Evoc Stage 12L Team Hydration Pack Review

Evoc Stage 12L Team

It seems all the recent buzz with packs has circled around hip/fanny packs and on the bike storage.  I do like the hip pack option but my love for big backcountry LOOPS has me still using a hydration pack for most rides.   Packs seem to be the way to go for the bigger rides unless you don’t drink or are able to filter.  I prefer to also have everything I need secured inside a pack and not attached all over my bike.  After many years of mostly using Camelbak products, I was super interested to review the Evoc Stage 12l Team.  Evoc’s design ideas and quality have always appeared very high to me.

Personally, I look for comfort and stability first and foremost in a pack.  Nothing else is more annoying to me than a pack that shifts around and hits you in the back of the neck on the steep downhill sections and when in the air.  Now back on the east coast, airflow is next in order to help minimize the schweddy back.  These are all areas where I was pleasantly surprised by the Evoc’s performance.


Evoc Stage 12L Team | $140 | Accepts up to 3L water bladder (not included) | 920 grams | Multiple color options


Thumbs Up:

  • Ventilation and comfort are high.  This was surprising to me since the surface area of the back is larger than most.  The use of large foam channels provide great airflow and reduce contact with the back.  Even in humid western NC riding, I feel the Stage 12 doesn’t feel as warm as most of its rivals.

Evoc Stage 12L Team

  • Great storage organization – there is literally a pocket to fit and organize everything you should need on a mountain bike ride.  When I first started using the pack I did find myself sometimes misplacing items before permanent homes were found for everything.

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Evoc Stage 12L Team storage organization
Super nice wide opening to easily see all the small things in your pack. This opens by a pull that connects zippers on both sides – see next photo.

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Evoc Stage 12L Team
Helmet storage for both full face and half-shell – as well as the built-in rain fly.  Mesh pockets on both sides provide quick access for food.

With the shoulder straps, waist belt and sternum straps adjusted the pack is quite secure.  No unwanted pack movement in the rough/steep or when jumping is noticed.  Comparing it to my regular Camelbak Skyline 10 LR (lowrider) which I thought was one of the best since it keeps the pack low – I think I prefer the Evoc!  Since the load is kept closer to the body, I feel like there is less shifting.

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Evoc Stage 12L Team
Loops to secure excess waist belt from flapping around keep things super tidy.  The waist belt is a very comfortable width yet super thin/almost mesh.

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Evoc Stage 12L Team
Whistle in the sternum strap.

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Evoc Stage 12L Team
Articulating shoulder straps are a nice feature.

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Evoc Stage 12L Team
Main pocket with emergency plan goes all the way to the bottom of the pack and is great for the larger items.

Thumbs Down:

  • No waist belt storage for food or phone.  Having easy access to these is very helpful.  The mesh side pockets almost work, but aren’t that easy to reach – maybe I need to do more yoga?
  • The large logo doesn’t bother me, but I can see how some wouldn’t want such a large in your face branding of the product.  Luckily the non “Team” version is available with a smaller logo.
  • A bit pricey without a bladder at $140.  A Camelbak Mule retails for $150 with the bladder.  Even though I’m a tightwad, I would still choose the Evoc though.

 

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Evoc Stage 12L Team compared to Camelbak
Compared to other popular packs the Evoc is thin keeping contents closer and helping to reduce excess movement. L to R: Camelbak Skyline 10 LR (empty – when loaded it’s fairly thick), Evoc Stage 12L Team, Camelbak Mule/Luxe LR 14, Camelbak Lobo.

 

Overall Thoughts:

This Evoc Stage 12L Team is easily one of the most comfortable packs I’ve worn.  The adjustment, load stability rivals my previous favorite and super stable Camelbak Skyline 10LR.  The multiple pocket storage options is a dream for those who have/want a place for everything.  The Evoc Stage 12L Team is a fantastic pack that I look forward to riding with.  Its cool, comfortable, and secure even on the roughest terrain.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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