My friends joke that I am a collector of backpacks because I have so many–each with a very specific use that I’ve collected specifically to pack for different types of travels and adventures ranging from days to months. Similarly, I’ve started accidentally amassing a pile of hydration packs, some for longer rides, some for shorter rides, and some for photography. One pack has been noticeably absent from my collection, however: a do-it-all, lightweight, comfortable, essential-holding, water-resistant hydration pack that services the majority of my 1-2 hour after-work rides.
The Endura Singletrack Backpack 10L is designed to be something of that sort, so I jumped at the opportunity to test it out this past spring and summer. It checks all these boxes, and more, and I thoroughly tested it in the most brutal environments I could find: Moab, Sedona, Hurricane, Fruita, Albuquerque, the Rockies, and of course, Front Range Colorado where I ride most. For such a “small” pack, it has a lot of features.
The Deets (from Endura):
- Lightweight construction
- Pre-shaped, lightweight perforated foam shoulder strap construction provides comfort and ventilation
- Mesh covered 3D foam back panel construction for support and ventilation
- Easy access waterproof zipped pocket
- Hydration compatible
- Removable Tool Roll
- Adaptive Helmet Carry System for full face and standard helmets
- Adjustable waist strap with mesh pockets
- Capacity 10L
- MSRP: $99.00 (available for $74.99 from multiple online sites)
You’ve probably already gathered that I like this pack, and for good reason. I am happy with almost every feature. The fabric is smooth and slippery and has kept my phone and other items dry on more than one precipitous occasion. Yet, it seems durable, surviving a few falls with virtually no wear thanks to its rip stop construction. The small outside zipper is waterproofed and is large enough for my phone and a few other items.
It also comes with a small foldable, removable, tool pouch. I initially discarded this thinking it was too small (quite a bit smaller than the one I was carrying before and fell in love with from another brand), but I was pleasantly surprised to discover it held everything I wanted to put in it: spare derailleur hanger, tire lever, superglue, odd bolts, tire repair kit, emergency card, water purification tablets, spare tire valves, chain links, and a few other items. All this at half the weight of the pouch I was using before.
There is an easy-access water bladder pouch that will accommodate up to a 100oz bladder, a smaller nylon bag for the tool pouch, and two stretchy mesh pockets. The left mesh pocket held my spare tire and my small pump, and the right held the tool pouch.
That’s it. Simple.
There was still plenty of room in the bottom of the pack to carry things like a rain jacket, lunch, or other items, but I basically never needed that space because I tested this on shorter rides.
The side mesh pockets are well-designed, too, and are just the right size to hold what I like to carry: a small multi-tool and three gel shots in one, and my phone in the other, for quick access to the things I grab most often on short rides.
Most of all, it is comfortable. The form-fitting straps hug my shoulders perfectly and are easy to adjust–even with gloves on. I love the fact that it comes with a big, wide waist strap and large buckle, which supports the weight of the pack well and takes the majority of the weight off of my shoulders. In addition, the back is well-ventilated, and the foam panels not only provide comfort and increase airflow, they provide an ergonomic stiffness to the pack that reduces back and shoulder fatigue.
In addition, the pack comes with a helmet holder for travel, or perhaps to strap your helmet to your pack for a long road climb (very enduro-centric!). Personally, I never had a reason to use it when I was testing this pack, and more importantly, it was easily detachable with four simple buckles.
I was hard-pressed to find anything I did not like about this bag, but one thing that really rubbed me the wrong way initially was the fact that it did not include a hydration reservoir. However, I think the price reflected that omission, and I felt much better about it once I realized that it gave the consumer the power to buy the exact reservoir they want to put in the pack, whether it be a 2L or 3L, stiff or soft. Endura seemed to cut the price just enough to give the user enough leftover “funds” to customize the pack and be competitive with other brands.
Really, that is a win if you like to customize your gear.
I will say that I tested it with both a hard-backed 3L (100oz) Osprey reservoir, and two softer 2L and 3L Camelbak bladders, and I preferred the reservoir with a hard back because it kept the water in place. There is a lip of fabric that the Camelbak could rest on, but when going through rough terrain, I’m not sure it really stayed in place well. Still, I never had any true issues with either type of reservoir, and never had a kink or interruption in my water supply.
The only other thing I think could be improved on the pack was the placement of the hose clamp, which was on the left shoulder strap. It worked beautifully, but after drinking from the right shoulder for the past 15 years, and without the ability to switch the clamp to whatever side the user prefers, I felt that was somewhat of a design oversight. Of note, It appears that you can move the clamp to the “railing” on the other shoulder, and I removed it, but broke it trying to install it on the other side. You would also have to remove and reinstall the other side of the chest strap, as the clamp is part of the buckle for the chest strap. I contacted Endura about a replacement.
There is also no specific place to secure the bite valve, so I tucked it into the chest strap, which worked well for me personally. Those used to a magnet or a clamp may be annoyed by this.
In the end, this pack far-exceeded my expectations. Like many of you, I was not really familiar with the brand Endura before testing this gear, and I was happy to see with the retailer locator tool that there are several dealers in my area. That means you can try before you buy, which is critical for selecting a pack. I would personally recommend the Singletrack 10L pack if you want a lightweight pack that is perfect for 1-2 hour rides, with the ability to stuff more items in it and carry 100+oz of water for more epic forays into the wilderness.
Thanks to Endura for sending the Singletrack 10L over for review!