You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Bag – Shimano’s Rokko 16 and Hotaka 32 Packs Reviewed
When they’re not busy developing the latest drive train or brakes, Shimano has also been busy developing their lifestyle gear. Introducing products like the new Action Camera, clothing, and bags, Shimano continues to expand the other side of their cycling business with a number of products that quite good.
The latest bags to come our way are the Rokko 16 and the absolutely massive Hotaka 32. Depending on your needs and how much you want to carry, the latest packs from Shimano are worth a look…
One of the biggest distinguishing factors between the two bags other than size is the harness system. As a member of Shimano’s accu3D family, the Hotaka gets the advanced harness system that cross at your chest. accu3D harnesses are internally adjustable to dial in your fit and provide an incredibly comfortable, breathable, molded back panel. The harness might look a little odd at first, but once you realize how comfy it is, you won’t want to take it off.
The Rokko sticks with traditional shoulder straps with a waist belt and sternum strap but it still fits very sell with perforated foam in the shoulder straps and bolstered back panel.
Hydration for days. Well at least one full day. Both packs are compatible with the Shimano branded Hydrapak bladders up to 100 oz. Functionally, the bladders are no different than other Hydrapak models but our experience leaves these highly recommended. If the bladder isn’t enough, or you want to carry a bottle of something else, both packs have dual external bottle pockets.
The Hotaka is quite roomy with the biggest felt lined valuables pocket we’ve seen on a bag. The cavernous main compartment can be expanded to the lower section of the bag by unzipping the divider between the two. Inside organization of the main compartment is spartan with just 3 mesh pockets and one upper pocket, but based on the amount of other available pockets you should have no problem keeping your gear organized. As a side note, the bright interior is more than just looks – it makes finding small things at the bottom of your pack much easier.
Did I mention there were a lot of pockets? In addition to pockets for gels and bars on the straps, there is also a dedicated map pocket on the side of the bag that you can access without taking the bag off your shoulders. In total there are 16 different pockets and stash spots for your stuff. If you can’t find some place to put it with the Hotaka, you probably shouldn’t bring it.
Each pack includes a built in rain cover that stows at the bottom of the pack. The covers are attached with a strap that is adjustable and allows the covers to be completely removed. As they should be, the rain covers are brightly colored for visibility which is good since like most rain covers they cover up the integrated tail light mounts.
The Rokko in comparison only has 6 pockets, but for a 16L bag that should be plenty. Unlike the Hotaka, the Rokko doesn’t have a separate compartment for the bladder but has a sleeve inside the main pocket with a velcro strap to keep it suspended. Inside there are 3 tool dividers with one designed for holding a pump, and you’ll find only a key clip in the front pocket.
As far as weight, the Rokko 16 comes in at 550g while the double the capacity Hotaka 32 is almost double the weight at 1050g. Hotaka packs are sold in 24L models for $130 and the 32L (tested) for $140, while the 16L Rokko comes in at $70.