JC has been running the stripped-down version of the Impact Race Pack. Though he chooses to leave the water bottle and side pouch at home, it's a rare sight to find him without the Acerbis unit on the trail.
Conditioned by years of witnessing overweight tourists claw through their neon fanny packs, I've been severely turned off the idea ever owning such a ghastly creation. As if they weren't dorky enough, wearing them on the front has become the norm much like a reversed baseball cap is cooler than the traditional shading of your eyes. Let's face it - wearing fanny packs just ain't cool regardless of which way you strap them on. Unless, of course, you ride motorcycles with them.
Carrying tools on the trail has become a necessity in my book. Too many times I've had to deal with a ride-terminating obstacle like a fouled plug or something less affecting but just as annoying like a bent lever, flat tire or improper jetting. It took years of trail mishaps and hodgepodge tool kits before conceding that no amount of self-berating makes up for a lack of preparation.
Acerbis gave us a bunch of fanny packs to help us along on our desert racing schedule of 2005. We used them in both the Las Vegas-to-Reno event as well as the Baja 1000. Much of our pre-race focus was on organizing the right tools for our significant time in the saddle. We soon found out that the Acerbis Impact Race Pack gave us the capacity, durability,
Also available in black, the Impact Race Pack holds plenty of trailside tools, maps, water, oil, spark plugs or you name it. We have yet to run out of space, even on our week-long pre-run in Mexico. (tools are not included, of course)
comfort and styling that we were seeking.
Designed specifically for enduro and rally riders, the Impact has plenty of room to accommodate whatever you'll need no matter how long the ride, though stuffing a spare heavy-duty tube in one of the two main storage compartments isn't very practical. However, the integrated tool wrap keeps trail tools organized and is easily accessed by a simple Velcro strap. Additional elasticized straps in both compartments keeps things nice and quiet since your tools aren't bouncing around. It also keeps the weight distribution constant, unlike fanny packs that allow tools to flop around freely inside the pouches. This helps ensure that the pack doesn't bounce up and down against your back over rough terrain.
Between and following our desert riding, I've been sporting the Impact for other off-road tests and on my own trail rides. The past months in Southern Oregon have definitely provided a wide variety of conditions ranging from torrential downpours, hail and snow through the winter and dusty, sweaty days with the temperature well into the 90s as of late. All told it was a terrific set of extreme conditions in which to test the Acerbis f-pack.
Even though it can hold a ton of tools, having the Impact doesn't guarantee you'll fix your bike every time. In the event of a remote extraction, the one with the pack rides on back.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't even discover the little zipper at the very bottom of the main pouch until I was cleaning out the crusty Mexican remnants in my garage. Inside is a pull-over waterproof cover that fits nicely around the entire main section even when stuffed to the max. After forgetting to use it on one particularly nasty day of riding, I vowed to never again after spending serious time unloading my rusting tools and allowing the heavy Cordura/nylon material to dry out. I have since utilized the rain shield on many occasions and have found the bungeed and elasticized system to work easily, quickly and very effectively.
Tough riding will take a serious toll on your body, especially if the temperatures are high. Acerbis makes sure that you can stay hydrated with an accompanying water bottle and pouch that can mount to either side of the main pack. Unfortunately, the cap on the bottle is worthless, so the water splashes out long before you ever get a chance to wet you whistle. Actually, we found that about half of the contents will slosh out, so there is usually something left. Our ongoing search for a decent replacement lid has yet to staunch the flow, so we've taken to stopping by the local Mini Market en route to our favorite trails and simply putting a 20-oz. bottle in the pouch - the rough equivalent in terms of quantity. Not nearly as cool, but much more effective.
We've ridden with waist packs that'll rub your hips off over rough terrain, but the Impact stays put and keeps your tools from bouncing around too, no matter what the obstacle.
Opposite of the water bottle is another add-on pocket that holds a 250ml oil beaker for all you long-distance 2-strokers. Usually I just removed the entire pouch to minimize weight and bulk, but during our multiple days in the desert, we utilized the extra capacity by ditching the oil beaker and stuffing the pocket with various items.
Since becoming a believer in fanny packs, I've been searching for one that can meet my needs. I'm very happy to announce that the search is over. With the exception of that funky water lid, everything on the Acerbis Impact Race Pack is perfect. The extra features far outweigh our small grievance in this tough, stylish and necessary piece of equipment. If you ride off-road you should have this fanny pack, besides, the next time your grandmother comes to visit it'll give you something to talk about.
Acerbis Impact Race Pack
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