Henty Enduro Backpack
Words & Photos by Chili Dog
Chances are you probably haven’t heard of Henty. The small company started when the founder wanted a better way to transport his nice business clothes to and from the office while keeping them presentable. Their mantra is Carry Clever, and after seeing their genius commuter line that keeps your suit looking flawless while biking to work it makes sense. If I ever buy a suit I’ll have to keep them in mind. The Enduro pack represents one of their first forays into the active world and is targeted at mountain bikers. It’s design combines a fanny back and waist strap with shoulder straps for extra storage and stability. While it may be non-traditional, the thought is to keep your back open and breathable, while adding more stability to the fanny pack design. But, is it the worst of both worlds, or a clever compromise?
This tough little pack is constructed from Cordura 500D nylon and serves as the tool belt for your ride– but with two extra straps to keep it in place. The Enduro backpack has room for tools, spares, up to a three liter water bladder (not included), and whatever food you may want to bring.
Storage is divided into one main compartment for a bladder, two rectangular elastic pockets, 12 elastic straps, two small zip pockets and two large zip pockets. The main compartment is protected by a flap that is secured with one clip, but doesn’t completely cover or seal the contents of the bag. The back strap also has a breathable, large mesh zip pocket for anything that doesn’t fit in the main area. Two wide straps go around your hips, while tapered upper shoulder straps go over the shoulders and fasten with a center clip in the front. The shoulder straps also have provisions to hold bladder hose and nozzle.
On paper this bag seems like the worst of both worlds. It has the storage capacity of a fanny pack, with the inconvenience of a backpack. But, writing it off as a failure is a bit too far. On shorter rides, I tend to reach for a fanny pack since it offers just enough storage without the bulk and warmth of a full sized bag. The downside of most fanny packs though is that they lack security. On trails with lots of air time or rocks, our packs typically find themselves bouncing all over, especially when fully loaded with water. The Henty Enduro gives you the breathability and low center of gravity of a fanny pack, while offering the security of a backpack. I personally hate wearing backpacks because they raise my center of gravity, so the Henty Enduro was a great alternative. It’s a compromise that I’m actually pretty happy with, especially in the Southern California heat. Speaking of heat, even though this bag accommodates a bladder, I wish it came with a transverse bladder specific to the design. Every bladder I have is a vertical style and while they do work, a bladder designed specifically for transverse mounting in the Enduro would have been preferred.
For those that actually experience variations in weather or water that falls from the sky, this pack presents one glaring flaw. Its contents are not sealed from the elements in any appreciable manner. Especially for something that’s in the direct line of fire from the rear wheel, we see that as a big oversight, and one that needs to be corrected to make this pack a truly viable solution for people that don’t live in dry regions. Even in my sandy, dusty environment, the gear on the outer edges always came back with coating of dirt.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Is the Henty Enduro pure genius, or a failed compromise? In my mind it’s actually a very solid pack for mid length rides in ideal weather conditions. The security, breathability and storage space all check our wish list perfectly. It’s got room for everything we need, but stays breathable and actually stays put. It’s comfortable on long rides, as the padded straps and low center of gravity keep it planted and snug. We do wish that Henty had made the main compartment a zippered and sealed one though. It’s a glaring flaw in an otherwise solid pack since the only sealed, zippered pocket is dedicated to the water reservoir. Change that, and the Henty Enduro is a solid alternative for people that don’t want a fanny pack or the heft of a backpack.
Price: $110 – Black, $130 – Camo