Source Hipster Hydration Bumbag Review
January 9th, 2017
Product Full Name | Source Hydration Hipster Hydration Belt
Retail Price | £79.99
Available From | Ison Distribution
Source Hipster – an excellent minimal hydro pack
The Source Hipster is a compact bum bag that houses a 1.5litre hydration pack, and has military style webbing to spread the load on your back.
As far as hydration packs go, it’s about as minimal as you can get, but still carries the basics and is barely noticeable when adjusted correctly.
The Source Hipster is made from a lightweight nylon rip stop material, combined with a padded nylon back and a wide waist strap – the harness is made from the same tough nylon and is fully adjustable, and features a sternum strap. The harness is easily removable too.
The outside of the pack has three small pockets, and there are two compartments inside – one for the bladder and another for tools or food. It’s just the right size for a mini pump and a few basics. There are also reflective details and two elasticated toggles for carrying bigger items externally.
There are two hip pockets that are big enough for multi-tools and energy food – which are easily accessible when in the saddle.
Inside the Source Hipster is an excellent 1.5 litre bladder, with and insulated hose and mouth piece with cover. The hose has a magnetic catch to attach the hose to the waist strap – so it doesn’t flap around when riding.
The bladder is shaped to sit along the bottom of the pack, and has a wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning. The top folds over and has a locking piece that slides on to seal it up. It’s a great design and is easy to use.
Source uses a unique material that has no taste, and resists bacteria growing inside. They also claim it’s care free – needing little cleaning in between use, and that left over water remains fresh for days and even weeks inside.
Out on the Trail
With the bladder fully loaded I set out for the first ride with the harness in place and found that the waist strap didn’t need to be that snug as the load is well spread. The weight is held on your hips but the harness stops it moving around.
Compared to a regular riding pack to the Source Hipster feels like you’re not even wearing anything. There is no weight on your shoulders, and nothing to catch on low branches when threading your way through tight single track. Being on the tall side this is a huge plus for me, as I’m always snagging the top of riding packs on my local trails.
After the first ride I tried the pack without the support harness. You need to tighten the waist strap quite a bit more to avoid movement – but it never felt restrictive. Even fully loaded with a mini pump etc, it barely moves and it became the default way to ride the pack over the test period.
Drinking from the Source Hipster is an easy affair, though being tall I did find the hose could be another couple of inches longer as I need to lower my head very slightly to drink.
The Helix valve fitted as standard works excellently and doesn’t drip, though personally I would prefer more flow. The Hipster pack lends itself to high intensity riding, and when out of breath trying to guzzle water can be hard work. There is another valve called the Storm Valve that I also tried with the Source Hipster pack, which does flow a bit better – but you need to shut the valve after or it continues flowing.
I made a ‘special effort’ to not clean the bladder in between rides, and so far it has been fine. I’ve used flavoured Nuun tablets in there too, and there is zero taste from them after a quick rinse. The fruity smell remained though – but now I’ve washed the bladder properly it’s gone.
The Hipster has become the riding pack I default to now as I keep a tube and a few essentials on my bike, and just need to carry water and stash a pump; keys and my wallet. It’s the perfect size for most hard rides and really is barely noticable once riding – it’s a great bit of kit.
The Source Hipster is an excellent hydration pack that you barely notice when riding.
The compact size won’t suit everyone though as it’s limited for carrying spares and extra clothing – but for high intensity riding and racing it’s the best pack we’ve used to date.
Love or loath the idea of bum bags – this one is bloody good and with a decent bladder it’s well worth the cash. Highly recommended.