Henty Enduro Backpack

Noah Bodman reviews the Henty Enduro Backpack for Blister

Henty Enduro Backpack

Henty Enduro Backpack

Reviewer: 5’9”, 150 lbs

Available Sizes: One Size

Materials:

  • 500-denier Cordura Nylon
  • Mesh

Stated Volume: 5 Liters

Stated Weight: 550 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight: 550 grams

Stated Features:

  • Lumbar (including hips and kidney) impact protection
  • Moulded foam for improved air ventilation
  • Compatible with most 3L hydration bladders (not included).
  • Adjustable shoulder straps
  • Adjustable chest strap
  • Molle webbing
  • Plenty of pockets

MSRP: $110

Test Location: Montana, Colorado, & New Mexico

Test Duration: ~3 months

Intro

I hate wearing a backpack while riding — they’re hot, they often smack you in the back of the head on jumps, and for most rides I’m doing, the carrying capacity afforded by a backpack is more than I really need. So I’ve jumped on the fanny pack train, but I’ve found that when a fanny pack is fully loaded, it tends to bounce around and be a bit annoying. And there are plenty of times when I wish my fanny pack could carry just a little bit more stuff — namely, a jacket when the weather is looking threatening.

Enter Henty’s Enduro Backpack. They call it a backpack, but it has some strong fanny pack lineage. I’ve taken to calling it the “Enduro Tactical Vest.”

I’ve put in around 300 miles with the Enduro Tactical Vest Enduro Backpack, and I’ve actually become a big fan of it. It offers that “little bit more than a fanny pack” versatility without getting into the downsides of a full backpack. And for a lot of the riding I do, that’s exactly what I need.

Design & Construction

At its heart, the Enduro Backpack is basically a fanny pack. Pretty much all of the carrying capacity is situated in the same way that it is on fanny pack — around the waist. But the Enduro Backpack also has shoulder straps, and a sort of meshy back panel.

Now, there are other packs that have gone down the “very low-slung backpack” route, like the Wingnut packs and the Camelbak Skyline. But the Henty Enduro Backpack is a bit different — it’s not just a backpack that sits low. It’s really a fanny pack with added shoulder straps.

Noah Bodman reviews the Henty Enduro Backpack for Blister

Noah Bodman in the Henty Enduro Backpack, Whitefish, MT. (photo by Marc O’Brien)

And the end result is that the Enduro Backpack has the upsides of a fanny pack in that it doesn’t feel bulky and it’s much cooler than a backpack (even compared to those low-slung backpacks). But the Enduro Backpack is also more stable than a fanny pack, and it does a better job of carrying a heavier load. Even loaded down with 2.5 liters of water, some food, tools, a jacket, and some other random junk, the Enduro Backpack was fairly unnoticeable on rough trails.

Storage & Organization

In terms of organization, the Enduro Backpack has a main bladder pocket that fits my 2.5-liter bladder easily. The pack doesn’t come with a bladder included, so I’ve been using some generic thing that’s fairly mediocre. Other organizational pockets include a thin pocket designed for cell phones that sits between the bladder and my back, two accessible pockets on the waist belt, some exterior elastic straps for bars / gels, and then a folded-over compartment with a bunch of pockets in it.

Noah Bodman reviews the Henty Enduro Backpack for Blister

Henty Enduro Backpack w/ Flap Pocket Open (Much of the storage in the Enduro is in the flap-pocket area, which folds over and closes with a buckle.)

The Enduro Backpack easily fits a bike tube, some tools, some food, a pump, and other assorted small items. The pack also has webbing strung around the outside to make it easy to strap other things to it, like a jacket or pads. The mesh back panel area also has a pocket built into it, although I haven’t quite figured out the ideal use for this pocket. Henty’s images show it stuffed with either a map or an ultralight shell, though I can’t fit the Sweet Protection Delirious Jacket in it, and that jacket is pretty packable.

In terms of construction, the Enduro Backpack isn’t flimsy — decently thick 500-denier Cordura is used throughout, and the zippers don’t seem like they’re going to fail anytime soon. The buckles are pretty standard, and as long as you don’t step on them, they should hold up for a long while.

Downsides

While I very much like the Enduro Backpack, I think there a few small areas where Henty could improve things. First, I’d like to see the padding that sits up against my back be a smidge stiffer. When the pack is full, the padding isn’t’ quite stiff enough to keep from feeling a little bulgy.

I’d also like to see some slightly cleaner routing for the hydration hose — there isn’t any clip to keep the bite-valve end of the hose in check while riding. Or maybe more accurately, I wish the pack came with a good bladder that was more cleanly integrated.

Another issue I have is that the Enduro Backpack’s straps all seem really long. Bigger guys with broader chests will have less issues with this, but at 5’9”, 150 lbs, I feel like I have a lot of extra webbing flopping around from pretty much every adjustment point while wearing the Enduro Backpack.

And finally, I wish the fold-over flap on the pack had just a bit more room in it, mostly to make it easier to quickly cram a jacket under there.

Bottom Line

I have a fanny pack from Evoc and I like it, so when the Henty Enduro Backpack showed up, I was a little skeptical about how much I’d really end up using it. But here we are, and I’ve put in far more miles this spring in the Enduro Backpack than I have in my fanny pack (or any other backpack I own). Sure, there are a couple little things that’d I’d personally tweak a bit, but that goes for almost every pack I’ve ever owned.

All in all, the Henty Enduro Backpack brings something to the table that 1) I think is awesome, and 2) off the top of my head, I’m not sure anyone else is really doing, at least not in a bike-oriented context. So if you wish your fanny pack could hold a little more, or was just a bit more stable while riding, check out the Enduro Backpack. Or if you like the idea of a fanny pack, but you just can’t bring yourself to ride in a fanny pack and you’ve realized that you’re not kidding anyone by calling it a “lumbar pack,” then yeah, check out the Enduro Backpack. Or maybe you just need a pack that carries the right amount of stuff for most rides that aren’t all-day epics. Any way about it, check out the Henty Enduro Backpack.

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