack.
And I am certainly no stranger to the lumbar bags.
My first was a Mountainsmith Backcountry Express which I bought back in 1996 from Campers Corner in Singapore.
The bag had deteriorated due to wear and tear and our 95 per cent humidity is not friendly at all to the polyurethane coating on the bag.
Since then, I've shied away from bumbags.
My Sealine waterproof pack also gave way. The waist strap had peeled off and what's left now, is the main pouch.
I didn't really fancy the roll-down design.
Now, having said that, I'd slowly warmed up to the older Ortlieb hip pack design.
It was the Ti-Zip waterproof zipper that convinced me on packing one.
I had some good experiences with this zipper design, especially with my Patagonia stormfront waterproof backpack.
And speaking of cycling in rain, the Ti-Zip packs have proven its worthiness.
Most of my gear including paper-based writing pad were dry.
The only thing you must avoid, is opening and closing the bag in wet conditions.
So, what all those good points factored-in, I scored a black-colored Ortlieb hip pack from Fall Factor, an official Ortlieb dealer in Singapore.
This is my daily carry on my cycling trips. 
Its capable of swallowing an Ortlieb snap camera bag, my knives and tools including wallet and coin bag. 
I can also carry my bicycle tools with the hip pack.
The 2011 Roll-closure hip pack. Improvised and sleeker design
To sum it up the Ortlieb hip pack is an indispensable bag for lugging all the gear. The only sore point, is the mesh hip belt design and its compression straps. The first thing that is going to give way, is the mesh as its prone to tearing. I think this has been improvised with the 2011 hip pack which is much more compact and sleeker. The only drawback I see, is the roll-down flap design which I don't quite like... 
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