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ACRE Hauser 14L Hydration Pack

Cy Whitling reviews the ACRE Hauser 14L for Blister Gear Review.

ACRE Hauser 14L

ACRE Hauser 14L

Stated volume: 14 Liters

Stated dimensions: 19″ x 10″ x 6.5″

Stated weight: 930 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight: 948 grams

Water Reservoir: None included, 3 L system available for $35

Stated Features:

  • Perforated back panel and shoulder straps
  • Four weatherproof exterior pockets
  • Included tool roll
  • Hidden helmet and pad carry straps
  • Roll-top closure
  • Multiple anchor points for the shoulder straps and waist belt
  • Full zippered opening on the dedicated hydration pocket
  • Made in the USA

MSRP: $215

Reviewer: 6’ 180 lbs

Test Location: Driggs & Salmon Idaho

Test Duration: About 10 rides

Intro

ACRE’s opening line on the Hauser 14L is that it’s “Designed to go anywhere in all conditions” and ACRE goes on to say that “complete weatherproof construction ensures your gear will always stay dry.” Since I’m often riding with expensive camera gear, and there has been no lack of spring precipitation in the Tetons, the Hauser had my attention.

The Hauser also comes in a 10 L version that shares the same design and features with a lower volume, so most of this review is applicable to the Hauser 10L as well.

Fit

ACRE only offers the Hauser 14L in one size, but it has more options to customize your fit than most other bike packs I’ve used. Both the hip and shoulder straps have multiple attachment points to help dial the fit in to your torso, as well as the traditional sliding sternum strap.

Cy Whitling reviews the ACRE Hauser 14L for Blister Gear Review.

Cy Whitling in the ACRE Hauser 14L, Driggs, Idaho.

I had to play with the sizing a little bit and tried a few different combinations before I got a perfect fit. I was impressed with the range of adjustability, and it should be flexible enough to conform to a broad range of riders, but the back panel of the pack is very long, so short riders may find it to be a little big, even in the smallest settings.

Pockets

The Hauser a total of four outside pockets, in addition to the main compartment and hydration pocket. All of these are secured by watertight YKK coil zippers.

The main pocket takes up the bulk of the Hauser’s volume. It’s only accessible through the roll or folding closure on the top, and it’s very tall and skinny. That means that smaller items at the bottom of the pack have a tendency to get lost in a bit of a black hole. However, that volume really pays off when you’re hauling more gear.

I had no problem fitting a DSLR and extra lens, a rain coat, a med kit, a flask, and food in this main pocket.

The main pocket can be closed in two ways, by rolling it up and securing it with the velcro strap, or by folding it down and buckling it.

Cy Whitling reviews the ACRE Hauser 14L for Blister Gear Review.

ACRE Hauser 14L lid rolled (right) and folded (left).

I found that the roll and velcro method made the most sense when I wanted to be able to access the pack quickly (mostly while taking pictures) but that the fold and buckle method did a better job of diverting water away from the lower zippers.

The hydration pocket is located against the back panel of the pack, easily fits a three liter reservoir, and has a velcro loop at the top to hold your bladder. It also has access holes to either shoulder for the hose.

The rear of the pack has a bigger zippered pocket, which is the most accessible pocket when riding with the pack on, and easily fits the included tool roll and an energy bar or two.

There are two small sunglasses type pockets on the top and right side of the pack. They are unlined and fit a phone, keys, glasses, or bar perfectly. While I would appreciate a fleece sunglasses pocket I haven’t had any issues with scratched lenses yet.

Closer to the bottom of the pack is another small pocket that houses armor carry straps and has room for other small accessories.

Together these pockets offer an impressive combination of volume and organization. I can easily fit everything I need for an all-day ride, and with the exception of the deep main pocket, everything stays easily accessible.

Features

The Hauser has four straps with buckles on the back of the pack. Combined with the daisy chain along the bottom these make it easy to secure just about anything. Both full face and trail helmets are easily buckled on for fire road climbs, and the lower set of straps holds kneepads securely.

The Hauser comes with a tool roll, which is a nice touch and helps keep things organized. The roll fits perfectly in the back pocket with a little room to spare and easily fits my pump, multi-tool, tire levers, patch kit, knife, tube, and chain tool. It also helps keep things organized when you need to do some trailside bike surgery.

Cy Whitling reviews the ACRE Hauser 14L for Blister Gear Review.

ACRE Hauser 14L tool roll

The Hauser is set up to be able to run a hydration hose on either shoulder, and uses a standard plastic clip. It’s not as handy as Osprey’s magnetic system, but since the Hauser doesn’t come stock with a bladder anyway you can buy an aftermarket Osprey bladder and swap it in.

Since the Hauser doesn’t have any compression straps, there is no way to cinch it down for rides where you don’t need as much gear, and things tend to bounce around a little which can be frustrating on downhills.
NEXT: Weatherproofing, Comfort, Etc.

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