After around 2 years of use, we look to see how the Evoc FR Lite Team back pack has stood the test of time. RRP is £109.99
The model reviewed is the smaller 8l version.
The FR Lite Team is one of the smallest backpacks we've seen with a back protector in, named the "Evoc Liteshield Back Protector". This can be removed if required.
There is also a small whistle to annoy your riding friends with.
A detachable helmet holder also comes with the bag.
It's important to get the backprotector lined up correctly, so the top straps need to be adjusted and lined up with the spine in accordance with the instructions. This only takes a few minutes.
Once setup the Evoc is the most secure pack we have used. Both the shoulder straps fit snugly without biting into the skin, but the best thing is the beefed up hip strap. The extra width means you can have it nice and tight without discomfort and it really means the pack stays totally solid through even the roughest descents.
The Evoc has a main compartment with zips that go all the way around the bag, meaning its easy to pack and unpack items in an organised way, as well as making it easy to get to items at the bottom of the bag.
In addition to them main section, there is a smaller top zip enclosure, with 2 elasticated mesh holders as well as a key ring holder. We mainly used this part to keep 'phones, card ,wallets etc.
Below the top compartment is a larger compartment which was used to store tools, spares, pump and other less needed items.
There is a also a small zipped pocket on one side of the hip strap, accessible without having to take the bag off, this was great for gels and small energy bars. We would of liked to have seen another of the same pockets on the other side of the hip band.
We tested the FR Team Lite with both 2l and 3l hydration bladders and both worked perfectly. Using the 3 litre reduced the amount of storage in the main part of the bag, but we could comfortably get lunch, and a spare tube in there.
The Team Lite also comes with a clip on removable helmet strap (not pictured). We found this was useful for attaching a helmet and pads to when packing for a big day out and loading into the car, but never used it whilst out of the trail.
For a full on backcountry adventure, the 8l version may be a little too small, as you wouldn't be able to get a jacket, or multiple meals in the bag along with the 3l bladder and tools, but for the average day out we felt it striked the perfect balance between capacity and size.
We are pleased to report that there really are very few issues with this bag. One minor issue is that as the pack is so snug, and has a full back protector it can get very warm. This isn't such an problem in the UK, but maybe in warmer climates might be something to consider. The only other minor quibble would be that it seems quite hard to get the bag looking 100% fresh, even after washing in the machine.
The elephant in the room is the cost. This really is a premium price for a pack, but is it worth it? We would say yes, after 2 years the bag is still in fantastic condition, and we can believe that you could get 10 years use out of it. The Evoc's main draw is the fit, we haven't found a bag that sits as well and is so stable, even when full. It's also a great size, not too big so as to be cumbersome on 2 hour blasts, but big enough to get everything in for a full day in the hills. Overall a great product, well done Evoc.