FLY RACING HYDRO PACK REVIEW
XC 30 | 1L
Words by Sourpatch
Photos by Dusten Ryen
Warmer weather is fast approaching which means the hydration packs, like this Fly Racing Hydro, need to get the cobwebs dusted off. I have never been a fan of wearing any type of pack, whether they be hip packs or backpacks as ill-fitting packs can hinder the ride. On top of that I just care about how I look way too much and nobody thinks a hydration pack makes you look cool! Lately however, I have been finding myself wearing one more frequently, mainly to carry the necessary flat fixings as I’ve had a streak of bad luck and nobody wants to give me their flat-fixing items anymore. Lucky for me, brands have been working hard on addressing the unwanted jumping around that packs tend to do, and Fly Racing’s Hydro Pack is a prime example of that.
Fly Racing offers the XC Hydro Pack in three sizes: a one liter – the XC 30, a two liter – the XC 70, and a three liter – XC 100. Fly Racing uses a BPA and PVC free HydraPak reservoir with a large slide top opening for easy filling and cleaning. The hose attaches to the reservoir by the Plug-N-Play quick disconnect. The Hydro Pack uses a High-flow Blaster bite valve that self-seals after each use, a twist on/off switch prevents leaks when the hose is fastened to the shoulder strap. The XC 30 has a small front pocket for keys or other small accessories, while the main compartment is outfitted with two inner pocket sleeves.
The Fly Hydro Pack chest harness is very reminiscent of USWE’s No Dancing Monkey technology. The shoulder straps use Velcro adjustments instead of the standard pull strap system. The Velcro allows for the straps to be fine tuned to fit the wearer better, meanwhile, the overall strap length can be adjusted from the main compartment with Fly’s TensionLock buckle.
Fly Racing sent us all three packs, not knowing which size we were going to prefer. Being someone that does not really wear packs, I opted for the smaller XC 30. My first outing with the pack was on a short moto day. I had some initial concerns that the pack would not fit over top my chest protector but the Velcro adjustments made getting the fit just right a breeze. Once it was on, it was like it was not even there, partially due to it floating with my chest protector. Not once did the pack jump out of place or move around. There was one noticeable downside to the hydration system, with the way I routed the hose to go across the chest, the bite valve would get snagged under my helmet producing a grabbing feeling.
Similarly, on our ebike rides the Fly Hydro Pack XC 30 pack kept its forgettable feel even without being secured over a chest protector. The XC 30 Hydro Pack exuded the same characteristics that USWE’s hydration packs do in that there is almost zero movement when the pack is being worn, no matter how rough the trails get. The XC 30 is just large enough to store all the basic requirements to fix a flat on the trail: a tube, can of GUP, multitool and CO2 inflator…And unfortunately, I have had to refill some of those items a couple times now. I’m sure glad I had this pack on or I would probably still be walking back to the truck.
Fly’s HydraPak reservoir is easily removeable from the Hydro Pack and is a breeze to clean. The reservoir gets removed after every ride and hung out to dry, refilled and reinstalled before the ride. There is no struggling with trying to fit a full bladder back into place that can often be an issue with other hydration packs on the market.
The Fly Racing Hydro Pack XC 30 has been a welcomed piece of kit and I’m now a fan of smaller packs. While I will always prefer to store things on the bike, if I must grab a pack, this one is at the top of the pile. It is far more comfortable than others of similar sizes that I have tested in the past. One liter provides just enough water for an afternoon of eBiking and the pack itself is just big enough to hold a multi-tool, can of GUP, Tube and CO2 inflator. One of the best things about the XC 30 in particular, is its ability to be forgotten and by that, I mean it goes unnoticed when rapidly descending down rough sections of trail. At $59.95 for the XC 30, you are getting a solid pack, especially when compared to similar packs that cost twice as much.
Price: $59.95 – $99.95
Sizes: 1L, 2L, 3L