Wingnut Enduro || A Five Year Review!
Back in March of 2013, I did a post on my then new Wingnut Enduro pack. Five plus years later, I believe it's time to give a true review of the pack.
*Note- I purchase this pack and this review is based on my use of the pack*
First of all, the Wingnut Enduro is a hydration guide pack that will hold a 3L bladder. It weighs in at 20 oz and is 1200 cubic inches. The pack has two side wing pockets and mesh on the outside of the pockets. The outside of the main compartment has a mesh pocket with an elastic drawcord system.
When riding on my local trails I normally just ride with bottles. My plan for using this pack was for epic rides and bikepacking. I have used it many times during orienteering events. It has been used on trail maintenance work days and a few day hikes.
It was not until I used the pack on a hot trail maintenance day did I truly appreciate and understand the lowrider system. I was reworking a small section of trail and I was bent over for long periods of time. With the lowrider system of the pack, I didn't have the weight of the pack on my upper back. I also had freedom of movement and you just don't notice the pack is there.
If you have spent any amount of time doing trail maintenance you will understand that you are working with the tools and making the same movements as a wildland firefighter. If you research wildland firefighter packs you will see they also use a type of " lowrider system".
I use a Source hydration bladder with my Wingnut Enduro pack. On the Wingnut website, they sell a Platypus bladder and this bladder might be what they design the pack to be used with. So with that in mind, I wish the bladder pocket was anywhere from 1/2" -1" taller. I think that would accommodate the bladders better. There is also a small plastic clip to hold the bladder in place and keep it from falling down. I wished there was a small D-ring and not the plastic clip. *So little taller bladder pocket and replace small plastic clip it small D-ring.*
As the saying goes "one is none and two is one". I don't know about you, but I have had a bladder fail before! The two times that this happened I remember it was the bite valve. Once you have a failure with a bladder there is not much you can do with it! So with that, I am a little old school and still, like to carry a Nalgene bottle with me. A Nalgene bottle eats up a lot of that 1200 cubic inches of space!
While writing this review I wanted to try something to see if it would work. On the outside of each wing pocket, there is a mesh pocket. A standard 32 oz Nalgene bottle is too tall for that pocket. But a 32 oz Nalgene canteen is spot on. I will be doing another day hike in 2 weeks and will give the canteens a field trial.
**Update** Field Trial- Picture below you can see that I have the Nalgene Oasis Canteen in my left mesh pocket. I was very pleased with how the canteen fit in the pocket. The canteen stayed put until I reached to get it out of the pocket. I had no issues to put the canteen back and could do so one-handed.
If I am using my Wingnut Enduro on my local mountain bike trails I normally carry about 2 liters of water, a Gerber's hand saw, bicycle repair kit, small first aid kit and mini pump. That does not come close to filling the pack up!
But an epic mountain bike ride or a day hike where you need to carry more gear then 1200 cubic inches can be a challenge. Also, remember this is a hydration pack, not a 2400 cubic inch day pack. This is where knowing your gear and packing smart plays a big role. No matter if I am riding or hiking in the mountains I carry the same equipment other than the addition of a bicycle repair kit.
The elastic compression system on the back is a great place to stick a layer when you get a little warm from activity. The only downside to the elastic compression system is that you can hook it on the front of your saddle when getting on the bike.
While no pack rules them all, I can say the Wingnut Enduro fits the bill for me. I just can't come up with anything that is a show stopper on this pack. You can get stuff out of the wing pockets without taking the pack off. It gives a great center of gravity that does not throw you off while riding or crossing a stream. It makes you pack only what you need!
There you have it! If you have any questions that I did not answer, please leave a comment below and I will try to answer it.