The Svelte pack is a medium sized hydration pack, able to stash 10 litres of gear and 3 litres of water, it has straps to attach your pads and XC or DH (for gnarly portaging) and a special place to stick pretty much anything else you wanted to take with you
To be honest, from first impressions I really didn’t think that the Svelte pack and I were going to have a happy union; it really wasn’t that svelte for a start, the shoulder straps looked a bit odd and unpadded, it had so many loose straps it looked like something a bondage lover would keep his spare talc in.
And as for the specially designed and carefully labelled pockets, well they are great if your tools and sundries fit in them, but not all that useful if your tools and sundries are not the shape that Lezyne had in mind. For the anally retentive and slightly OCD-ish this was a potential nightmare. To top it off I had recently found a pack that I really liked and that seemed to like me back too.
But I was here to test it, so that’s what it got. Finding a pack that fits well can be kind of tricky sometimes, the in the shop test does not often seem to work out on the trail and for me even mates recommendations of “this is totally the best pack ever” quite often would result in a pack that needed constant adjustment. Many mountain bikers have uneven shoulders because of unplanned emergency get off’s sometime in their past; we also all are different shapes and sizes.
So it was a great pleasure to finds that this pack and my back were a good combination, even with the straps set up badly, it was pretty comfortable; this was a good start! The worries about the thin straps never really materialised, it was comfortable on even the longest of rides; while some of my tools might not have fit into the specific pockets there were still plenty of other pockets to stash gear in and the main compartment held plenty of extra kit and clothing.
The bladder was also a decent design, with a wide opening top and detachable hose for easy cleaning, the nozzle also worked well, ensuring a good flow of water and never clogging even when covered in heavy mud.
Construction and finish are of the highest standard, made out of tough rip stop material with chunky zips that ran well even in filthy conditions.
A surprisingly great pack that will meet the need of most day rides. Rugged construction should ensure a long life for this feature heavy pack.