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Acre Hauser Hydration Pack

Vital Rating: (Outstanding)
Acre Hauser Hydration Pack - Gray
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Tested: Acre Hauser - Hauler of Fun

Rating: Vital Review

by Kevin Shiramizu

With the creation of Acre, the folks behind Mission Workshop have taken their geekery for bags to the dirt, and by now you've probably come across some of the meticulously crafted stories they have put out in various media for the launch of their mountain biking brand. I really wanted to see if all that attention to detail went into the product and not just into the presentation, unlike our collective experience with some other brands. So when the chance to test the Hauser bag came along, I dove at it.


Acre Hauser Highlights

  • Bladder Capacity: 3 Liter Camelbak or Hydrapak (also compatible with Platypus, Osprey/Nalgene, and Source reservoirs)
  • 10 or 14 Liter options with Roll-Top closure (Flap-Down configuration provides additional coverage for the front zippers)
  • Outer Fabric: Dimension-Polyant 210d Nylon VX Ripstop with Waterproof Laminate
  • Liner Fabric: 70d Nylon Ripstop with Waterproof TPU Laminate
  • YKK Urethane Coated // Watertight Zippers
  • Back Panel: Ariaprene Hexagonal Perforated Foam with Nylon Mesh Laminate
  • Hardware: National Molding
  • Tool Roll: Heavy Duty Nylon Mesh, 500d Cordura Nylon, YKK #5 Reverse Coil Zippers
  • Four Weatherproof Exterior Pockets
  • Included Tool-Roll is fully removable and provides 4 additional zippered mesh pockets
  • Hidden carry straps for secure attachment of a full face or XC helmet and pads
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Grey, or Camo
  • Weight: Backpack 710 g (25.1oz), Tool roll: 130 g (4.6 oz), Waist belt (removable) - 60 g (2.1 oz)
  • MSRP: $195 (10L), $205 (14L)

Initial Impressions

When the bag arrived my first reaction was that this bag is huge. My previous hydration pack was a 10l and I had run out of space in that for all day adventures in the past. But 14l? That seemed giant. The running dialog in my head went like this: “Do I even own enough stuff to fill this thing? Will I even want to bring that much stuff on a ride? … Holy crap the empty weight of this bag is way lighter than my other, smaller bag. So much more room for activities…”


The bag is weatherproof by design, and thus does not require a separate rain cover. The accessory tool pouch was a nice touch and proved to be more effective at storing that kind of stuff than the built-in compartments and pockets that most bags have. The best part about it is unfolding it on the trail to reveal all the stored bits rather than digging through an overstuffed bag to get to the little things.


The big, undivided spaces in the bag also meant I had a lot more options as far as how I wanted to pack things. It’s not as simple minded as a cavernous duffle but it does afford me more options that may fit my needs better. Plus, you’re already sitting on a bike saddle, so no need to smash yet another banana in your backpack, right?


No bladder is included so pick your brand for that. There is plenty of adjustability to the straps including a few options for where you can attach the waist strap. Build quality is amazing and generally made all other bags, that I had previously found perfectly acceptable, to feel and look like junk.


On The Trail

The bag is large and you can fill it with tons of stuff and with that is going to come the same old sweaty back that any other bag can provide. That being said, the adjustability of the straps and the bag layout in general made hauling the load quite comfortable for a pack of this size. There's not a great way to carry that much water, tools, spare parts, food, and clothing changes but this bag did a good job of keeping it in place. The waist strap takes some of the load off your back and into your hips while keeping it from swinging side to side or letting the bag sneak up your back when totally getting like three feet of air. Not carrying all the extras may be more comfortable, but walking ten miles back to the car is a much greater bummer.


Having a bag this size opened up thinking towards the grander side of the scale. I wouldn’t really bother taking this bag on an hour ride, not because it’s not up to the task but simply because the bag would yawn and shrug at the quick pre-work jaunt. It was immediately clear to me that this bag yearns for… and I hate to say the words but… epic rides. The campaign that Acre has put out featuring people riding enormous mountains way out from civilization is what this bag really does feel built for. It’s as comfortable after hour 6 as it was leaving the car and it can take the gear for weather changes, food, tools, spares, and cameras to document the fun.

SoCal MegaDrought 2014 Edition has resulted in basically zero rain to play in but a quick test of putting the bag on and hopping in the shower has shown that the waterproof zippers keep the water out when fully closed and the roll-top kept the main compartment dry as well. The padding took on a bit of water but no more than when you're out sweating your nads off riding in the heat. While the bag is not scuba certified, it should keep your goods inside dry under normal precipitation according to my highly scientific experiment.

Things That Could Be Improved

The big open spaces of the bag include the bladder compartment. There is a loop at the top of the compartment to hold up a bladder and it does the job just fine. I happened to settle on a bladder with some structural bits to it that held itself up in the bag well. The free flopping bladder that I also tested with the bag didn’t work quite as well, even when hung from the top loop. This is one compromise of having a bag and bladder system that is not integrated, but also one that in the grand scheme didn’t really matter to me. The other thing everyone is going to notice right away is the price you’ll pay for this bag, which again doesn’t come with a bladder. The mentality shift of knowing that this thing can open up new ride possibilities is one that you will have to leverage to overcome the sticker shock. It’s an American made product with a lifetime warranty. You might not go through hydrations packs very often, but knowing that this could be the last one you ever buy is comforting.


Long Term Durability

I have no doubts this bag will outlast just about every other piece of riding gear that I currently own. I look forward to thousands of miles with this bag, knowing the lifetime warranty is there should I ever need it - I doubt I will. This thing feels solid and I would think that only a rag-dolling crash into some sharp rocks would ever put a scuff on it. Waterproof zippers don’t last forever but these feel like they should give many years of good service, and the general construction is such that I'm convinced the pack will go the distance - and beyond.


What's The Bottom Line?

This is the best hydration pack I’ve ever used. While other people may currently be scampering for ways to stuff multitools and spare tubes in your shorts and waterbottles up your jersey for short rides, this bag is all about looking to the horizon for a huge mountain and then riding your bike up there and beyond. We don’t always have time for that, but those are the rides that stick out in a lifetime, and any product that facilitates that kind of adventure while supporting domestic construction is a winner in my book. The only reason I hesitate to give it the full five stars is that the finer details of it all may just not be needed for many people. There are other big bags on the market that carry as much stuff for a lot less money and those may be just fine for you. But I can bet that none of them come with this kind of quality control, good materials, and are made in the USA. If you have the scratch for a fancy bag and big rides then this is the itch you’ve been looking for.

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About The Reviewer

Kevin Shiramizu has been riding mountain bikes for over 15 years. During that time he accumulated multiple state championships in Colorado for XC and trials riding, a junior national champ title in trials, and went to Worlds to get his ass kicked by euros in 2003. His riding favors flat corners and sneaky lines. After a doozy of a head injury, he hung up the downhill bike for good in early 2010 and now foolishly rides a very capable trail bike with less protection and crashes just as hard as ever. He likes rough, technical trails at high elevation, but usually settles for dry, dusty, and blown out. He spent five good years of his youth working in bike shops and pitched in efforts over the years with Decline, LitterMag, Dirt, and Vital MTB. He also helped develop frames and tires during his time as a guy who occasionally gets paid to ride his bike in a fancy way in front of big crowds of people.


Product Acre Hauser Hydration Pack
Rider Unisex
Hydration Pack Type Backpack
Bladder Capacity 3L (101.4 oz)
Storage Capacity 10 Liter or 14 Liter Options with Roll-Top Closure (Flap-Down Configuration Provides Additional Coverage for the Front Zippers)
Materials Outer Fabric: Dimension-Polyant 210d Nylon VX Ripstop with Waterproof Laminate
Liner Fabric: 70d Nylon Ripstop with Waterproof TPU Laminate
External Zippers: YKK Urethane Coated
Watertight Zippers. (#5 And #7 Coil)
Back Panel: Ariaprene Hexagonal Perforated Foam with Nylon Mesh Laminate
Hardware: National Molding
Tool Roll: Heavy Duty Nylon Mesh, 500d Cordura Nylon, YKK #5 Reverse Coil Zippers
Pockets Four Weatherproof Exterior Pockets
Included Tool-Roll is Fully Removable and Provides Four Additional Zippered Mesh Pockets Designed to Hold Hand Tools as well as a Tube and Pump
Hidden Carry Straps for Secure Attachment of a Full Face or Cross-Country Helmet and Pads
Colors Black, Blue, Grey, or Camo
Miscellaneous Includes Sternum Strap Adjuster and Removable Waist Belt
3 Liter Camelbak or Hydrapak (Also Compatible with Platypus and Osprey/Nalgene Reservoirs)
Backpack Weight: 710 g (25.1oz)
Tool Roll: 130 g (4.6 oz)
Waist Belt (Removable) - 60 g (2.1 oz)
  • $195
  • $205
  • $35
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