Ask MBAction: How To Go Pack-Less


Q: Hey, Mountain Bike Action, I’m sick and tired of carrying weight on my shoulders while I ride. My hydration pack is so uncomfortable and digs into my shoulders, but I’m afraid to buy a new one, because I’m guessing it would feel about the same. Can you suggest some alternatives?

Tom Johnson
Park City, Utah

A: Thanks for writing in. We know exactly what you’re going through. Many of our test riders have moved away from bulky hydration packs and have switched to other methods of carrying the items they need on the trail.

The lightest option we can think of is wearing a bib liner with pockets on the back. Use a Velcro strap or something similar to fasten your spare tube to your frame, and then place the rest of your stuff in your bib pockets. Assuming your bike has a bottle cage mount, you can place your water bottle there; however, this method only works for 1–2-hour rides.

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If you plan to do longer rides and need to carry more water, you can try using a hydration fanny pack. This would keep the weight off your shoulders without taking up too much space.

Check Out MBA’s Product Test: Zoic Carbon Bib Liners

Check Out MBA’s Product Test: Sombrio Smuggle Bib Test

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