The fanny pack has become a must-have accessory for enduro racers, but unlike packs of the past, the new generation of hip packs has many real-world benefits for mountain bikers. The first, of course, is keeping weight down low and avoiding heavy shoulder straps. Hydration bladders have been retrofitted into these packs, allowing riders to carry the water they need out on the trails. Storage pockets help keep spare tubes, tools and other items organized. Dakine, established in 1979, is well-known for its line of action sport travel bags; however, the company offers a wide range of products designed specifically for mountain biking.
The Hot Laps collection is a new line of hip packs from Dakine that offers three different sizes for hammering out laps around your local trails. The Hot Laps Stealth is the smallest bag designed to be hidden under a rider’s jersey. The Hot Laps 2L offers enough storage for the essentials, along with a water bottle holder. The pack we decided to test here is Dakine’s Hot Laps 5L waist bag, a pack that features a built-in hydration bladder. It has the largest storage volume in the line. We strapped our waist pack around our hips, just above our fanny, and headed out to the trails to perform some hot laps.
Tech features: The Dakine Hot Laps 5L waist bag is designed for longer rides. The pack features a 2L Hydrapak lumbar reservoir with a Phaser bite valve. This bladder is similar to the ones seen in some of Dakine’s smaller hydration backpacks. The Hot Laps 5L bag comes in one size with an adjustable strap and offers a few different color options, including the camo pattern we tested here. A magnetic hose holder makes the bite valve easy to locate and places the hose back in the same location time after time. External straps give riders the ability to attach knee pads or a jacket to the outside of the pack, and internal pockets offer organization that prevents your items from getting jumbled together like a bag of trail mix. The Hot Laps 5L sells for $70 online or at your local Dakine dealer.
Field test results: Our test pack offered quality construction and a comfortable fit for our medium-sized test rider. The strap offers lots of adjustment, so riders of all sizes shouldn’t have an issue finding a snug fit. This pack has the ability to carry lots of items. In fact, our testers often found themselves over-packing this bag due to the large amount of storage. The weight is held down low, but it is noticeable out on the trails. A snug pull of the adjustable belt is required before each ride to ensure the pack stays secure. One benefit of a hip pack over a backpack is easy access to your items. Simply spin the pack around to your front and you have a nice kangaroo pouch to dig through. However, make sure to spin the pack back around before you take off, as the pack rides much better across your lumbar area. Overall, the Hot Laps 5L is a great choice for riders who want to ditch their backpack in lieu of a more comfortable and fashion-forward option.