2013 Ogio Baja 70 Hydration Pack
Intended Use: 1-4 hour mountain bike rides
Reviewer Stats: 5’ 8”, 160 lbs.
Test Locations: Moab, Park City, UT
Days Ridden: 15
OGIO is best known for their specialized, durable luggage that’s targeted toward those who travel with gear. The company is also offering a new line of hydration packs for 2013, which includes the Baja 70—a small pack similar in size to the old CamelBak Mule.
The OGIO Baja 70 has a 70 oz bladder (which actually holds 70 oz), and 6.55 liters of interior storage space. In addition to a bungee cord on the back that can carry a jacket, there’s a hydration pocket and three storage pockets (one of which is fleece-lined). There are also two elastic mesh pockets on the shoulder straps for small items such as energy gels. Unfortunately, there’s no dedicated system to carry a helmet or pads on the outside of the pack, but these is a small strap where you can attach a taillight.
The front-most storage pocket has a mesh divider that lets you organize tools. Conveniently, it’s large enough to also accommodate a 24oz water bottle and still zip closed. The fleece pocket will hold a pair of sunglasses or a smartphone, while the larger storage pocket is undivided.
While I never had much excess room, I found that the Ogio could easily accommodate tools, a .7 liter medkit, a windbreaker, and enough food for about a 3-hour ride. (Note—my toolkit consists of a chainbreaker, multitool, CO2 inflator, two 20g canisters, a spare hanger, a Leatherman, and a spoke wrench). I’d want a larger pack for longer trips, but I found the Ogio to work well for those weekday rides after work.
The hydration bladder pocket has a clip at the top to hold up the bladder, a system I found to work very well. And since you can unzip this compartment halfway, it’s easy to get the bladder in and out.
The Ogio has two thick foam pads that sit on either side of the rider’s spine. These created a gap between the pack and my back, making the pack feel pretty stiff even though it doesn’t have a frame. In terms of breathability, I didn’t notice this system to vent any better than other packs I’ve worn (including the Osprey Manta with its “suspended” back design).
Thankfully, this pack has both a chest and a waist strap. I can adjust the chest strap easily since it slides along the shoulder straps, and while the waist strap is narrow (¾” wide), it’s sufficient for light loads (~7-8 lbs, including water).
I found that the Ogio (which measures 17.5” long) sat very snuggly against my back (which is approximately 19″ long). The pack didn’t move around much even when I was riding really rough terrain, and the shoulder straps never slid down my arms. As the load lightened (e.g. as I drank more water), the fit stayed comfortable and I rarely had to adjust the shoulder straps during a ride—not the case with other packs I’ve used.
I’d say the Ogio fits much better than older generations of the CamelBak Mule and various H.A.W.G. packs. It doesn’t fit quite as well as either the Wingnut Hyper 2.5 or the CamelBak Octane 18X, but it’s also a fair bit less expensive than either of those two packs.
The bladder uses a Ziploc-style top that you zip up, fold over, and then close with a clip. I found this closure system to be very secure, and I could squeeze any air out of the bladder to prevent water from sloshing around. Another big bonus—it’s really easy to clean the bladder since the opening is so large. Plus, disconnecting the hose from the bladder is a breeze.
Really, the only downside I noticed was that, since the clip isn’t attached to the bladder, it could be easy to lose if you’re not careful.
I found that the bite valve is comparable to a CamelBak bite valve—you push to lock it and pull to unlock it. There are a series of small straps on the outside of the pack to secure the hose, and even though there’s isn’t a clip to secure the bite valve, I never found this to be an issue.
The Ogio is very well made with no loose threads. And while 15 days of riding isn’t enough to thoroughly test a pack’s durability, during that time I haven’t noticed any signs of wear.
I found the fabric to shed mud well, and it’s pretty easy to clean with a cloth.
This is an affordable, simple pack that snuggly hugs my back while I’m riding, and it comes with an easy-to-clean bladder.
This pack does exactly what it’s intended to do: it’s a small / medium size pack that comfortably carries my water and other necessary supplies for rides of up to about four hours.