The Bum Bag is Back and Looking Better Than Ever!
The Enduro scene has changed the face of mountain biking over the past few years and brought us a myriad of new fangled products.
There have been some great products born out of this genre and one of those, we think, was the reviving of the glorious bum bag, or the fanny pack if you’re an American.
We were curious to test one of these new generation bum bags for ourselves, so we did some digging into the world of the bum bag. There are a couple of brands that offer good options, Source being one of them, (which we will be testing and reviewing here shortly) but as luck had it, at the same time we were researching we were approached by a Tasmanian brand named Henty, who have a product called the Enduro Backpack, which had flown completely under our radar.
Who are Henty?
Henty was founded by a couple of childhood mates, Jeremy Grey and Jon Gourlay who used to ride their BMX bikes around Hobart as kids. As they grew up, the BMX bikes took a sideline. Grown up jobs ensued and the need to wear formal business attire became the norm…meh.
Henty was formed as a result of a seemingly simple problem: How to transport said business attire to and from the office and have it ready to wear on arrival? The result was their Wingman, a multi-purpose suit and garment bag which can now be found carrying wardrobes all over the globe.
But one of their products particularly jumped out at us, and that was their Enduro Backpack.
What really impressed us about the Henty Enduro Backpack was the balance of quality, toughness and functionality. It’s obvious to see that quality, strength and durability is a key focus as the fabric used for the main section around the waist is made from Cordura 500, which is bombproof! And then you have the upper back section and harness which is made from a mesh type fabric to keep you cool.
This is where that balance is struck very well. Durability and functionality in one.
The pack boasts a mesmerising array of pockets, mesh compartments, velcro tabs and other attachment options. The main belt is padded and the pack has a set of fully adjustable lightweight backpack straps to keep it all upright.
The Henty Enduro Backpack features very little branding apart from the red Henty logo stitched on the rear pocket panel.
Essentially, think of the Henty Enduro Backpack as a tool belt for all your gear. There is a place for your water bladder and plenty of pockets and webbing for easy access. There is a serious amount of pocket and attachment options on this product.
- Lumbar (including hips and kidney) impact protection.
- 500D Cordura Nylon.
- Mesh harness and back panel for superior airflow.
- Multiple pockets.
- Variety of loop holes, mole webbing and velcro tabs for customised storage options.
- Total Volume: 5 Litres.
- Weight: 550grams.
Great Storage Solutions
In addition to the main compartments and zipped pockets, the pack has velcro tabs and elasticated loops placed around the pack, which allow you to get very creative about how you attach items.
25mm Molle webbing has been included to allow you to further customise the Enduro Backpack. Thread your own energy gels, shock cord or webbing to secure additional items to the outside of the Enduro Backpack.
The Henty Enduro Backpack also provides a level of lumbar protection for your back, hips and kidneys with a slightly padded foam piece. This helps soften those hard hits, which is very much welcomed, bearing in mind you have tools sitting around your hip bone area.
To keep it all secure on your body, the pack has a fully adjustable harness system just like a standard backpack. The straps and back panel sections have a stitched outer edge but the inner section is made of a dual mesh piece. The dual layer adds durability and the mesh creates great airflow and reduces sweaty back syndrome.
The Henty Enduro Backpack doesn’t come with a bladder, but Henty say “it has been designed to be compatible with almost any bladder on the market up to 3.0 litres”.
The bladder hose can be run on either shoulder, as the attachment points are mirrored on both shoulder straps. There is also an exit point, out of the bladder compartment, on the left or right side.
We tested it with a 2litre EVOC bladder, and it fits just right. We also had a wallet, mobile phone and a spare 29’er inner tube in the same compartment as the bladder. Personally we think a 3litre would be a tight fit, but you should get it in there.
One thing we would like Henty to look at is the bladder hose exit hole in main compartment. This was so small we couldn’t find it for several minutes and when we did locate it, it was so small it took quite some effort to get the hose through it.
On The Trails
On paper the Henty Enduro pack looks impressive but it all counts for nothing if it doesn’t translate into a positive experience out on the trails.
Sense of Freedom
If you’re used to riding with a normal pack, then you’ll notice you’ll notice how odd it feels the first time you put it on, but in a good way. The entire upper back feels completely open and free, reducing that sweaty back syndrome.
It only takes a couple of minutes on the bike and it starts to feel very natural. Movement on the bike is open and unrestricted with the centre of gravity much lower, creating a much safer and stable position. Because the weight is down low and your hips are taking the weight, not your upper back, the harness straps don’t pull under the armpits either.
The padded sections on the hip belt add a good level of comfort and protection against hard hits and tools digging into your body and the extra padding made it feel like you’re being hugged around the waist. Ahhhhh.
Due to the super tough Cordura 500D nylon fabric, making it strong but light, the pack only weighs around 550grams, empty of course, but that’s a fantastic starting point. When loaded up, it still felt lighter than my normal pack.
The only pockets we could access without taking it off were the hip pockets. I had my multi tool and car keys in one and a compression bandage and some lollies in the other. Everything else required me to take the pack off, so that’s about the same as a standard pack.
Price/Where To Purchase
- Black: $110.00
- Camo: $130.00
If your current day backpack is not really working for you, cumbersome, top heavy, sweaty back syndrome? Then we highly recommend the Henty Enduro Pack. Its got a ton of handy storage features, offers a low centre of gravity and gives your upper body a sense of freedom not available with normal packs. The bum bag is back and it’s better than ever before.
I hope what we do here at Tyres and Soles will inspire people to get out there and experience first hand, the natural wonders that surround them. So, pump up those tyres, don your favourite boots. Grab a mate, a partner, a pet… and head out into nature. But tell us all about it when you get back.