Review: Mavic Crossmax Hydropack 15

IMG_0693aThis year Mavic released two no-nonsense packs: the Crossmax Hydropack 15 and it’s younger brother, the Hydropack 8.5. The Hydropack 15 is a perfect size for a day-long ride, with plenty of room for most of your gear.

But before we go there, lets talk about the construction of this clearly Enduro-oriented pack. Made of durable 420D ripstop fabric, this shell is low key black, with a high impact Crossmax logo running along one side.

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Fitting the Hydropack 15 is a comfortably-wide waist strap that tapers down to a wide buckle. Along the waist strap are located two easy-access zipped pockets for your most essential items, and two extra pockets on the shoulder straps for smaller items. The breathable mesh shoulder straps interlock with an adjustable sternum strap. A padded Clima flow 6-pad back encourages airflow.

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Hidden away up top is the zipper opening for the Hydrapack 3L bladder. Personally, I love this bladder. In itself, this bladder has a sonic welded center rib that keeps the bladder from inflating like a round salami. It also features a handy drip-free quick release hose that eliminates the need to feed the hose in and out of the bag every time you clean it.

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Speaking of keeping things clean, the flip and clip bladder is very easy to wash out after every ride. The adequately-sized hose feeds through one of the shoulder straps and stays out of the way well enough, but a fancy magnetic clip would be cool..

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This 15L bag opens with a wrap around zipper, which reveals the main compartment. It’s large enough to hold rain gear, a DSLR, snacks, tools, and other goodies. A second smaller wrap zip is designed to hold smaller, more delicate items, with a dedicated cell phone pocket, credit card-size pocket, and a multitool pouch. A curiously small zip on the very bottom reveals the pull out flap that holds your lid. With two anchors that latch on to the sides of your bag, you can securely hold your trail lid, but it won’t hold a full face very well.

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In the past I used to pack a vast amount of gear for every ride, but lately I have learned to trim things down. The Hydropack 15 doesn’t feel bulky at all. When I do use it, I toss in my camera, snacks, my cell, fill the bladder to the top, a mult-tool, and a CO2 inflator with no issues.

Fitting the bag is pretty natural. It doesn’t take long to get the bag just above the waist, and all the straps in place. I didn’t have any pinching or bunching during my rides. Even out of the saddle, in the berms, and over rocks, I had no shifting issues.

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Mavic really did their homework on this one. You can see that they listened to their pro riders and took their input to heart. With a solid design, stability, and light airy feel, there isn’t much I can say wrong about the Hydropack 15.

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MSRP: $150.

A big thanks to the folks at Mavic for sending the Hydropack 15 over for review. 

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