Platypus Women's Siouxon MTB Pack
A comfortable, stable mountain-bike pack built specifically for women.
This is a good-looking, well-built, hard-wearing pack that’s ideal for trail centres and would work well on typical all-mountain rides in spring, summer and autumn – it would be a bit tight for space for colder months, says Steph Duits.
Our pros and cons...
- Comfortable and stable
- Good choice of pockets
- Fiddly to pack well
- Expensive - £100
Steph testing the Platypus Women's Siouxon MTB pack. All photos © Tom Hutton
Mountain bike packs
Like walking packs, mountain bike packs are available in a choice of styles and sizes and it’s most important to make sure you match your pack to the type of riding you plan on doing. For typical all-mountain riding, away from the trail centres, you’re really looking for a minimum of around 10L though remember that around two of these will be swallowed up with your reservoir when full. If in doubt, a larger pack can be under-packed – a smaller one can’t really be over-packed.
Remember that when riding, a chest strap is more helpful than a waist strap. Both is best.
In terms of style, a main compartment and a pocket to hold the reservoir is the minimum requirement. A comfy harness is also essential and remember that when riding, a chest strap is more helpful than a waist strap. Both is best.
Small security pockets are useful for keys, phones etc. And a split compartment makes it easy to keep tools and spares away from your spare layers and your lunch.
Comfort and fit
- 2 litre 'Big Zip LP' Reservoir hydration system
- Hydration pocket with hydration system suspension hooks
- Ventilated suspension system designed for female riders
- Carry system for full-face helmet and pads
- Pump sleeve and tool pockets
- Magnetic hydration hose retention
- Waist belt pockets
- Light loop
- RRP: £100
- More info here on the Platypus website
Top marks for comfort
This is a great looking pack that sits comfortably on the shoulders and feels very stable, courtesy of well-shaped and easily adjustable straps. It didn’t move around at all – even over very rough ground – and there’s enough mesh too keep a decent airflow and enough padding to make sure there’s no chafing. Top marks here.
The Siouxon has a nice array of pockets. The tool pocket has a good selection of dividers and a soft-lined security pocket that holds glasses or phones etc. The two hip belt pockets are perfect for a snack bar or gel.
Pack it carefully - over-stuffing impacts on the hydration system and makes it difficult to get a flow of water
The main compartment is the perfect size for trail-centre riding and is just about big enough for big mountain days in milder conditions, but it needs to be packed very carefully when full as over-stuffing impacts on the hydration system and makes it difficult to get a flow of water. I’d personally prefer a bit more space if I was heading for the hills in winter.
I liked the front helmet pocket: it was really useful for stashing waterproofs or extra layers and I also kept a couple of multi-tools in it too. Beware here though – it’s totally secure when the pack’s full but it won’t cinch down all the way when it’s empty.
The reservoir is held in its own pocket, which tends to keep things neat and may prevent your kit from a real soaking if you do have a disaster.
The '2L Big Zip' Platypus reservoir doesn’t leak and is easy to fill and do up, but the hose kinks really easily in the pack, stopping water flow, so it does need careful packing. I didn’t particularly like the bite valve though – it didn’t drip or anything but I did find it hard to get a really satisfying gulp.
I really like the magnet arrangement on the shoulder strap and hose
In contrast, I really like the magnet arrangement on the shoulder strap and hose – this was really useful for clamping it down on the fly without too much effort.
This is a good-looking, well-built, hard-wearing pack that’s ideal for trail centres and would work well on typical all-mountain rides in spring, summer and autumn – it would be a bit tight for space for colder months. It would also double up for day walks. It’s well-featured and extremely comfortable and stable, but it is a bit fiddly to pack – something you get better at as you go along.
About Steph Duits
Steph Duits has been cycling almost as long as she’s been walking, and not many days go by even now when she doesn’t get a few miles in. She’s been the face of the Mountain Bike Rider pull-out route guides for the last 13 years and was once described as the most photographed woman in British mountain biking.