Review: North St Pioneer 9 Hip Pack – Ditch the Hydration Pack!

North St Pioneer 9 Hip Pack

It’s funny how trends always seem to come back around.  I remember riding with friends many years ago who wore fanny packs before today’s hydration packs existed.  Fanny packs served a functional purpose and those who wore them seemed oblivious to what others thought of them for their obvious fashion blunder.  Does that make them “hip” trendsetters? Maybe.

Recently we have seen a re-emergence of the fanny pack renamed as a more technical “hip” pack.  The idea of leaving the hydration pack behind and carrying a lighter load for shorter rides seemed enticing enough for me to give one a try.

North St is a bag company from Portland, Oregon for the “active travelist”.  All packs are made in-house with USA made materials and come with a lifetime warranty.  The Pioneer 9 is the smaller of two hip bags that North St makes.http://northstbags.com/collections/pioneer-9-hip-pack

Product Details:  North St Pioneer 9 Hip Pack $39 + $10 for removable waist belt.  Capacity: 2.65L , dimensions: 9″ x 6″ x 3″

Likes:

  • Super high quality design feels like it will last a lifetime.
  • Lots of storage compartments make it very easy to organize.
  • Great size: very comfortable not having a large pack covering the back, especially when its hot out.
  • Easy of access: pack contents can be quickly reached by simply sliding pack around to the front, no need to remove.

Dislikes:

  • Waist belt slowly loosens enough after an hour of riding that adjustment is usually needed.

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North St Pioneer 9 Hip Pack
Room for all the essentials with space to spare

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North St Pioneer 9 Hip Pack
Several nice dividers are thoughtful touches in the back of the pack as well as a cell phone insert that is velcroed in for easy removal.

The beauty of this setup (if your bike allows for a bottle cage for water)  is the option of throwing this little pack on for shorter rides vs hauling the massive hydration pack that weighs nearly half what your bike weighs.  After a few months with the North St hip pack, my hydration pack now is left collecting dust for rides lasting less than an hour and a half.   The quality, style and craftsmanship of the Pioneer 9 is impressive as well as the functionality with well-designed pockets and separators to make it a snap to find what you’re looking for quickly.

If you want to be “hip” the North St Pioneer 9 is a great way to start.

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