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This summer marks my third year in the Pacific Northwest, but I’ve just now decided to get serious with tech more suitable for a radically wet climate. Until recently, I would ride in the rain in whatever jacket, shorts, gloves, etc. I would embrace an inevitable and thorough soak, and just deal with it later. Well, I’m done dealing with it. I realize the expectation to stay dry on any given ride on any given day in SW Washington between October and May is an exercise in futility. So, for now, I’m just looking to stay a little dryer a little longer, and I’m starting with the Hauser, a waterproof pack hydration pack from Mission Workshop.

Bottom Line: it’s not the cheapest nor the lightest and doesn’t even come with a water reservoir, but between adjustable features, unique aesthetics, color choices, and an exceeding level of water resistance, the Hauser deserves a serious look from those serious about packs.

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Features

  • Ripstop nylon
  • Perforated foam back panel and shoulder straps
  • 2-point adjustability for shoulder and lumbar straps
  • Sliding sternum┬ástrap
  • 3 liter reservoir compatibility (bladder available as upgrade)
  • 4 exterior pockets
  • 2 sets of exterior carry straps
  • YKK water repellent PU zippers
  • Large removable tool roll
  • Roll top or flap down closure options
  • Made in USA
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Sizes: 10L and 14L (reviewed)
  • Colors: available in 12
  • Weight: 1100g (14L)
  • MSRP: $205, $215 USD (10L, 14L)
  • Details at Mission Workshop

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(Mostly) Waterproof

Mission Workshop went to great lengths to make the Hauser one of the most element-shirking hydration packs available to outdoor adventurers. Ripstop nylon, a roll-top closure, and polyurethane-taped zippers go many miles to keep the goods dry. That said, even the most aggressive zipper is water resistant at best, leaving the only true waterproof space the main compartment. Alternatively, securing the top flap down covers two of the outer compartments, at the risk of little moisture entering the main. Either way, it’d take an absolute deluge to get anything wet inside The Hauser.

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Adjustability

To fine tune fit, Mission Workshop built in smart shoulder and lumbar strap adjustability features. Both can be set at a high or lower position using plastic loops located on the lower panel. You can even take the hip belt completely off for more casual use. The 14-liter version would benefit from a couple compression straps, as lighter loads had a tendency to slosh. Loading as much gear into the main compartment as possible ameliorates unwanted movement, but gives up the organization provided by outer pockets. Consider the 10-liter Hauser unless you’re a big backcountry rider or an over-packer, like me.

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Organization

What little interior organization the Hauser has it makes up for with four outer pockets and a removable tool roll. The top pocket offers a medium-sized fit for several small items. A long pocket on the pack’s right is great for stashing a bar, gloves, or glasses, but is limited on space. The largest exterior compartment was designed for the tool roll, but can handle a few smaller items in addition. Finally, the bottom pocket houses two compression straps, which are useful if you can’t fit a jacket inside or are supplementing a bikepacking setup to haul a ground pad, blanket, etc.┬áThe Hauser’s hip belt is void of any pockets, which meant for those smaller, often-needed items I had to stop and take off the entire pack.

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Hydration

A hydration bladder is not included in the $205-215 USD price tag, but Mission Workshop will throw one in for $35 (see site for selection). The Hauser accepts most 3-liter bladders, including an Osprey I had on hand. The reservoir compartment zips completely down both sides for easy access, and the hose can be secured along either shoulder.

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Other Features

  • Tool roll has a large, medium, and two smaller mesh compartments, and is large enough to fit every ride-necessary tool, including a shock pump
  • Frame sheet and hip panels provide structure and stability
  • Exterior buckled straps for helmet hauling
  • Perforated back panel and shoulder straps provided adequate ventilation

The Hauser is about 300g and $50-75 more than comparable packs that include a water reservoir. Based on those factors alone, The Hauser will not be the first choice for some. I am not a weight-weenie and live in a very wet climate and find that cheaper packs usually require a rain cover to achieve the same level of water resistance as The Hauser.

In other words, this pack makes good sense for someone who rides in rain and is willing to give up a little weight and money for built-in quality and durability. What’s more, all Mission Workshop products are made in the USA, guaranteed for life, and backed by incredible customer service–factors that are hard to put a price on.

Thanks to Mission Workshop for providing the Hauser for review!

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# Comments

  • palmerton

    I smell a market opportunity for sailboat racing gear manufacturers like Gill, Helly, Musto and Henri Lloyd. Specifically when I read your comment about zippers. For sure an easy entry for that insidious water but these shops have developed some pretty “tight” zippers no pun intended!

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