Get Your Hip On with the USWE Zulo 2 Litre Pack
The USWE range of packs is best known for their NDM (No Dancing Monkey) harness system that comes as standard on backpack models, such as their Outlander, Airborne and Pace models, but USWE also offers a hip pack model for those of us who prefer this method of on-body storage. Be it hip or backpack versions, the quality of manufacturing and materials are what you’d expect from a brand like this.
USWE (pronounced ‘you-swee’) is a Swedish-based specialty pack brand whose claim to fame is designing 100% bounce-free backpacks. We recently sent the new ergonomically designed USWE Zulo 2L Hydration Hip Pack down some steep stuff on the Northern Beaches and we can safely say that there was no dancing monkey on our reviewer’s back. The hip-pack was truly bounce-free and right at home on a short two-hour sesh in the bush.
The Zulo 2 has a snug fit on the hip due to the lightweight mesh panel.
Photo: ©Luke Dean-Weymark
The Zulo 2L is somewhat shaped like a banana which helps to give a snug fit around the hips and the back panel features lightweight mesh that helps with grip and breathability. It also uses a single buckle and suspension straps to ensure the fit is just right without limiting movement in any way.
As the name suggests, this is a two-liter pack with half of its volume taken up by a one-litre Hydrapack elite bladder with plug-n-play coupling and the other half sectioned off as zippered storage pocket for your essentials e.g keys, phone, repair kit, etc which can be separated by two mesh pockets.
The outer pack also features abrasion-resistant nylon with a couple of quick-access mesh storage pockets for food or gels, compression straps to keep the pack close to your body, a secure attachment for a bike light, and some reflective strips for rider visibility.
The rear panel features a hexagon shaped mesh fabric for good levels of comfort and breathabilty.
Photo: ©Luke Dean-Weymark
On The Trails
As soon as you hit the tracks, you notice straight away, how light and conforming the Zulo is. Aside from the colour, the pack feels subtle and stable – even once you start sending it on some bumps, ruts, drops, and jumps, etc. The dry weight of 240g, probably has something to do with the above, but even fully-loaded the Zulo felt nice and light.
The morning that we reviewed the pack was fairly hot and muggy, and even though it was only a quick two-hour jaunt, we did run the bladder dry, which is something worth considering especially in an Australian climate. On the upside, filling this particular water bladder is really easy thanks to the plug-n-play coupling, which means there’s no stuffing around trying to remove the hose and bladder from the pack itself. They connect/disconnect with the click of a button and zero spillage.
For quick rides, the Zulo 2L Hydration Hip Pack is a worthy addition to your MTB kit. It would 100% be the cream-of-the-crop at a gravity park or trails with a shuttle option. But if you’re heading out for a ride any longer than 1.5 -2hrs we’d recommend carrying extra water, or riding with a buddy who doesn’t mind sharing 😉
- Dry weight: 240g (*excl. bladder)
- Dimensions: 16L / 24W / 10D (CM)
- Total Volume: 2L
- Hydration Capacity: 1L
- Tube Attachment: Magnetic Tube ClipHydration Tube Type with Hydraflex Drink Tube
- Fits Waist: S – XL (80 – 112cm / 31 – 44″)
- Colours: Black and Fluoro yellow
- Back Panel: Lightweight mesh back panel
- Organizer Pocket
- Energy Pockets
- Cargo Compression
- LED-Light Attachment
- Reflective Points
- Visual reflective points: Front & Back
- Total Number Of Pockets: 6
- Helmet Handsfree Compatible
Price/Where to Buy?
USWE Zulo 2 Hydration Hip PackRRP: $164.95
Available to buy at MTB Direct or ask at your local bike shop.