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Evoc Hip Pouch Pro

photo: Evoc Hip Pouch Pro lumbar/hip pack

Specs

Price Current Retail: $64.00-$90.00

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   0
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

rated 4.5 of 5 stars average rating


or

A compact, no-bounce fanny pack with a reliable water bottle holster and just enough pocket room for running and riding essentials. Cell phone pocket need optimizing and a raincoat.

Pros

  • Solid materials and design
  • Easy in-out water bottle holster
  • Holds bars and layers enough for half-day runs and rides
  • Snug, bounce-free fit
  • Cell phone pocket

Cons

  • Cell phone pocket not optimal
  • Not seam sealed, zippers can also leak

I needed a runner’s fanny pack that works juuuust right.

I have one with a nice, easy in and out water bottle holster, but the two thin, triangular pockets just barely hold a Snickers, never mind my cell phone or a buff. Toooo small.

Another has a 1000L main compartment, nice to be able to hold Snickers and phone and a layer or two, but really toooo big and bouncy, and the water bottle holsters on either side are too soft and collapse when trying to holster on the move. For most of my runs I really only need one water bottle anyway.

Yet another has about the right volume but no water bottle holster at all.

I came across the Evoc lineup when browsing at a local upscale retailer, checked out the options, and decided the Hip Pouch Pro might fit the bill. Evoc’s web site lists this as a cyclist’s pack, but I’m finding that it works well for runs of up to half a day, and expect to use it for xc skiing come winter.

Around the waist

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The waist belt is a stand out feature of this pack. Rather than the usual wide webbing with slide-tightened buckles, the Hip pouch Pro has a wide stretch band with a hook and loop closure, backed up by a narrow webbing strap with a friction buckle for final snugging. On me it is comfortable and bounce-free when running.

Material matters

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The main material is a lightweight, PU coated ripstop nylon that seems tough enough to last a a good long while. On the inside of the hips and sides it is padded with a thin layer of foam covered by mesh material that suggests some breathability or moisture transport. Maybe, but sweating is part of the game and there’s not much anyone can do about it.

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Stretch mesh is used for one external pocket, subdividers in the zippered pockets, and the outside of the water bottle holster, which also has a band of the same stretch material used in the waist belt to help hold it open.

The two zippers are standard coil zippers (I think #5), and should hold up well as long as the pockets aren’t overstuffed. They are not coated for water resistance, so vulnerable items, such as a cell phone, need some extra waterproofing for activity in wet weather.

Pockets

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The pack is divided into four compartments, some with vertical mesh dividers to make subcompartments. A stretch mesh pocket on the left hip can keep a selection of energy bars and gels handy, with a small Velcro closure to help hold them in. The zippered pocket left of the water bottle will hold a mid-size cell phone in the elastic inner compartment, with a little room left over for one or two other small items, and has a port for wired headphones or ear buds. I use wireless earbuds and so don’t have use for the port.

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On the right side, a single long zipper covers two pockets. The deeper one closer to the water bottle is big enough to hold a lightweight, hooded windbreaker. The pocket on the right hip is good for stashing a lightweight wool watch cap or buff and a pair of light gloves after a cold morning warm up. A key clip secures keys dropped into the inner slot. Cyclists might want to carry a multitool in one of these zippered pockets.

Water bottle ergonomics

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Like a gunfighter, I want to be able to whip my water bottle out and slide it back in just as smoothly. Part of the in-shop testing involved standing in the shop with the pack on my waist and repeatedly unholstering and holstering the water bottle with my right hand. I don’t want to have to use time and energy searching for the opening or having it collapse as I try to slide the water bottle in.  The Hip Pouch Pro passed that test.

Cell phone access

I also want to be able to whip my cell phone out as needed, for navigation and queuing up podcasts or tunes. The dedicated cell phone pocket just barely accommodates my four-year-old mid-size iPhone 8 without its leather card case. I've found that I can open the pocket and get my phone out while on the run, but it's a bit trickier getting it back in because it's just a bit to tall so I have to pull the top of the pocket over it. Doable, bit not optimal. As with the pockets on the right side, the zipper is not waterproof leaving the phone vulnerable to wetting. I'd like the pocket to be just a bit deeper, with maybe just a Velcro tab to hold it in place, and then a stashable rain cover over the whole thing.

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Because of the suboptimal phone pocket, the Hip Pouch Pro isn’t quite juuust right for my running needs, but it’s pretty darn close. I expect to cover quite a few miles with it during the autumn season and on into the winter xc season, and for many seasons to come.

Experience

This pack gets added to a stable of fanny packs of all sizes that have accumulated in the gear cave over the years. I use fanny packs for running, xc skiing, and cycling in all weather. I have been using the Hip Pouch Pro regularly on morning and weekend runs for about a month.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: NOK849 -- about $85 including 25% VAT

About the Author

Rick Strimbeck is an American transplanted to Norway where he says he'll "never run out of mountains." He is a veteran backpacker and expert nordic and backcountry skier and in summer runs, hikes, kayaks, and canoes in Norway's mountains and fjords and elsewhere in Europe and the U.S. When he's not outside, he does research on Norway's trees and alpine plants and teaches as a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

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