Shimano has been teasing their new lines of eye wear and bags since February, though it appears they are finally ready to hit the shelves at a bike shop near you. Hoping to take a chunk out of the already crowded hydration pack market, Shimano is utilizing their years of engineering and manufacturing expertise to offer a product line that is uniquely Shimano.
See how Shimano is redesigning hydration systems after the break!
While there are undoubtedly some great bags in the line up, what intrigues us the most is the Unzen Hydration pack due to its unique fit system. Broken down into two concepts, perfect fit is supposed to be achieved with the use of ACCU3D technology which wraps the bag around the body allowing it to move with the rider, and the Rider Fit X-Harness. In English? For starters, the shoulder straps on the Unzen are adjustable internally – more like an internal frame backpacking pack.
Once the straps are adjusted to match your body size (only one size bag that fits all sizes in the chart, click to enlarge), the straps then meet in the middle of your chest, where they are joined by what would be the traditional waist belt. The whole thing forms more of a harness than a typical back pack, and Shimano claims the arrangement allows for better air flow, improved breathing, and better overall stability. Talking with the few people we know that have tried one, the results were overwhelmingly positive – even from those who don’t typically wear hydration packs. Shimano also claims the design works equally well for both women and men. However, we’ll have to reserve our judgement until we’ve gotten an Unzen on the trail.
The Unzen will be available in 6, 10 or 15-liter cargo capacities with a 2 liter Hydrapak reservoir for the 6L bag, and either a 2L or 3L reservoir on the 10 and 15L bags. Space on the hip straps has been utilized to offer accessible side pockets while the Unzen is still on your back, and the inside of the bag features an integrated tool organizer, a light loop and key holder. Pricing for the Unzen starts at $90 for the 6L, $100 for the 10L, and the 15L for $110.
Riders looking for a little less, or more pavement oriented choices have plenty of options as well. There is the $70 Rokko which is an all purpose bag for anything from trail riding to running errands. The Rokko features a similar three-dimensional body fit to the Unzen, but instead uses a more traditional shoulder strap set up with a sternum strap and waist belt that has similar side pockets. Inside you will find a felt-lined valuables pocket, place to stash your tools, and an external loop to mount a flashing light. The 12L Rokko is hydration bladder ready, but does not include a bladder which will be available separately.
Even more commuter oriented are the Tsukinist commuter bags which offer 20 and 30L storage capacity ($110, and $120 respectively). The Tsukinist is loaded with smart commuter friendly features like a padded laptop sleeve (up to 15″), integrated rain cover, and an attachment for your U-lock and helmet. Again, the Tsukinist uses a traditional strap set up, but uses a more minimalist waist belt that is removable should you not choose to use it.
Finally, what cycling bag line up would be complete without a messenger bag? More than just a straight messenger bag, the Osaka 25 and 30L bags feature 3D padding on the back to keep the bag off your backside and improve airflow. The main strap easily adjusts with one hand, and offers a removable belt should you need it. Just like the Tsukinist you will find a padded laptop sleeve and an organizer pouch to keep things in place on your commute. $110 gets you the 25L bag and $10 more gets you the 30L. All bags are available now.