Endura MT 500 Enduro Backpack 2016 Mountain Bike Review

Endura MT 500 Enduro Backpack 2016

Reviews / Hydration Packs/Bags

Endura 73,383

At A Glance

Endura have been producing clothing that riders can trust for over 13 years now, clothing that lasts and stands up to the elements of riding in the UK. They have held their own in a super challenging market and have now shown their intent to move up another gear. With a newly revised, brighter and more stylish MT500 range that has the likes of Danny Macaskill flying the flag, this could be the start of a tidy new chapter for the Scottish based company. Endura have added two new backpacks to their iconic range of rugged apparel and the star of the show is undoubtedly this one. The new MT500 backpack is loaded with innovative features and targeted at the serious off-road rider.

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It is a stylish looking 15 litre pack boasting a lightweight and breathable honeycomb-effect spine protector made of Koroyd EOP 1.0. This has been thermally welded together to give efficient energy absorption capabilities which meets the EN1621-2 level 2 standard. Visible through the cutaway back panel, the Koroyd hollow tube construction provides class leading protection meeting the test criteria at low and high temperature extremes unlike many of its competitors, while keeping weight and bulk to a minimum. We\'ve seen the use of Koroyd in products from a few other brands, but Endura seems sold on it, even adding it to their helmets and knee pads for 2017.

The pack has stacks of internal space for big days out on the trail with various pockets and a handy removable tool roll providing flexible options for keeping everything organized. An integrated helmet holder, suitable for standard or full face lids, also doubles as a stash pocket. The adjustable QR pad carrying straps provide further, flexible external carrying capacity.

On the Trail

With all the hype and the detailed info that I had heard about this backpack I was expecting it to be a belter and, to be fair from the moment I threw it over my shoulders it had a real quality feel to it. Once loaded up with all the kit needed for a big day out the comfort never faded thanks to the pre-shaped shoulder straps and back, which are made from a light and evidently breathable foam. The mesh cover allows air to move freely in the channels between the foam pads which seems to work really well at keeping things as cool as possible on the back. This mesh does seem to be pretty tough stuff but I still managed to snag it and create a small whole fairly soon into its use. This said it is definitely tougher than mesh I’ve come across on other packs in the past and it does create good holding friction against all clothing materials. The broad waist belt combined with the height adjustable sternum strap do a great job of holding the pack steady too, I never once felt the pack slipping out of my desired position even on the roughest and steepest of trails.

I really like the hip pockets on the waist belt, big enough to hold several gels, multi tool and whatever other pocket sized bits you should wish to have accessible at all times, the plastic hooped zips allowing said pockets to be opened and closed one handed with ease. Another neat little touch is the chest strap hook which can be operated one-handed, however the material loop that the metal buckle attaches to is showing signs that it may well fail to last as long as the rest of the bag. Maybe something that can be improved next time around.

The well thought out features keep coming with this backpack, not least the top grade fabrics used on this bag. A lightweight ripstop Polyester fabric is used on the main body and pockets repels water extremely well and seems tough and durable. Lower down there is a tougher wipe-down PVC material on the base to give added durability and lifespan. This PVC stuff really can take a hammering and just makes so much sense, pay attention competitors! Inside there is a cool little tool wrap to help keep things a little more organised, a nice touch we think.

As well as doing a good job of carrying luggage on the inside, the MT500 also provides well thought out carrying capacity on the outside for knee pads and a helmet. I guess this is where the Enduro part comes into play, this bag is perfect for transitions between stages on enduro races as even a full face helmet can be attached in a way that keeps it steady without flailing around, this just takes a little working out but if I can work it out, anyone can. Adjustable straps allow even the largest of knee/shin pads to be fastened neatly to the bottom of the pack and also act as effective compression straps when the bag is fairly empty stopping any excess material wafting around. The main helmet carry cradle fits any normal lid perfectly and can also double up as an external storage pouch.

Overall

A really impressive lightweight and durable backpack, with a fine array of features that work exceptionally well. Although this is a first for Endura, they have created a bag which will undoubtedly be keeping the competition on their toes.

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By Ewen Turner
Ewen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.

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