PNW Rover Hip Pack review

The Rover Hip Pack is the first ‘soft’ accessory from direct sell component brand PNW so what’s the deal with the details?

PNW Rover Hip Pack
(Image: © Guy Kesteven)

BikePerfect Verdict

Tough, weather proof and well priced pack with useful optional bottle holster but side pockets are frustratingly tight and it shifts about a bit

Pros

  • +

    Super-tough material

  • +

    Well priced

  • +

    Soft padding

  • +

    Plenty of main pocket organisation

  • +

    Neoprene phone protection

  • +

    Optional bottle holster

  • +

    Lifetime warranty

  • +

    No loose belt ends

Cons

  • -

    Tight side pockets

  • -

    Shifts about a lot

  • -

    Noisy fabric

  • -

    = Direct sell only

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PNW has built an excellent reputation for practical, well priced componentry and now it's extending its range into essential MTB clothing and kit. Pricing, padding and contents protection and an optional bottle holster are all pros of the Rover Hip Pack but the tight wing pockets feel like a missed opportunity and it can slip about a bit. 

Keep reading to find out how it compares to the best MTB hip packs.

PNW Rover Hip Pack

You’ll find mesh apron pockets to add some organisation and a separate outer zipped pocket with neoprene inner faces to add protection for smart phone screens (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Design and aesthetic

PNW cover all its products with a lifetime materials and manufacturing warranty but it's also used a super-tough triple-layer sail cloth fabric to make it unlikely you’ll need to invoke it. The broad belt wings and main compartment are backed with soft, padded 3D Air Mesh with extra lumbar ribbing for comfort. The chunky snapback buckle belt is adjustable either side and the spare strap is tethered so there’s nothing flapping around your thighs as you pedal. There are side cinch straps to squeeze volume down and these are what the optional draw string topped water bottle holster pop studs onto. 

Otherwise most storage is in the main bag where you’ll find mesh apron pockets to add some organisation and a separate outer zipped pocket with neoprene inner faces to add protection for smart phone screens. Both these pockets and the two hip belt pockets use water resistant zips with chunky PNW logo pullers and we’ve had no issues with stuff inside getting wet even on really soggy rides.

Performance

Despite being padded enough on the inside to support a heavy load, the wing pockets are super slim with zero stretch so getting one of the best bike multi-tools and an energy bar or C02 cartridge and inflator in is a proper squeeze. While the security clip is a nice touch I even had to pull the accumulated bike lock key/bottle opener/ micro tool junk off my van keys to get them into the pocket.

Possibly because all the padding and tough material makes it quite stiff the bag bounced and shifted around more than normal too so I was hoiking it back into position on a regular basis. The sail fabric is very crunchy and noisy, too but you’re unlikely to notice above normal riding buzz.

PNW Rover Hip Pack

There are side cinch straps to squeeze volume down and these are what the optional draw string topped water bottle holster pop studs onto (Image credit: Guy Kesteven)

Verdict

PNW’s Rover hip pack is very tough, well priced and weatherproof with well organised and protected main storage and an optional water bottle holster. Fighting to get essentials in and out of the wing pockets is a pain though and it’s not as ‘quiet’ from a stability or noise POV as other bags we’ve used.  

Pnwcomponents.com (opens in new tab)

Shop for the Rover Hip Pack at Pnwcomponents.com (opens in new tab).

Tech Specs: PNW Rover Hip Pack

  • Price: $69 / £52.27
  • Weight: 380g (including holster)  
  • Sizes: Will fit waists between 24-48-inches
  • Colors: Dark Matter black (tested) or Star Dust khaki 

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect and Cyclingnews’ contributing tech editor. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Rides: Pace RC295, Cotic FlareMax, Specialized Chisel, Vielo V+1 gravel bike, Nicolai FS Enduro, Landescape custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg