Long known for their well-priced dropper posts and their cockpit components, PNW has been widening their product line and this summer dropped an apparel line and a hip pack called the Rover. The Rover comes in two colors, has a detachable bottle holster, a padded and ventilated mesh back panel, abrasion-resistant material, and a roomy main compartment with some interior pockets.
Along the hips are zippered pockets, good for a set of keys, credit cards, or an energy gel. The strap secures with a trusty snap buckle and it’s adjustable on both sides for a dialed fit. PNW says it will fit waist sizes from 24-48″.
I’ve been riding this rad Rover for a month or two, and it’s become a new favorite hip pack. After reviewing loads of different hip packs over the years, this isn’t an easy task, and I’ll explain why. Hip packs are, in my opinion, often too big or too small and the Rover fits smack in the middle as something that’s not too big for a lunch ride and not too small for a 2-3 hour ride — if you’ve got room for a bottle on the bike. That’s often my strategy to dodge wearing a full pack.
The Rover has room for a small tool, a small pump, a tube, and snacks. But, I’ve also been able to squeeze in a light, and a small packable wind breaker for brisk December winds. The zippered pockets along the hips allow for keys and snacks to open up room in the main compartment, and the smaller pockets inside bring some order to the interior of the pouch.
The hip pack has proved to be plenty durable and the material seems to thwart mud and dirt easily. The back panel is nice and cushy and feels like it’s not a sweat trapper, but again, it is December here.
If I could file two complaints, one would be the pull tab on the water bottle cinch strap which separated from the cords. It went back on easily enough, but I’m not sure if this dance will continue. These fabric water bottle holsters are often difficult to reinsert a bottle in as well, involving some un-cinching/re-cinching while you’re hydrating on the trail. Eventually, I may pull the bottle holder off and use the pack as a dedicated lunch ride bag.
I would not mind having a carrying strap on top of the back panel as well. Some may not find this crucial, but they’re nice to have when you’re grabbing helmet/shoes/pack/gloves and throwing them in the car on the way to the trail head.
PNW’s Rover hip pack is a great option for anyone looking for a small pack that’s suitable for small rides. The Rover doesn’t offer anything that’s outright different than other packs on the market, but it looks great, feels durable, and the size feels “just right.”
- Price: $79
- Available on Amazon.
- Right amount of cargo space
- Organization and pockets
Pros and cons of the PNW Rover hip pack.
- Carrying handle would be nice
- Water bottle holster can be tricky, cinch pull might come off