USWE Outlander 4 and Organiser Pocket accessory
This is my go-to race pack. Three litres of hydration in a slimline pack with a great harness and just enough storage in the external zipper pocket. While the bladder is three litres the actual bag is four litres so there’s space to use the internal bladder pouch for extras such my energy bars, license and insurance card, zip ties and other small items. I don’t actually like carrying too much on me when I race, I prefer to stash things on the bike if possible. But the three-litre bladder is the key for me, I sweat a lot and I need the fluids over a long day, and I like the security that the three-litre capacity gives me.
Also very important is the fit of a hydration pack. The worst thing in the world is one that jumps around or rides up and snags the back of your helmet. USWE’s four-point harness means none of this happens. It’s a snug fit yet with air channels built into the mesh back panel and high vent foam on the straps you don’t get too sweaty.
This pack is also properly waterproof. At my last three-day event it rained – torrential rain for hours on end – and the pack performed brilliantly. I was impressed that the internal pouches stayed dry through such heavy downpours. I half expected the pack to be a little wet on the inside, but nope – all good.
Mine is a Kurt Caselli edition, which costs around £20 more than the standard Outlander 4, and USWE donate the additional profit to the Kurt Caselli Foundation which is dedicated to improving rider safety in off-road racing in the US; so far this has led to donations from USWE of tens of thousands of dollars.
I was also trying out the USWE Organiser Pocket accessory which is as it turns out is not waterproof at all. Nonetheless I had my cash, and other non-waterproof items in a little Ziplock bag and while the pocket organiser was soaked, I still preferred having it on me than not having it. When the sun did come out for a few hours it made the bag even more useful. It’s so accessible – it just clips onto the harness of the Outlander – and when dry, so much more versatile.